We know that young children learn best through active, hands-on experiences. At Sunny Days Preschool, we plan for and provide a creative, stimulating environment that allows children to learn through exploration and enjoyable activities. Our teacher plans new, fun thematic units every month to keep children engaged while so much learning is taking place! For example, one month our Pretend Center may be set up as a grocery store, where we practice counting money (math), standing in line (social skills), and "reading" the signs for the various items for sale (literacy). The children are having fun, but we know that through guidance in this area, SO much learning is taking place! Other learning centers in our classroom include the following:
Our Learning Centers & Some Things We Learn Here:
· Creative expression & opportunity to explore art materials without any pressure of making a product (our motto: it’s the process, not product that matters)
· Practice fine motor skills through cutting, coloring, holding a paintbrush
· Explore & practice counting, matching, sorting, making patterns, etc.
· Opportunity for fine motor practice through use of small math manipulatives (objects used for counting, sorting, etc.)
· Literacy activities through playing with letters, word games, etc.
· Extension activities related to the stories we have read in class (such as flannel board pieces relating to the story, games, etc.)
· Cultivating a love of books & learning to value books
· A quiet, comfy place to be alone or in a smaller group, if needed
· Opportunity to use writing tools & develop fine motor skills
· Knowledge that words have meaning/recognition of letters & sounds through fun, hands-on activities
· Practice social & emotional skills such as sharing, taking turns
· Trying on different roles through using the imagination
· Opportunity to practice math & literacy skills through the set-up of pretend stores, post office, doctor’s office, grocery store, home, etc.
· Logical thinking & basic concepts such as height, weight, length
· Learning to create ideas & plans, try them out, & discover what needs to be adjusted to fulfill plans
· A sense of mastery when making plans & then seeing them through a completed structure
· Develop an appreciation for nature through hands-on discovery
· Exploration of simple science concepts & tools
Literacy skills, math skills, social and emotional skills are interwoven throughout each area of our classroom and each part of our day.
Our daily routine consists of a balance of active and quiet activities, as well as individual and small group experiences. Some of our activities will be teacher-directed and others are child-directed. There are definite times of our preschool day where our teacher, Ms. Cindi, is leading the activity. Circle Time, Story Time, and Music & Movement Time are all such times in our day where the whole class comes together to be guided by Ms. Cindi in an activity she has planned. For example, in Circle Time we learn how to raise our hands to take turns talking, the days of the week, the months of the year, the letter, shape, and number of the week. Circle Time is also where we get assigned our classroom jobs and learn about things that are related to our theme of the month.