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Duck's Nest Preschool

1411 4th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710

(510) 527-2331


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

We believe in hands on learning, and developing a strong social and emotional sense in the child. We implement an emergent curriculum by fostering the interest of the child and learning with them. We make learning visible through documentation in the classroom. (information from Director)

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught French and Spanish lessons available @Berkeley location. Formal Music Instruction and Gardening for each class, one day per week. (information from Director)

From the Director:

Our teachers use a collaborative approach with the children and their teammates to create an engaging curriculum that is both aesthetically attractive and enriching.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our teachers are sensitive to multiple intelligence learning as well as promoting a sense of self as an individual and as being a part of a community.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We are a play based developmental program, with teacher-led structure. Our curriculum emerges with the interests of the children. We believe that fostering the emotional and social well being of the young child in the early years sets a strong foundation for a healthy future. (information from Director)

A Typical Day

8:00-9:30 Free Play and greeting- Teachers set up class with different activities for the children to move in and out of at will. 10:00-Clean up Wash Hands 10:15-ish Snack 10:30- Circle Time/ Project / Garden/ Language/Extra Curriculum activites 11:00-12:00 Outside Free 12:15-Lunch 12:45-Potty, Wash, Stories 1:00-Pick Up time/ Nap 2:45- Wake up 3:00-Pick up 3:15- Snack 3:30-Outside Freeplay Garden/Science programs 4:15-Circle / Activites 5:30-End of Day We have six differnt classes, every class schedule is slightly different. What I gave is an example of a day. (information from Director)

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent-Teacher conferences, Phone calls in the evenings, regular emails, parent workshops, meetings (information from Director)

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We have extra staff on hand at the beginning of the year. Parents can stay a little longer at the beginning. We also have families come visit one or two times with their child prior to the beginning of the year. (information from Director)