"Carrollwood Day School believes that all young children have the right to a developmentally appropriate education. The term "developmental" as it applies to early childhood curriculum means:
A balanced program of opportunities and activities for cognitive, physical, social and emotional growth
A program that allows for the differences in rate, timing and potential that exists in young children
Activities which are appropriate for the ages and stages of young children as determined by accepted principles of child development
Activities which support an understanding of how children learn; namely by active involvement
Specifically, the goals of our program are:
to provide a stress-free environment for learning
to provide as many "hands-on" experiences as possible in all areas of learning
to promote growth in a child's ability to express himself/herself verbally
to foster a desire to write independently and to support that desire as it develops
to foster a love of literature and to support a child as he/she begins the journey toward reading independently
to provide opportunities for imaginative play
to develop confidence in manipulating materials used for mathematical processes, and develop a foundation for understanding mathematical concepts
to encourage problem solving ability by means of opportunities to explore, manipulate, experience and observe in both structured and unstructured settings
to broaden a child's view of the world through experiences that value community as well as the individual within the community
to create an atmosphere of enthusiasm and joy over living and learning
Excerpted from the preschool's website
This is the time when children come into the classroom at the beginning of the day. Adults welcome students and help them choose from a small selection of activities which enable them to talk with each other, share "news," and generally settle into the comfort of the environment.
Planning time gives children a consistent and structured opportunity to express their ideas to adults and to see themselves as individuals who can make and act on decisions. Children discuss what they plan to do during work time with classroom adults. This helps children form mental images of their ideas, formulate plans of action, and feel confident about their decisions.
Work time is the DO part of the daily cycle. It is the longest activity period of the day. Children engage in activities in work areas of our large exploratorium or in work areas within their classroom. Since children have formulated their plan for this time, adults do not lead work time activities. The teacher's role during this time is to first observe how children gather information, interact with others and solve problems; and second to enter into the children's activities to encourage, extend, and setup problem solving situations.
Children are expected to return materials to their proper storage places. Restoring order to the room gives children the opportunity to learn and use many basic skills including taking responsibility for one's environment and developing a sense of ownership.
During this time children have an opportunity to reflect back on their work-time activities. By planning an activity, carrying it out, and then reflecting back on what they have done, they develop a sense of control over what happens to them. They can see the relationship between their plans and their activities and they develop more awareness of their own ideas and the effects of their own action. Children are learning a structure for their thinking that allows them to evaluate and apply what they have learned--valuable for both academic learning and "real-life" successes.
Teachers present planned activities designed from key learning experiences, children's backgrounds and interest, and age-appropriate projects. Small-group times are geared to the children's needs, abilities, and interests and do not follow a carefully prescribed sequence of lessons. While children are activity involved in exploring and using materials, making choices and solving problems, the adult extends children's ideas and actions by asking open-ended questions and by setting up additional problem-solving situations.
This is the time for children to gather together with the adults to play games, sing songs, do finger plays and basic movement exercises, play musical instruments or reenact stories or events. Circle time allows each child to participate in a large group and share the ideas of others.
Excerpted from the preschool's website