How We Think About the 3-Year-Old Preschoolers
The 3’s are curious creatures, moving a little faster than their days in Mother’s Day Out classes, but still very cautious. It takes a while before a 3-year-old sees himself as a member of a group. Three-year-olds love to touch everything around them and delight in praise.
How We Emphasize and Reinforce Skills in the 3’s Classes
All concepts and ideas are presented with deliberate, repetitive instruction with lots of visual cues. We give the children experiences using all five senses.
How We Use Project-Based Learning in the 3’s Classes
We bring books, manipulatives, cooking experiences, puzzles, and other items particular to the unit of study into our classrooms.
Here are a few of their favorite activities:
- Our once-a-month concentration on one color, culminating in “Color Day” when we have special color snacks and the children bring color collages from home.
- State Fair Fun Day, where they experience a multitude of stimuli for all senses while cooperating as a group.
- Happy New Year parties, in which we celebrate the past and look forward to the future.
- A visit from Sparky the Fire Dog and his human companion from the Dallas Fire Department.
How We Differentiate Instruction in the 3’s Classes
Ideas and units are often presented to the class during Circle Time and are then reinforced in small group instruction or rotating through Centers. Stories and artwork reinforce the ideas presented.
How We Develop Character and Social Skills in the 3’s Classes
At the beginning of the year, we have an “All About Me” unit to stress the things each child has in common along with the characteristics that differentiate one from another, celebrating the differences. We have a prayer before each snack and lunch, attend chapel once a month, and encourage good manners to establish a pleasant classroom environment.
How We Prepare the 3’s Classes for the Next Stage of Their Education
As the school year progresses, the duration of Circle Time and Center Time increases. More responsibility is asked of the children, such as cleaning up after themselves and learning how to properly use materials.
How Transitions Between Levels Are Facilitated
At the preschool level, assessment records and comment sheets from the previous years are valuable tools for teachers before a new year begins. Teachers make recommendations about the placement of children for the subsequent year and all teachers feel welcome to ask the previous teacher for input regarding specific students.