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Growing Circles Playschool

4221 Howe Street
Oakland, CA 94611

(510) 428-1344


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • 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
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
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 Art, english, math, science, music, gymnastics, yoga, gardening.

From the Director:

Learning / Creative activities include guest music, art, language, and gardening instructors to share their talents with the children. The children will get messy doing cooking projects and gardening. We walk to the local library for story time and to check-out new books. Dressing up and make-believe play is also a favorite. We casually introduce the children to a wide variety of basic academic concepts such as counting, spelling, and writing. The children learn about calendars, maps, and clocks as well.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Early childhood goes by fast. We believe every child should have the unhurried chance to fully enjoy this time of innocence, play and exploration. We want kids to be kids. We encourage their natural creativity, intelligence, curiosity, and physical strengths, while setting guidelines for respectful behavior and safety.

With a small group of six children, we can listen to each child and work with their individual interests and needs. Inspiration, education and hope are provided through introductions to art, music, cooking, dance, acting and physical activity. Children gain confidence through their creations, embracing their responsibilities and by giving and receiving lots of love.

We value a sense of community and family - a place where we all belong. Every day we make new friends and strengthen old friendships.

Children are encouraged to cooperate with each other, share, and never hold back laughter. We emphasize a healthy lifestyle, nutritious food and plenty of physical activity. The children and teachers sing and share meals together. We spend as much time out of doors as possible. We help children learn to respect the environment and the delicate balance of all living things.

Growing Circles is about making friends, having fun, moving our bodies, learning how to learn and create while practicing good values and embodying a healthy sense of being.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We talk to parents on a daily basis about their child regarding their day, goals, progress, diet, and behavior. We also provide written materials for the parents to read about how they can help prepare their child for kindergarten, etc... . We will give advice if requested by the parent.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • 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:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Every child is different, so we integrate each child on an individual basis. We always create a loving environment for the child and try to redirect the child's attention from separation to fun.