Pre-K (full and half day)
A place where children ages 3 and 4 play, explore, and learn
Green Acres’ Pre-Kindergarten is a place where children play, explore, and learn in an environment that values and promotes growth in all domains of a child’s development: social emotional, academic, physical, and artistic. Within a nurturing setting, teachers acknowledge students’ steps toward independence and encourage their enthusiasm, enjoy their sense of humor, and help them develop an awareness of and sensitivity to each other’s needs and feelings. Choices within structure allow children to become self-reliant and resilient.
Thematic units of exploration
A blend of activities captures the students’ interests, as instruction and materials are differentiated to best meet the needs of the group and the individual. Teachers balance emergent curriculum (following the ideas of the students) with topics of interest universal to children of this age. Thematic units of study integrated throughout all curricular areas are carefully planned to provide hands-on, explorative, thought provoking experiences for students to construct and extend their own knowledge.
Integrated into each theme are activities and materials related to the areas of literacy, mathematics, social studies, science, and the arts. For example, during a fall unit on sense of self, children examine similarities and difference as they look in a mirror in preparation for drawing a self-portrait (art). Meaningful discussions spontaneously arise and are skillfully encouraged, guided, and extended by teachers (social studies). Dictated thoughts or child written words (“invented spelling”) enhance the activity (language and literacy). A graph depicting the answer to the question posed to the class, “How many are in your family?” is made complete by each student’s placement of his or her picture in the appropriate category. Individual and whole group conversations, thoughts, and assimilation of the data yield important information about family composition, as well as mathematical concepts such as most, least, and equal to.
Depth and breadth are critical to the intentional scope and sequence of thematic units. Children are provided the time, materials, and motivation for in-depth study; teachers pose questions with the purpose of extending learning and deepening understanding of concepts. Encouraged to wonder, probe, and query, students and teachers discover and grow; they are partners in learning.
Each day brings opportunities for student growth in literacy and mathematics: exposure to a variety of literary genres, oral and written language, listening skills, Handwriting Without Tears activities, sharing student ideas through dictation or invented spelling, sequencing, patterns, sorting, classifying, counting, and number skills are some examples. Special subjects are an integral part of the Pre-K schedule and include physical education, science, creative movement, library, art, and Spanish. Students travel with a teacher to different areas of the campus to experience some of these activities.
The classroom opens to the outdoors, where children continue their learning. Motor skills become more adept as students are provided with an extensive amount of time to explore the wooded playground filled with climbing equipment and dramatic pretend play areas. An expansive, open grassy field and tricycles on paved pathways are also available for regular use. Additionally, social skills are continually honed while students navigate the social arena during outside times.Full and half day Pre-Kindergarten programs are available. The new half day program runs from 8:20 AM – 12:30 PM, 5 days a week. Click here for more information on tuition and fees.