The emphasis of the Pre-K and Kindercare programs is the continued development of social and emotional skills though the use of inquiry based learning. Children are supported as they engage in cooperative play and develop friendship skills. Building a sense of community is an important aspect of our program.
Activities are chosen based on the expressed interests of children and are used to support children in articulating their wonderings. Most important children are taught to answer their own questions! Using play as a teaching tool, children develop skills in language, math and science. Gross and fine motor skills are put into practice, music and movement is experienced and relationships are developed.
A great example of this model at work:
Over snack one child mentions to the children at his table that he likes French fries, another child shares that his mom is silly because she says French fries are made from potatoes. Now the great debate starts! The teacher in the classroom takes out a large piece of paper and starts writing down the children’s ideas and questions about French fries: Are they really potatoes? How come they can be different shapes? Why doesn’t my mom cook them in a basket like at McDonalds? Why are some orange?
Once the children’s initial questions are documented they start to make a plan to find the answers; they look French fries up in an encyclopedia and they are indeed made from potatoes! “We should make French fries!” a child declares, “What will we need?” his classmate responds.
The children identify and collect the tools they will need to test their theories; they estimate the number of potatoes they will need to make enough French fries for all the children in the classroom; they take a fieldtrip to Safeway to purchase potatoes and choose between many varieties; they negotiate on who will complete which task (who will use – with close adult supervision- the fry cutter, the twirly fry cutter, the mandolin, child safe knives, etc); they document their process in picture and in writing… and so the process continues.
If this program sounds interesting or if you have any questions please contact our Executive Director for more information.