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Lakeshore Children's Center

3534 Lakeshore Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610

(510) 893-4048


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We believe quality preschool and kindergarten programs include periods of active play integrated with more structured times throughout the day. We believe in devoting large blocks of time for free-choice activities, so children can engage in elaborate play, and can choose a number of different activities to explore. In short, we plan a child-centered day. As the academic portion of the their day occurs while our School Age children are at Crocker Highlands, the focus of our program is on fostering development in other areas of interest, including sports, games, crafts, dramatic play, cooking, science projects, and carpentry. Extracted from

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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  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world
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.
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 In addition to our regular teachers, outside 'specialists' are invited to provide lessons in various subjects, which have included Sign Language, Spanish, Gymnastics, Music and Dance. Extracted from

From the Director:

Goals for the Kleines and Kinder Haus Programs The goal of the Kleines and Kinder Haus Programs is to provide a curriculum which fosters competency through activities which encourage growth and development of the total child. Both Programs emphasize development of the following six areas of personal growth: Social Children participate and cooperate in a group setting. They communicate comfortably with both adults and peers. They show respect for each other's rights and property. They accept limits for behavior. They show understanding and value of their own and others' cultures. They gain an understanding and appreciation of non-sexist values. Emotional Children develop the following traits: positive self-awareness trust in peers and staff independence and initiative self-control and responsibility for one's actions patience self-expression empathy for the feelings of others Creative Children demonstrate original thought through creative self-expression. They take creative risks by exploring new media. Physical Children develop large motor coordination. They develop fine motor skills, including eye/hand coordination. They exhibit body and spacial awareness. They demonstrate effective personal hygiene practices. Cognitive Children learn to solve problems and make decisions. They seek information for skill development. They demonstrate curiosity through exploration. They learn to follow instructions. They develop listening skills. They exhibit the ability to finish a project or task. Life Skills Children develop responsibility for self and surroundings. They develop an awareness of safety practices. Extracted from

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Along with Montessori, Piaget and others, we feel a quality early childhood program is based on the premise that children learn by doing, by interaction with concrete materials and experiences, and that our goal as teachers is to provide as wide a variety of materials and experiences as possible.

We provide activities that encourage growth and development of the total child. We strive to convey that if a child's effort is genuinely the best s/he can do, it is respected and praise is given for the process, not always the 'perfect' final product.

When considering the total child, there are six areas of development that need to be recognized: social, emotional, creative, physical, cognitive and life skills. Activities and projects are presented daily to enhance each child's growth and skill level in all areas. Each child's progress is continually assessed; in both Kleines and Kinder Hauses, a formal evaluation conference with the teacher whose small group your child attends is held in the spring. Extracted from

A Typical Day

(2 years 9 months - 4 years 2 months)

7:00-7:30 a.m. EARLY PROGRAM Children engage in free choice activities.

7:30-10:20 a.m.
Children arrive and play with toys, blocks, and games. In addition, art supplies, manipulatives and building toys are available. The front room opens first, with the back room and yard opening as teachers arrive.

BREAKFAST is served in the back room from 8:15-9:00 a.m.

10:20-10:35 a.m. CIRCLE TIME
Everyone gathers together. Songs, stories and finger plays are presented. The theme for the week and upcoming activities are discussed. Children are dispersed into their small groups.

10:35-11:15 a.m. SMALL GROUP TIME We break into three groups of about eight children each for a project planned by the teacher according to the skill level of the group. Activities reflect the weekly theme and involve small and large motor skills, language, pre-math, pre-reading, music, perceptual motor games, creative movement, exploring on walks, cooking, and science concepts.

11:15-11:30 a.m. LARGE MUSCLE PLAY Children play out in the yard, or in Barnett Hall if it is raining.

Children gradually prepare for lunch; they use the bathroom, wash hands, etc.

11:30-12:00 p.m. LUNCH
Children bring their lunch from home. Milk or juice is provided to children who do not have a drink with their lunch, or need a little extra.

12:00-12:30 p.m. FREE PLAY
Children play in the yard and then gradually begin preparing for nap.

12:30-1:00 p.m. STORY AND SONG TIME We sing songs and have a quiet story before nap.

1:00-3:00 p.m. NAP TIME
Children do not have to sleep if they do not want to, but all children must lie quietly on their cots.

3:00-3:30 p.m. SNACK TIME
Children eat the snack that the Center provides in the back room. Cots are put away and the front room is readied for the afternoon activities.

3:30-5:00 p.m. FREE CHOICE ACTIVITIES Children can do the project that a teacher sets up in the front room, the back room and outdoors. The project often reflects the weekly theme, and involves art, cooking, science, language skills, etc. Children can also use free choice materials.

5:00-5:30 p.m. STORY TIME
The group has quiet 'wind-down' activities in preparation for going home (songs, stories, finger plays, cassette tape stories, etc.).

The Center closes at 5:30 p.m. except for children enrolled in the Late Program.

5:30-6:00 p.m. LATE PROGRAM
Children have activities indoors, in Barnett Hall, or outdoors in the play yard until they are picked up.

(Four years, two months to six-year-olds)

7:00-7:30 a.m. EARLY PROGRAM Children have free choice activities in Kleines Haus.

7:30-8:00 a.m. FREE CHOICE ACTIVITIES (in Kleines Haus)

8:00-9:30 a.m. FREE CHOICE ACTIVITIES (in Kinder Haus) In both locations, children may choose from books, games, manipulatives, etc., set out by teachers. The front room opens first, with the back room and yard opening as the teachers arrive.

8:15-9:00 a.m. BREAKFAST in Kleines Haus.

9:30 or 9:40 a.m. GROUP ACTIVITIES Children are divided into a Kindergarten and a Pre-K group. The Kindergarten group begins at 9:30 a.m.; the Pre-K at 9:40 a.m.

CIRCLE TIME (20 to 30 minutes)
Children engage in songs, games, stories, movement and other large group activities. The weekly theme is discussed.

GROUP TIME (approximately an hour) Children engage in structured activities involving pre-reading, pre-writing, language arts, math, and large and small motor skills as well as science, cooking, and art.

COMPUTER TIME (10:00 to 11:20 a.m.) The Pre-K class has computer time on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with half of the group participating on Tuesday and the other half participating on Thursday. The Kindergarten class will have computer day on Wednesdays.

On non-computer days, children will work in a small group environment that will enable them to receive one-on-one attention.

11:20-11:45 a.m. LARGE MOTOR SKILLS Activities include music and movement as well as outside play.

11:45 a.m. LUNCH
Children eat in the back room and front room. When finished, each child is responsible for cleaning his/her own place and putting away his/her lunch box.

12:30-12:50 p.m. FREE PLAY
Children play in the yard and the back room (after clean-up) while the front room is readied for nap time.

12:50-1:00 p.m. Children prepare for nap time. They empty sand from shoes, use the restroom, etc.

1:00-3:00 p.m. NAP TIME
Children do not have to sleep, but all must lie quietly on their cots. Soft music stories are played for the first half hour. At about

2:30 p.m., children who are not napping work at quiet activities such as drawing, puzzles, reading, etc.

3:30-5:00 p.m. FREE CHOICE ACTIVITIES Children may choose to do the project that the teacher has set up in the front room, back room, or yard. They may also choose their own activities in each area. The projects reinforce the weekly theme and/or curriculum and involve art, science, cooking, etc.

5:00-5:30 p.m. STORY TIME
Children engage in quiet stories, songs, games, etc., in preparation to go home.

5:30-6:00 p.m. LATE PROGRAM Children play indoors in Barnett Hall or outdoors in the play yard until they are picked up.

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Home-School Connection

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