Approaches to Learning
In our program, children primarily learn through play with a balance of structure and enriching opportunities throughout the day. The classroom environment offers a variety of play experiences, and encourages children to exercise freedom of exploration, social interaction between peers and teachers, and daily opportunity for small group instruction. The variety of learning materials range from open ended materials such as blocks, Legos, rocks and seashells, to more guided materials such as puzzles and dramatic play materials. Toys and materials are rotated often to provide new, fresh learning experiences and opportunities to develop and expand connections in our lessons or previously learned skills.
Children are encouraged to take risks, as well as self regulate and problem solve. Teachers model and encourage positive behavior for students to support development of positive language resulting in positive behaviors outcomes Children are always encouraged to try solving problems that arise with another child, and teachers are always there for support when needed. Activities and play experiences are designed to accommodate the range of learning styles among children.
Social and Emotional Development
Through play, children develop necessary communication skills with their peers, which in turn fuels their social emotional development. They are often in group play situations where they can problem solve, compromise, and learn to self regulate and manage frustrations that may arise. Children also learn how to follow classroom rules about safety and how to use materials in a safe and respectful way. Teachers use “lights off” as a method for reminders and transitions throughout the day. Daily schedules, routines and rituals support consistency in developing positive social experiences.
There is a large focus on emotions: identifying and recognizing them, as well as practicing to express them appropriately with words, using a positive language theory we share among all staff, children and parents. All classrooms offer tools such as finding a quiet space, incorporating visuals, and even obtaining outside resources as needed. Adults model positive behavior, teaching it through read aloud experiences, role-plays, school wide curriculums, and using circle time songs, to share many lessons with a large focus on social and emotional development.
Language, Literacy, and Communication
In the classroom, writing materials are always readily available with many other materials in the writing center and included in other centers as well to offer open ended play. Read alouds such as literacy lunch, listening centers and discussions take place multiple times during the day. Children have access to books not only in the reading corner, but in most centers around the room, even in our Studio. Lesson plans support language, with focus on vocabulary connecting to lessons, including literacy activities. Kid Logic Learning celebrates Literacy by having a local Author and Illustrator visit our school. Print can be found around the room in the form of posters, displays of children’s work, center signs, our calendar and weather board, Table time offers an planned literacy or math activity which teacher introduces during exploration in am, then is offered throughout the day as an option. During circle time and at small group, the teacher often models writing through writing children’s names, making a graph, or jotting down dialogue from children’s discussions. Rhymes and songs are part of our daily routine during circle time and at times throughout the day as well. Teachers assess and record observations to plan lessons of interest and age developmentally appropriate best practice. We practice positive communication, not only through verbal skills, also through sign language, and explore different cultures such as Spanish language as an enrichment to our program.
Children have the opportunity to engage in math activities during play and at small group times through the use of pattern blocks, shape blocks, number cards, and manipulatives such as cubes, rocks, and other natural or recycled objects. Teachers record observations to plan according to child specific development to encourage mathematical thinking and reasoning. Math activities take place at almost any time of the day: circle time, small/large group, individually, explore time, etc. also throughout centers.
Children’s mathematical work is displayed, whether it is a group effort to create a large graph or chart, creating patterns with shapes or colors, or even photographing children during math related play such as pattern making with counters, creating with pattern blocks, stacking block towers, sequencing, number recognition, while playing a game, counting, and more.
Teachers are always encouraging children to think scientifically in their play by asking questions such as: “What would happen if we stacked this large block on top of this tall tower?,” “How can we make the car roll down the ramp faster? How about slower?” Children are also encouraged to make predictions during experiments and in play: “What do you think will happen when we add the blue food coloring to the yellow food coloring?”
We also offer materials and objects from nature in our sensory table such as sand, water, rocks, leaves, acorns and more. We also have school pets , gardening and plants that we care for. Children learn about what those animals and plants need such as food, water, what kind of environment they comfortably live in, etc. Kid Logic Learning students participate in cooking or preparing snack for our school as well. The Art room is also a learning place for many science opportunities. Teachers use outside as an extension of science curriculum; such as walks to identify signs of springs, gathering materials that birds use for nest making, water flow system with pipes and more. As always, teachers record observations to help them provide opportunities for exploration about what interests them.
In the classroom, you will find family photographs that families have brought in for a collage display. These collages are displayed year round in the classroom and offer opportunities for conversation about relatives, community, and traditions. We also draw self-portraits at the beginning of the year to reflect children’s concept of self, and then draw another at the end of the year to reflect on how their concept of self has evolved. We facilitate activities such as charting eye color, hair color, etc. to encourage investigation about similarities/differences.
Children participate in creating classroom rules at the start of the year building a sense of community and a feeling of belonging. There are culturally diverse materials around the classroom (dolls reflecting diversity, posters, dramatic play materials, books about different cultures and areas of the world). We invite our Kid Logic Learning families to share their cultures with us, through our school community celebrations and recognition of each unique child.
The creative efforts of children are acknowledged often. Their individual work is hung up around the room for appreciation. Children explore a variety of art materials in the classroom and through our daily Art program, While attending art class where they explore artistic expression using materials such as recycles, clay, paint, art tools, markers, colored pencils, as well as an open art shelf for art exploration! The art teacher models how art can be used to express feelings, learn about artists different mediums, while creating their own open ended art. In the classroom you will find a CD player, Ipad, or a Ipod where we play a variety of music as well as books, Instruments and art materials are always available after material introduction for creative expression.
Physical Health & Development
Children and adults wash their hands upon arrival to school as well as before and after snack. Healthy snacks are served, and families are encouraged to provide their child with a healthy lunch (we provide a list of examples of healthy choices to parents). In our entry space, there is information and a variety of resources in the community that are available in our welcome area for families.
We offer a studio space for music, movement, and gross motor activities such as gymnastics, bike riding, cooperative games, scheduled enrichment such as tennis, zumba, and more. Children use this space once per day along with outside play. Through out the school year curriculum themes support learning in connection with community helpers, safety, hygiene (doctors, emergency responders), fitness, and nutrition.