Pre-School offers a balance between play and academic learning. The New Jersey State Department of Education Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards as well as other resources combine to form the curricula. Our curriculum is comprehensive with a clear organizational structure with a particular focus on interest areas. Our program balances both teacher-directed and child-initiated learning with an emphasis on responding to children’s learning styles and building on their strengths and interests. Monthly school themes help organize ideas and allow for instruction that is stimulating and relevant to students.
What is a typical day like in Pre-School?
After children arrive and settle in, circle time kicks off the day! At circle time the Pre-School students join their teachers on the carpet as a large group. The lead teacher always opens circle time with a smile and a “good morning!” Students are encouraged to greet their classmates and share an experience or short story with their friends. At circle time the Pre-School students will also:
· Discuss the month, day and year.
· Observe and record the weather.
· Read a story that coincides with the weekly theme.
· Talk about the day’s upcoming activities and events.
After circle time the Pre-School class washes their hands for snack. Our program offers three designated snack times throughout the day; one in the morning, one in the late afternoon around 3pm and another later in the evening around 5pm.
As students finish their snack they clean up and engage in quiet activities such as looking at a book or completing a puzzle, until their teachers are ready to begin group time. The Pre-School schedule incorporates two academic group times; one after morning snack and one in the afternoon. Each group time consists of two rotating groups of children, each headed by a teacher and with a focus on a content area such as: literacy, math, science, or social studies and life skills. Within these small groups Pre-School students will do various activities such as:
· Identify and write letters and numbers.
· Experiment with a variety of writing tools, materials, and surfaces.
· Demonstrate mathematical understanding through graphing, sorting, one-to-one correspondence, and patterning.
· Use their senses to explore such concepts as changes in liquids and solids during a science experiment.
Our Pre-School students look forward to group time; it is full of fun and stimulating experiences. Our experienced teachers ensure that activities and lessons are more than fun, but focus in on development of specific skills:
This Pre-School student sorts Fruit-O’s. While she does this, she is learning to notice how items are alike and different, establishing an awareness that is vital for mathematical thinking.
Students love to squeeze, roll, pinch, and pound materials such as play dough. It helps them gain control over hand and arm movements, improving coordination. In this activity, students use play dough to form letters and numbers.
Before mixing together corn starch, water, and food coloring, Pre-School students predicted what would happen when the ingredients were combined. This student gets a chance to explore the new mixture hands-on!
The Pre-School classroom is arranged into “interest centers”, including five distinct areas: dramatic play, blocks, art, math/science, and literacy. Center time is always included in the daily schedule which provides an opportunity for structured play, an important component of our program. During center time, students will be seen developing a wealth of language, cognitive, physical, social, and emotional skills.
Did you know that sensory play is part of the scientific process? As this student grabs, listens, smells, rubs, pours, and dumps, she is using her senses to collect ‘data’. She will decide whether or not to share what she learned about this experience with her friends and teachers.
Blocks and other construction toys are among the best toys in helping children develop motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and spatial and problem-solving skills. Look at this elaborate castle – it took this student a great deal of focus, creativity, and patience to construct.
It’s tea time in Pre-School! These three students (and one baby doll) enjoy each other’s company as they prepare and then sit for tea and conversation. Through this type of dramatic play, students have an opportunity to act out and explore the lives of others; how they work, what they feel, and what they say.
Cutting with scissors takes skill and patience. During group time this student strengthens his fine-motor muscles as he snips and cuts through play dough. It is these same muscles that he will need strengthened when he draws more recognizable pictures and write letters, numbers, and then words.
When the weather permits, the Pre-School class will go outside in our large, child-friendly playground. Our “middle” playground was specially designed with preschool-age children in mind. It provides students the opportunity to enhance their gross-motor skills, to build muscle and to improve coordination. It also provides an atmosphere for positive interactions with peers.
Outdoor play provides students with numerous opportunities to use their imaginations! These colorful cones easily transform into a commuter train, transporting three very eager travelers to their desired destination. Chug, chug. Choo, choo!
Playing in the sandbox offers many benefits for young children. As this student digs, pours, dumps, and scoops, he is developing more controlled arm and hand movements which strengthens the muscles used to grasp and for wrist control. He will soon take these growing skills into the classroom for writing!
Staying healthy and fit is so important! Our playground offers many opportunities for students to exercise and blow-off extra energy. This student poses for the camera after scaling the climber and making it all the way to the top!
Playing alone is merely okay, but playing with friends is fantastic! These two girls take a break from playing catch together to smile for the camera. Outdoor play not only supports, but encourages acquisition of social skills and social competencies.
Special Features of our program:
In addition to our comprehensive Pre-School curriculum, students are introduced to technology and how to operate a computer in our specially-designed computer learning lab. Teachers guide students in activities such as navigating an on-screen menu, becoming familiarized with the basic functions of a browser, accessing materials on a CD-ROM, and the correct operation of high-quality, interactive games.
For families looking to add even more inspiration to their child’s day, ADLC offers a wide variety of enrichment opportunities. These classes, instructed by experienced and passionate professionals in their field, are an optional compliment to our already extensive curriculum:
· Sing-A-Song: A dynamic music enrichment program designed for young children that offers an exciting musical experience for young children that encourages their creative and intellectual growth.
