Pre-Kindergarten 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 does a typical Pre-k day look like?
Pre-k always begins the day with circle time. At circle time the Pre-k students will:
· Say good morning with a song
· Salute the flag
· Discuss the month, day and year
· Read a story that coincides with the weekly theme
· Talk about the day’s upcoming activities and events
After circle time the Pre-k class gets ready 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.
The Pre-k 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-k students will do various activities such as:
Discuss and explore letters and numbers:
Emergent writing skills flourish as students attempt to make their own name using a variety of materials. This student successfully “writes” his name in shaving cream.
This student demonstrates her emergent understanding of numbers as she counts pom-pom “apples” and places them on the apple tree with the corresponding number.
Create a graph, measure, or make a pattern:
The Pre-k class develops knowledge of the spatial concept of measurement while exploring the use of nonstandard objects for measurement. This student has the height of four carrot!
Perform a science experiment to test a hypothesis.
During a science experiment, an egg was turned brown. After discussing why this happened and exploring possible ways to turn the egg white again, these two students put their potential solution to the test.
The Pre-k 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.
Two students collaborate to construct a roadway using wooden blocks. After they agree on a configuration that will allow both of their cars to pass by each other without a crash, they test their efforts.
Two students role-play as they create a restaurant in the dramatic play area. The “waiter” happily pours the “customer” a glass of juice and then smile for the camera.
This Pre-k student concentrates intensely as he puts his problem-solving skills to the test and strategically places puzzle pieces together to uncover a silly animal scene.
This student takes a break from playing, to sit and enjoy a book. He looks at the pictures and points to the words as he “reads” the pages out loud with a smile.
Each day our Pre-k program incorporates a language arts lesson from the Wilson Fundations program (the same phonics and spelling program used in our neighboring public schools). These lessons focus on skills such as:
· Phonological and phonemic awareness
· Letter formation associated with sounds
· Print knowledge and concepts of print
· Alphabetic order
· Identification of correct punctuation
· Retelling of narrative stories
· Identification of upper-case letter use for the beginning of sentences and names of people
When the weather permits, the Pre-k class will go outside in our large, child-friendly playground. Our Pre-k playground was specially designed with “older” 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.
This Pre-k student uses all his strength to successfully navigate the monkey bars. One at a time and hand-over-hand, he makes it to the final bar with a proud smile!
Our large sandbox invites numerous social encounters between students. These two girls share the responsibility of filling their bowl up with “sand soup”.
Keeping a hula hoop spinning employs a lot of focus and coordination. These students practice over and over until they’ve finally mastered it
Special Features of our program:
In addition to our comprehensive pre-k 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 Pre-k 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-k 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-k 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 2012 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-k 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-k at ADLC, he/she will be well-equipped for the rigors of Kindergarten. Here is merely a sampling of what your child will be able to do:
· Social/Emotional Development
o Discuss their own actions and efforts.
o Channel impulses and negative feelings, such as anger.
o Express needs verbally or nonverbally to teacher and peers without being aggressive.
· Visual & Performing Arts
o Describe feelings and reactions in response to a creative movement/dance performance.
o Listen to, imitate, and improvise sounds, patterns, or songs.
o Describe feelings and reactions and make increasingly informed responses to stories and dramatic performances.
o Demonstrate planning, persistence, and problem-solving skills while working independently
· Health, Safety, and Physical Education
o Develop and refine fine and gross-motor skills.
o Explore foods and food groups.
o Know how to dial 911 for help.
· Language Arts Literacy
o Show interest, pleasure, and enjoyment during listening activities by responding with appropriate eye contact, body language, and facial expressions.
o Use language to communicate and negotiate ideas and plans for activities.
o Use new vocabulary and ask questions to extend understanding of words.
o Share and discuss work samples containing drawings, paintings, and pictures.
o Explore the meanings of addition and subtraction by using concrete objects.
o Demonstrate understanding of basic temporal relations.
o Show awareness of the attributes of objects through sorting, ordering, and classifying.
o Recognize that mathematics is used in a variety of contexts in all disciplines, and apply mathematics in practical situations and other disciplines.
o Observe questions, predict, and investigate materials, objects, and phenomena during classroom activities indoors and outdoors and during any long-term investigations in progress.
o Seek answers to questions and test predictions using simple experiments or research media.
o Represent observations and work through drawing, recording data, and writing.
o Demonstrate emergent awareness of the need for conservation, recycling, and respect for the environment.
· Social Studies, Family, and Life Skills
o Demonstrate appropriate behavior when collaborating with others.
o Develop an awareness of the physical features of the neighborhood/community.
o Learn about and respect other cultures within the classroom and community.
o Navigate the basic functions of a browser, including how to open or close windows and use the “back” key.
o Use basic technology terms in conversations.
o Use the Internet to explore and investigate questions with teacher’s support.
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