Our basic philosophy is that learning should be enjoyable, meaningful and the least stressful environment for your child. Although many of your children share the same chronological age, their developmental age varies greatly. It is the developmental age that is the most important, because it indicates to us what your child is ready to do.
It is our philosophy to teach the whole child. By teaching the whole child, we are addressing their social, emotional, physical, cognitive and sensory needs through a developmental approach. We value the individuality of each child as much as you do. It is our intent to develop a classroom of children who can critically think and ask meaningful questions for themselves, rather than recite facts and imitate others.
It is with these thoughts in mind that we actively involve our students in the learning process. We do so by providing our students with many opportunities to express themselves, make discoveries, solve problems and interact with their environment. It is in this way that we help your child develop mentally, physically and emotionally at the rate that is most comfortable.
Language Arts – For reading progression to take place, children must understand that print should make sense, and that it is just written down words. Literacy expressions such as shared reading, choral reading, listening, reading aloud and language experience stories help the children build an awareness of the relationship between print and comprehension.
For writing development to take place, children need to explore writing using a variety of tools (markers, pencils, crayons, papers and stationary). In addition, children need to be exposed to many different forms of print (environmental, newspaper, magazines, books, advertisements).
The combination of these experiences help build a foundation that is conducive to lifelong literacy.
Handwriting – we use the Handwriting Without Tears style of writing with the focus on teaching lower case letters and reviewing upper case letters.
Strategies: listening, comprehension, communicating ideas both verbally and in print, experiencing various literacy genres, identifying letter formations and sounds, writing upper and lower case letters, holding a pencil correctly, spelling developmentally, spelling conventionally, making class and individual books, writing in journals, acting out stories, fingerplays, songs, etc.
Systems of sorting. Using senses to sort and organize the world through hands-on activities.
Strategies: identifying patterns in the environment, comparing objects and living things, observing attributes both similar and different, recording predictions and results, demonstrating fair experiments.
Possible themes include seasons, living and growing, the 5 senses, creepy crawlies and magnets. Themes are subject to changes.
Children gain insights about themselves and the world around them through play. The works of Piaget, Montessori, Erikson, Elkind, Vygotsky, Gardner and other theorists have demonstrated that children learn best while at play.
Center Activities: blocks, dramatic play, art, reading books, math, writing, puzzles, easel, computer, Leap Frog, sensory and science.
“ If we took our child’s play as seriously as our own tasks, we would be as loath to interrupt it as we are reluctant to be interfered with when we are working.” - Bruno Bettelheim
Snacks – Please send one healthy simple snack with your child each day. We do not have a snack supply in our classroom. You should send a water bottle with your child daily to be kept in their backpack.
Birthday Celebrations – Please let the teacher know in advance if you are planning to bring a special treat. Birthdays are celebrated at snack time. Please provide napkins and paper plates. Juice boxes are acceptable for birthday celebrations.
Class parties: There are four class parties throughout the year. Room parents are responsible for planning, organizing and preparing for the parties. If you are available and would like to help out, please let the Room Parents know.
Room Parents –Kim Thames (contact), Kimberly Hedley, and Lisa O’Rourke.
Dismissal – Please give your teacher a note if your child is going home with someone other than you. It is important for your child’s safety that we know the adult who is picking up your child at dismissal time.
Weekly newsletter – Each Friday our classroom newsletter will be coming home informing you of upcoming events and highlighting our week’s activities. Please check your child’s backpack each Friday.
Email – email@example.com
Phone – (847-853-3853). I am usually with the children during teaching hours and unable to answer my phone, but I will return voice mails at lunch or after school. If you have an urgent message, please call the school office (847-256-5006) and they will let me know.
Conferences – Parent/Teacher conferences take place in November and March. Please note we are also available for conferences when and if it is necessary.