· Amazing Athletes: The year-round Amazing Athlete program is taught by trained coaches who use age-appropriate equipment to instruct children in the basic fundamentals and mechanics of nine different sports: baseball, golf, hokey, volleyball, tennis, football, lacrosse, soccer, and basketball.
· CompuChild: In these fun and fast-paced classes, children learn about computers and technology in an environment that emphasizes collaboration and cooperation.
· Kidz in the Kitchen: In this program, students will cook, clean, and learn about kitchen safety, as well as use various cooking instruments and utensils. Students will be introduced to proper food preparation, measuring, mixing and shaking ingredients, different food groups, manners at the table, and how to properly use utensils.
Music and Movement
Creative movement and music are exceptional tools in teaching young children. Music and movement is a regular part of our routine with particular goals and expectations in mind. The children sing, move to, and listen to a wide variety of music throughout the day, including classical and children’s music to help them develop an appreciation of creative movement and dance, develop an appreciation of music, and develop an appreciation of dramatic play and storytelling.
Your child will not only learn new songs but will have an opportunity to display their singing and dancing talents with you in one of our two family concerts scheduled throughout the year. Our school-wide winter and spring concerts bring families and friends together and showcase what your child is learning through music and movement during the year. All family members are invited and encouraged to attend!
Character education is an important component of our program. With it, we strive to build a positive sense of self in each child. Each week your child’s teacher will provide lessons or activities that touch on topics such as conflict resolution, sharing, manners, and/or personal responsibility.
For Pre-School students, character education is introduced in a fun, interactive, and stimulating manor. It is infused into the curriculum with the use of games, role-playing, and literature; all which provide students with activities that encourage working together, sharing, cooperation, and language that expresses feelings.
In today’s multicultural society, learning a second language is not only gratifying, but it also quite valuable. To provide your child with a basic knowledge of another language, our Pre-School teachers include lessons in Spanish at least 3 times per week. Each lesson is organized by a topic familiar to the student, such as letters, numbers, colors, and family. The ADLC Spanish curriculum incorporates Spanish children’s books, Spanish language games, Spanish songs, and other hands-on activities to teach and reinforce Spanish acquisition throughout the year.
Our Spanish curriculum themes for 2013 are as follows:
April-May Numbers and Letters
June-July Shapes and Colors
Aug.-Sept. My Family/My House/School
November Body Parts and Food
December Transportation and Days of the Week and Months of the Year
Jan.-April A review of all learned concepts
Food & Nutrition
Our Pre-School curriculum incorporates numerous lessons and activities throughout the year that help students develop an awareness of healthy habits and nutritious food choices. In an attempt to reinforce what students learn in the classroom, ADLC ensures that the meals and snacks we provide are healthy and nutritious.
Families are welcome to supply their child with snacks and lunches or may take advantage of our school snacks and/or our catered hot lunch program.
Snacks: Snack time is provided three times a day at around 9am, 3pm, and 5pm. Our 5pm snack is also when dinners can be heated for students whose families provide them. School snacks consist mainly of such foods as, cereal, crackers, and pretzels. Juice is always offered to accompany snack. Our snack service is included in your monthly tuition.
Lunch: Our hot lunches are catered by a local restaurant located in Montgomery Township. Each lunch is served to children in its own container and includes fruit, vegetable, and an entrée. Milk is also offered to all students who receive school lunch. Entrees include such items as, chicken tenders, pasta, hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, Sloppy Joes, and grilled cheese. A vegetarian option is always available for students on a special diet. Our hot lunch program is optional. Please see the Director for prices.
When your child graduates from Pre-School at ADLC, he/she will be well-equipped for the rigors of Pre-kindergarten. Here is merely a sampling of what your child will be able to do:
· Social/Emotional Development
o Actively engage in activities and interactions with teachers and peers.
o Move through classroom routines and activities with minimal teacher direction and transition easily from one activity to another.
o Demonstrate how to enter into play when a group of children are already involved in play.
· Visual & Performing Arts
o Use movement/dance to convey meaning around a theme or to show feelings.
o Describe feelings and reactions and make increasingly informed responses to stories and dramatic performances.
o Use vocabulary to describe various art forms and elements in the visual arts.
· Health, Safety, and Physical Education
o Develop awareness of nutritious food choices.
o Identify community helpers who assist in maintaining a safe environment.
o Develop and refine fine-motor skills.
· Language Arts Literacy
o Show understanding of listening activities by incorporating ideas into play.
o Use compound sentences.
o Recognize own name in a variety of contexts.
o Make up and chant rhymes.
o Compare groups of objects.
o Explore the use of nonstandard objects for measurement.
o Begin to represent data in pictures and drawings.
o Communicate with other children and adults to share observations, pursue questions, make predictions, and/or conclusions.
o Observe similarities and differences in the needs of living things, and differences between living and nonliving things.
o Observe and record weather.
· Social Studies, Family, and Life Skills
o Demonstrate an understanding of family roles and traditions.
o Demonstrates responsibility by initiating simple classroom tasks and jobs.
o Learn about and respect other cultures within the classroom and community.
o Use the mouse to navigate a simple menu on the screen.
o Operate frequently used, high quality, interactive games or activities in either screen or toy-based formats.
o Use the Internet to explore and investigate questions with teacher’s support.
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