In CDM’s four-year old preschool classrooms, skills continue to be refined for kindergarten readiness. Teachers’ research-based practice reflects knowledge of how children learn best: in play with varied materials, in a mix of child-directed and teacher-directed activities. Four-year olds are active learners who create knowledge based on real life experiences—knowledge that is relevant and meaningful.
Teachers plan weekly learning activities which include knowledge in all developmental and skills-related areas with an emphasis on kindergarten readiness. Activities may be drawn from existing preschool curriculum (Creative Curriculum, Dodge), or teachers may create their own activities in response to children’s interest.
Learning Centers allow children choices of play throughout the day. Literacy (reading, writing, speaking, and talking) is incorporated across Learning Centers, which include Art, Science, Blocks, and others. Spanish, Music, Chapel and Movement are part of weekly lesson plans. Teachers work intentionally to refine literacy and numeracy skills.
Social and emotional readiness for school continues to be important to the classroom, as research tells us these are indicators of success in school and life. Children’s progress is assessed through research-based checklists and other means, and parent conferences twice a year, or more often, to involve parents in their child’s learning process.