Our Preschool Curriculum
Our play curriculum happens both inside and outside. We play on both school playgrounds every day. We dig, plant, and watch growth in the school gardens throughout the year. We go for walks around the school and the neighborhood to learn about the community around us. We also go on field trips around the Chicago area, visiting museums, musical and theatrical events, and community institutions.
Our Pre-K classrooms are organized for different types of learning and play. At various times in each of our pre-K classrooms, you’ll find a Writing Center, Technology table, Library, Listening Center, Manipulative Center (sorting, counting, games, puzzles), Art Center, Science/Discovery Center (sand, water, science table), Block/Woodworking Center, and a Dramatic Play/Dress Up Center.
Our Pre-K programs foster a deep sense of appreciation and acceptance. We celebrate diversity, for it is what makes each one of us special. Our program serves children of all races, ethnicities, abilities, religions, and family styles. We value and love all children!
We use a Balanced Literacy framework for teaching language and literacy. The specific curriculum that we use is Creative Curriculum. Literacy instruction includes read-alouds, individual reading time, daily journaling, shared writing experiences, and more. We also use Handwriting Without Tears, which is an approach to early writing instruction that uses songs, games, and hands-on experiences to give preschoolers exposure to reading and writing.
Our math curriculum is Everyday Mathematics for Pre-K, which is a research-based curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. It is a sequential math curriculum, which means instruction is sequenced so that it builds upon and extends the students’ knowledge and skills of the previous year. Math instruction includes whole group and small group read-alouds, math games, songs, fingerplays, and math talk woven through all subject areas.
Our social-emotional curriculum is based on Positive Discipline, which is a philosophy of human development based on the theories of social support and mutual respect by Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs. Using this philosophy, our program focuses on helping children develop skills of self-regulation, positive relationships, and problem-solving through class meetings and classroom problem-solving.
Each of our lessons is based on a project-oriented approach. Students learn the basics of how to tackle a project or problem, including consensus-building, planning, materials collection, building, and wrap-up. Based on the students’ interests, the teaching team devises learning opportunities to support and challenge students’ current knowledge base. Recent projects in our classrooms have included building a Grocery Store, hosting a Baker, creating a Flower Shop, and learning about Toilets!