Curriculum Second Year (Ages 4/5)
7:30 a.m. Early drop-off
We know some of our parents need to get to work early and appreciate having the flexibility to drop their children off early.
8:00-8:15 a.m. Arrival
The focus during arrival is on socialization, awareness of self, and an introduction to different ways of learning. Our first priority is creating a safe and nurturing environment, which is why each child is greeted by our teachers every morning.
8:15 a.m. Free play
We begin each morning with the same routine because we know how important that is for our youngest learners. Students wash their hands, read the morning message on the whiteboard, and sign themselves in for the day. Then it’s off to play until morning meeting!
9:00 a.m. Morning meeting
The morning meeting is the only time that the entire group—first and second year students—gathers for the day. It’s the first opportunity for our teachers to incorporate Responsive Classroom learning, which is centered around engaging academics, positive community, effective management, and developmental awareness. Students read the morning message together, discuss what they will do that day, and begin a conversation around a particular question.
9:15-10:30 a.m. Open exploration/centers
Students are divided into small groups and head to one of three “centers” to explore the topic of the day. While all students learn about the same subject matter, each center provides a different set of activities to approach the lesson. Throughout the week, students rotate centers and the group of people they’re with. Changing up the peers they learn with creates a more dynamic learning experience and encourages children to get a little out of their comfort zone.
10:30-11:00 a.m. Snack
Before the students gather in their center group for snack, they clean up and wash up! This is a time for our young learners to have a calm body and reflect on their morning. Our teachers sit with students during this time to encourage conversations between children and talk about the day.
11:00-11:30 a.m. Outside play
If it’s above 20 degrees, our teachers take the students outside! Children need that explosion time. They need that time to stretch, yell, swing, roll down the hill—to use those large motor skills.
11:30 a.m. Half-day dismissal
Our teachers encourage parents to come in to pick up their children. It’s a great opportunity for parents to check in with teachers, inquire about their child’s day or ask questions.
For those who stay for the full day, students either continue playing outside or, depending upon the energy level of the group that day, they may come inside to engage in a singing or movement activity; participate in story time; or sit down with a puzzle.
12:00 p.m. Lunch
Start of school through mid-October:
12:45-2:00 p.m. Rest time
After lunch, students clean up and wash up. Rest time is for students to have a calm body. There is always a story read and quiet classical music playing in the background. For students who don’t want to nap, they are given the option of quietly looking at books or playing with puzzles. To help adjust our second-year students back to the routine of school, we incorporate rest time into each day.
Mid-October through end of school year:
12:45-2:00 p.m. Big Kids Work
Beginning mid-October, in lieu of rest time on Wednesdays and Thursdays, our teachers work with second-year students on pre-K activities. As the year progresses, Big Kids Work becomes more intensive and may last a little longer on these days. Come January, Big Kids Work takes place on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays; Mondays and Tuesdays continue to remain rest time from 12:45-2:00 p.m. Past activities in Big Kids Word include: creating body alphabets, reading the chapter series “Magic Tree House,” dictating poems of students’ own inspiration, and yoga and meditation.
2:00-2:30 p.m. Reflection
After students put away their belongings from rest time, they pick up their composition book and head to the table for quiet reflection. Students have freedom to write, draw, reflect, or record anything of their choosing.
2:30-3:00 p.m. Outside play
This is an opportunity for students to more fully wake up their bodies from rest time. If the weather is uncooperative, our teachers find engaging activities to do with the students inside—an art project, dancing, puzzles…the students’ collective energy and interests guides this time if retreated indoors.
3:00 p.m. Pick-up
For pick-up, please park your car and pick your child up at the door. We invite you to come in and see how your child is thriving at the Early Childhood School. This is also a great opportunity to connect with your child’s teachers, see how your child’s day was, and ask any questions you may have.