At Best Beginnings, our Pre-Kindergarten 4's class recognizes the children's cumulative skills developed as three years old's. It builds on their increased attention span by providing more structured time for developing kindergarten readiness concepts such as numbers, letters, and science. It also challenges them to utilize their developing abilities in the areas of art, circle time, music, science, drama, fine motor skills and peer interaction.
Our teacher to student ratio is 2:16. Children must be 4 by August 31st to enroll in our 4's Pre-Kindergarten program. Following is a general overview of our 4’s Pre-Kindergarten class including academic and social goals for the children.
Tabletop activities are set up each day to emphasize school readiness skills in preparation for kindergarten. The focus during this hour is on pre-academic/cognitive skills and fine motor practice. Children work in small groups on letter/number recognition, using upper- and lower-case letters for name and small word writing. Number work focuses on one-to-one number correspondence, graphing and estimating. Fine motor practice, focusing on correct pencil grip and use of scissors, is also emphasized. Small groups provide opportunities for working on sequencing activities, puzzles, and board games. Tabletop work highlights individual fine motor and cognitive development as well as providing quieter spaces for small groups.
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, calendar, letter and/or number of the week, stories and discussions 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, pack their own bags and quietly look at books while waiting for the group to transition.
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.
Lunch time is an additional opportunity for children to practice manners, cleaning up after self, and socializing with classmates.
Our day ends with a closing circle. This is a group activity where children can bring something to share from home tied to the letter of the week. Sharing gives children the opportunity to practice speaking in front of the group. Each day ends with a closing song after which children put on their coats, backpacks, 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 address the various learning styles of individual children by offering experiences in art, science, academics, music and literature to support the theme.
Themes in our Pre-K 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