Our Pre-Kindergarten program is dedicated to providing a fun, stimulating and developmentally appropriate experience for three and four-year-old students. The primary goal of the program is to create a joyful atmosphere that encourages a love of learning. This is accomplished through play, multi-sensory activities and emergent reading and writing activities, all of which utilize a hands-on approach. The program includes:
- A low student-teacher ratio, which allows each class to provide enrichment and reinforcement in all areas to meet the individual needs of a child.
- A focus on heightened student self-esteem. This is fostered as a result of the individualization possible in a small class. It is achieved through teacher encouragement, achievement in learning and the building of social skills to encourage friendships. The use of the STET program begins in Pre-Kindergarten and helps children make positive behavior choices.
- Carefully selected, caring teachers and assistants who believe in the goodness and ability in every child. Teachers help nurture each child’s belief in himself or herself, and always motivate learning in a positive way. Mizzentop Day School Pre-Kindergarten teachers hold college degrees and have both early childhood education training and extensive experience in the Pre-Kindergarten classroom.
- Frequent communication between teachers and parents is encouraged by the school to ensure each child’s success.
- We balance each day with free play, structured play and academic enrichment.
Reading, Writing and Literature
The primary goal in language arts is to instill a love of reading and writing. Our children, who are read to daily, are provided with an introduction to letters and sounds. Students ready for more of a challenge will work on blending sounds, learning sight words and emergent reading skills. Great care is taken to choose high quality literature, which relates to the interests and themes of the class. Children are encouraged to express themselves in journals. This expression begins with children drawing pictures and teachers scribing for them. As children gain knowledge of letters, they use “Kid Print” to write what they have drawn. Journaling enables them to see their ideas as words and helps facilitate self-expression. The Pre-School version of the Handwriting Without Tears writing program is also used to develop the children’s pre-writing/writing skills.
In order to encourage the development of skills and concepts taught in class, as well as a child’s imagination, students explore theme-based centers during “center time.” This time is either directed by the teacher or a “free” period during which children have opportunities both collectively and independently to choose a sustained activity. These activities may include math, writing and drawing, reading, science, housekeeping, building and painting. As the curriculum evolves throughout the year, so do the centers.
Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley is our Pre-Kindergarten math series. It is used to introduce children to the world of numbers, problem solving and critical thinking skills. Elements of this program include calendar, counting, matching, number recognition, estimating, sorting, comparing and contrasting, days of the week and grouping objects with similar characteristics. Fostering their natural curiosity, children use a variety of manipulative and math-related literature to investigate math concepts and skills such as:
- Counting to ten/twenty
- Recognizing numbers to five/ten
- Sorting and classifying objects by color, size and shape
- Recognizing shapes and primary colors
- Patterning objects
- Creating sets of objects
Social Studies and Science
An integrated approach using literature and hands-on activities make units such as seasons, insects, family, community and space an exciting educational adventure. Hands-on projects and experiments accompany basic concepts, which will be taught in each unit of study. Children experience their community and the people who live and work there by going on field trips. The use of the outdoors as a backdrop for demonstrating scientific concepts allows student to make a real connection to the world around them.
We do our best to enrich your child’s experience at Mizzentop Day School by offering a variety of special classes. The students in the Junior Pre-K and Senior Pre-K are exposed to Spanish, Physical Education, Music and Library, depending on the days of the week they attend school.