Now that we have gone over How our K-Prep Program Prepares Your Child for Kindergarten, Private Pre-K vs. Public Pre-K, A Day in PreK, and our Classroom Management we want to show you an example of our play-based academics in action! We have had so much fun going over the ins and outs of our Pre-K program and we are excited to close out this blog series by showing you how we bring all of these philosophies and practices to life in our classrooms!
As we have mentioned in some of the recent blog posts, our curriculum is interest-based; meaning our topics are picked based on the students’ current interests in each classroom! This allows our teachers to plan their lessons in a way that keeps their students engaged and on track to develop the skills they are working on in their classroom. We say often say that our teachers are our greatest Unique Benefit!! While there are many unique benefits at Yellow Brick Road that set our schools apart, our teachers are the heart and soul of each location and they are so uniquely great! They have the skills and the opportunities to make their classrooms the perfect learning environment for their students specifically. And while we follow all of the same training and guidelines in all of our schools, it is truly the people in the schools that really set each location apart. When you tour our schools, be sure to ask your Director about the teachers in the classrooms that your children would be a part of!
So what do the lesson plans look like when the activities are play-based and the topics are interests based? The short answer is that they all look different! Our teachers have a resource that they use to write their curriculum and plan activities that give them age-appropriate activities based on the skills and topics they are discussing at the time. They use this tool to compare each activity with their state standards to ensure that every activity planned is preparing their students for Kindergarten both socially and academically!
By now you must be wondering what the planned activities are and how playing is the foundation of academic success! In this example lesson plan, the Pre-K classroom is learning about their community. From art projects creating maps to open-ended conversations about what makes them a special part of their community to a messy sensory bin full of houses to build… this week looks like it is packed with fun and engaging activities!
We focus on five main categories academically in our classrooms…
(listed in no particular order)
First is language! We have a goal set to have our students ready to start reading and writing by the time they are heading to Kindergarten. We use activities like letter builders, playdough letter boards, and phonetic matching to create games that help us meet those developmental language goals!
The second area is early math! Patterns, shape recognition, one-to-one correspondence, and simple addition are skills that we can teach through toys and games as well! A lot of the activities that we plan to build math skills double as fine-motor-based activities as well!
Third is social-emotional development! We plan activities in our dramatic play centers, have open discussions, and teach children how to build and maintain friendships all through playing!
Fourth is science and S.T.E.M.! We have our students participate in hands-on activities to establish excitement for exploration! Some teachers create bottle rockets, slime, and classroom volcanos. They may be messy activities, but they are SO much fun!!
The final area is motor skills! From our outdoor classrooms to our fine motor activities, our kiddos are constantly working on their motor skills. Building motor skills also helps improve balance, focus, and coordination!