Twos, Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Curriculum Overview
Peter Pan Early Learning Centers offer a well balanced traditional preschool program ~ incorporating the academic enrichment today’s child is longing for, along with the free play and dramatic play that is equally important for their development.
Our curriculum is carefully researched and planned by our curriculum specialists ~ incorporating activities from a wide variety of early childhood philosophies, manuals, and resources.
It is developmentally appropriate for young children, integrating their needs, interests, and abilities, while focusing on the whole child.
We provide an environment, with developmentally appropriate equipment and activities, that enhances each child's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.
Academic areas covered include language and literacy, pre-reading skills, math, science/nature, social studies, art, and music.
The children are introduced to developmentally appropriate concepts through group and individual experiences that are fun and exciting. Each teacher presents this curriculum using methods that are developmentally appropriate for their individual age group.
First Circle Time
We open our Circle Time with a welcoming song or poem, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and our Patriotic Song of the Month. We continue with calendar activities, discussing the weather, and sharing our thoughts and feelings. Our circle time includes language development, science, math, and social studies activities that are based around our weekly theme and Letter of the Week.
Letter of the Week
Children are introduced to one letter of the alphabet for 26 weeks during our school year. Our objective is for the children to understand: there are different letters of the alphabet; each letter makes a different sound; and when you put letters together they form words. Children learn to recognize the letters of the alphabet and the sound that each represents.
Individual Choice Time
Immediately following circle time, this play time offers children the opportunity to choose any area within the room to explore. The activity areas the children can choose from include: art, creative table play, paint easel, sensory tub, math center, science center, housekeeping area, dramatic play center, wooden blocks, large blocks, trucks, fine motor manipulatives, puzzles, and table games. Extra activities that vary from day to day may include playdough, bubbles, file folder games, or flannel boards. The open environments in our classrooms encourage the children to move freely from center to center, as well as to socialize and interact with their classmates.
Creative Art Project
Our art activities allow children to express their individual ideas and feelings, while developing confidence and pride. The children are exposed to a wide variety of art media and various processes, allowing ample opportunities to experiment with color, shape, texture, and design. The emphasis of our art projects is focused on the process rather than the finished product. Our daily creative art project reinforces concepts that correlate to our theme or letter of the week. Markers, crayons, pencils, paper, scissors and glue are available to the children every day, along with the opportunity to paint at the art easel. For our special "creative art days", a variety of art media, including recyclables, are presented at the art table and the children choose what they would like to create.
In addition to our housekeeping and block areas, special centers are presented in a manner that encourages children to express their creativity and engage their imaginations. Children enjoy nurturing our "Dollhouse Family", becoming the "Chief at our Fire Station", "Landing Planes at our Airport", "Directing Traffic at the Parking Garage", and spending time "Down at the Farm". These special centers are rotated through our classrooms biweekly, giving children the opportunity to have a variety of different experiences.
Science/Nature Interest Centers
Each classroom has a table with a specific science/nature theme that includes a variety of items for the children to explore. Books, pictures, puzzles, and various manipulative items provide hands-on experiences to help the children understand the concept of the science theme. Examples of our science centers include: "Liquid in Motion", "We Dig Dinosaurs", "Colors All Around Us", "A Walk in the Woods", "Do You Hear What I Hear", "Sprouting Seeds", and "It’s a Bugs Life". These centers are changed seasonally and rotated between classrooms on a biweekly basis, allowing the children to be introduced to a variety of science/nature experiences throughout the year.
Experiences in the sensory tub allow children to explore a variety of media using their senses. Some of their favorites include: shaving cream, water, ice, snow, colored rice, noodles, gooblek, bubbles, cotton balls, pine cones, and sand. It is always hands-on fun!
Gross Motor Activities
Children play outside in our yard whenever the weather permits. If it is too wet or cold to go outside, the teachers provide indoor activities that enhance large muscle development. For our full day programs, "Ready, Set, Jump" ~ which is part of our Health Little Bits program ~ provides gross motor movement on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, our "Sing, Wiggle, Dance, and Learn" music and movement programs keeps us moving.
During snack time, children are encouraged to use good manners. They wait until everyone is served, then sing a simple song or recite a poem to signal the start of their snack. This is a great time for teachers and children to converse and socialize. Self help skills are promoted and children learn to use utensils, pour liquids, and clean up after themselves.
Second Circle Time
Children gather with their teacher in the late morning for a second large group experience, which focuses on our language and literacy curriculum. Please refer to the curriculum for each specific age group for information. In addition to these, this time is used for further development of the concepts that were introduced at first circle, to read stories, or have "Show and Tell."
Music is a wonderful learning tool and an important part of early childhood education. The children learn songs that tie in with the season, holidays, curriculum themes, letters, numbers, and some just for fun. The children are exposed to various musical instruments and learn about rhythm and timing.
Children are introduced to the Spanish language as a cultural awareness. They learn that some people speak different languages, that language is our way of communicating, and that learning Spanish will allow them to talk with more people. Spanish words and phrases are taught, such as counting, colors, and days of the week. More words are taught as they tie in with the season, holiday, or our thematic units.
Sign Language is incorporated as part of the curriculum for all age levels. Very basic signs, such as drink, eat, more and all done, are introduced in our infant program. Toddlers continue using these signs and begin to learn signs with their songs. Children two and older learn basic signing words and techniques, as they relate to our themes, seasons, and holidays. They particularly enjoy learning to sign language to songs they sing. The letters of the alphabet are taught along with our Letter of the Week program. Research has shown that sign language develops the same portions of the brain that control language development and that exposure to sign language assists or enhances language development.
Our Peter Pan Exclusives
* Health Little Bits * Perky Pete’s Microscope * Math Our Way * Sing ~ Wiggle ~ Dance ~ & Learn * ~ provide lessons that further enhance our children’s learning experiences in these areas.
Portfolio and Assessments
Teachers do a written assessment covering all aspects of development for each child two years and older in the fall and again in the spring. Teachers are always aware of the development of each child and monitor them for continual growth in each area. Special "portfolio pages" are made by each child on a monthly basis. The assessment and portfolio pages are shared with the parent at conference time. At the end of the school year, parents receive their child’s "Portfolio" in a folder with a special cover made by their child. It is a wonderful keepsake of your child’s growth throughout the year!
Our Curriculum Provides Each Child the Opportunity to
~ Learn by Doing ~
~ Develop an Active Curiosity about the World They Live In ~
~ Become an Enthusiastic Learner ~