At Metropolitan School we recognize that pre-kindergarten students learn about the world through play. The objects pre-kindergarten students find on a nature walk, like feathers, rocks and leaves, might help them figure out math concepts like “big, bigger, biggest” or motivate them to visit the book corner to find out more about birds. Teachers may introduce shapes, letters, and colors, but pre-kindergarten is about learning more than what a circle looks like. It’s where students first develop a relationship with learning.
Based on http://teachingstrategies.com/ our Play and Learn curriculum is designed to engage young learners’ natural curiosity and ignite within them an excitement for learning. Research has shown that all children learn cognitive, language and social skills more quickly through movement and meaningful play. Metropolitan School’s Play and Learn curriculum:
- Integrates motor skill development with communication, socialization, and cognitive skill development
- Employs a holistic model of instruction in which the child, environment, and functional tasks are integrated, not isolated, through organized play areas designed to meet a wide range of goals and objectives
- Includes activities that are meaningful and relevant to young children and appropriate for all early childhood children
Recognizing that we learn about the world through our senses the classroom play areas in our pre-kindergarten classroom at Metropolitan School offer students the opportunity to learn and develop through:
- Basic senses: smell, sight, taste, and hearing
- Tactile (touch)
- Vestibular (movement)
- Proprioception (body position)
Play areas in our pre-kindergarten classroom include:
- Manipulatives that development spatial relations and manipulative hand skills, such as bead stringing, puzzles, adapted pegboards
- Gym activities that promote development of gross motor skills and enhance development of vestibular and proprioception, such as climbing, jumping, running and sliding
- Pre-writing on a vertical surface to teach a more precise finger grasp with small pom-poms when erasing, such as on large, vertical whiteboards
- Cooperative Sensorimotor Activities to develop skills with colors, numbers and spatial concepts
- Games, with the goal of facilitating turn-taking, social interaction, and reinforce learning readiness skills
Through play areas and learning centers Metropolitan School’s pre-kindergarten classroom provides a developmentally appropriate, theme-centered curriculum that integrates language / literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, art and music into meaningful learning activities designed to build a foundation for future learning at Metropolitan School.
Our number one goal for pre-kindergarten students at Metropolitan School is that they learn “how to learn” and begin to see themselves as learners, because we know that strong pre-kindergarten experiences will help a child think, “I am a good learner. I can find problems to solve. I can master a difficult task.” These experiences show pre-kindergarten children the power that learning holds and creates an intrinsic desire to learn.