The primary goal of our 3’s Preschool class is for children to become comfortable in a setting outside of their home. For many children, Best Beginnings is their first group experience. This class emphasizes socialization, fostering friendships, experimenting with new and varied materials, learning to take direction from others, differentiating from teacher-directed time and unstructured play, as well as sharing and learning together in a cooperative framework. Our 3's classes meet for 2 1/2 hours per session two days a week or three days a week in the mornings. Our teacher to student ratio is 2:14. Children must be 3 by August 31st and potty trained to enroll in our 3's Preschool class. Following is a general overview of our 3’s Preschool class including academic and social goals for the children.
Each day the teachers prepare tabletop activities designed to encourage children to practice their preschool readiness skills. These activities include colors, shapes, number recognition games, sequencing, matching, and sorting, puzzles, and small group cooperative work. Teachers work with children on refining their pencil grasp using a variety of activities and tools in a developmentally appropriate manner. through pencil and crayon activities and pre-writing activities. Art time provides children the opportunity to practice using scissors, glue, and various art mediums through a variety process art activity. Play scene activities are set up on the floor where the children socialize and learn as they play. During this time, children are working on skills such as spatial reasoning, role-playing, taking turns, creativity, and fine motor development. The children are also learning to negotiate, and problem solve. They are playing with a purpose.
Circle time is a group activity where children enjoy music, concept development (colors, shapes, counting and numbers), stories, finger plays, games and discussion on our theme or topic of the day. During this time children are working on listening skills, attention span, raising hands to speak, waiting our turn, listening with understanding, following directions, and contributing to group discussions.
Snack time is a social time and a favorite of most preschoolers. This is also a time when children practice good manners, clean up after themselves and quietly look at books while waiting for the group to transition. Children bring their own snack each class day.
Recess is another favorite of most preschoolers. Along with playground fun, children are working on gross motor development, sharing, taking turns and conflict avoidance and resolution where they learn to use words to solve minor playground problems.
Our day ends with a closing circle. This is a group activity where children can bring something from home to share. Sharing gives each child the opportunity to practice speaking in front of the group and those not sharing the opportunity to practice their listening skills. Each day ends with a closing song after which children put on their coats, gather their school bags and line up at the door to go home.
Best Beginnings utilizes a thematic approach in our classrooms. A theme-based curriculum helps us tie together a day or week of learning and addresses the various learning styles of individual children by offering experiences in art, science, pre-academic, music and literature to support the theme.
Themes in our 3's program include:
September - Getting acquainted, friends, family, germs, apples
October - Signs of Fall, squirrels, spiders, Halloween, safety
November – Bears/hibernation, community helpers, pioneers, Thanksgiving
December - Holidays around the world, Gingerbread
January – Literature, winter wonderland, snow, polar animals
February - Robots, magnets, fairy tales, friendship & love, Space
March - Dinosaurs, signs of Spring, plants, weather, insects/bugs
April - Pets, reptiles, amphibians, transportation
May – Animals, farm, sea life, summer fun