In our classes, children build on levels of task orientation, impulse control, and self-sufficiency through hands-on learning. Each child differs and progresses in areas according to individual capabilities and maturity levels.
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PRACTICAL LIFE ACTIVITIES
Some practical life activities available in the classroom include water work, pouring from one cup to the other, baby washing, dish washing, hand washing, table washing, sink and float, spooning, scooping, sweeping, bread cutting, fruit cutting, spreading and orange squeezing. The object of these activities is to make use of the child's voluntary muscles with objects he/she encounters in everyday life. Many practical life activities are functions, which the child needs to master in order to live comfortably in the adult world.
Sensory materials help the child in abstractions and in the development of the senses. For example: these materials help to develop visual discrimination of size and shape and hand-eye coordination. In addition, they help to strengthen writing fingers, muscular coordination and visual discrimination. Some of these activities are: knobbed cylinders, threading beads, shapes, color tablets, sorting, matching objects, mixing colors, coloring, feeling different objects, smelling jars and sound boxes.
Language is developed through pictures, reading stories, memory building, matching/paring, songs, pre-reading skills, vocabulary building, rhyming pictures/words, sequence, opposites and spatial relationships, listening to stories and discussing them, tracing. Other language activities include reading skills, names and sounds of letters, putting sounds together to form words (short vowel, blends, long vowel and diagraphs), use of the moveable alphabet to form words of increasing complexity, putting words together to form sentences, phonetic rules, readers and workbook pages, sight words, writing skills, dictating stories, tracing and writing letters (lower and upper case), tracing/writing. words and sentences (reading program, stories, journals, letters).
Through materials and exercises, the child learns that the symbol and the quantity are related. They develop an understanding of the relationship between the concrete material and the abstract figure. Mathematical activities include 1-10 (symbol and quantity) number recognition, number tracing and counting, 1-10 (symbol and quantity) teens, 1-100, skip counting (5,10, 15, ... ) sums and differences to 10 and 20, missing addend, place value (1's, 10's, 100's, 1000's), simple addition and subtraction, simple estimating, concrete introduction to multiplication and division, measuring, fractions, time, money, calendar and word problems.
CITIZENSHIP AND INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
These areas are developed through class discussions for cooperative problem solving, value stories, classroom chores, courtesy and manners. We help a child develop a joy of learning through the child's emerging respect for themselves, others and their environment.
These provide an overall framework for the study of life in our environment. Cultural topics include Geology (volcanoes, rocks), Ecology (conservation, preservation, awareness), Botany (experiences with plants, caring for our environment and how seeds grow), Zoology (experience with farm animals and pets, study of the human body, health and nutrition, sea life, insects and spiders), Astronomy (universe, stars, planets, day/night, seasons), Geography and History (earth-globe and maps, land/water forms, continents).
MUSIC & ART
Songs, listening, body movement and introduction to composers (Mozart, Bach, Chopin, etc.) are a part of our curriculum. Rhythm and keeping the beat are a critical component to a child's learning. Rhythm sticks, tambourines, clapping and slapping are used to develop the child's sense of rhythm and keeping to the beat. Music sessions often include dancing and experimenting with musical instruments.
Paper art, drawing, holiday projects, open art, watercolor painting, sewing, cutting and gluing, clay modeling are activities which are available on an individual basis and in connection with special projects. Famous artists and their works are also introduced.