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Grinnell College Preschool

1207 Park Street
Grinnell, IA 50112

(641) 269-3320


Philosophy & Approach

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"The Grinnell College Preschool program uses developmentally appropriate practices to provide a safe, supportive and nurturing environment where children develop physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. The program also supports the relationship between children, their families and the preschool staff.
The program provides an innovative curriculum with materials, experiences and teaching methods that are grounded in the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) principles of child development including age and individual appropriateness. The Grinnell College Preschool received accreditation from NAEYC in April 2004.
All learning activities are presented through play. These activities engage the children so they can explore, experiment, imitate, ask questions and be questioned to further their thinking and problem solving skills .
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

"Morning Session TIME ACTIVITY Afternoon Session TIME
8:30 - 8:50 Teachers prepare for class 12:30 - 12:50
8:50 - 9:10 Children arrive - Free choice 12:50 - 1:10
9:10 - 9:25 Large group - Opening 1:10 - 1:25
9:25 - 10:20 Free choice - Small group activities - Clean up 1:25 - 2:20
10:20 - 10:30 Large group activity - Wash hands 2:20 - 2:30
10:30 - 10:50 Snack - Look at books 2:30 - 2:50
10:50 - 11:00 Large group activity 2:50 - 3:00
11:00 - 11:10 Large group - closing 3:00 - 3:10
11:10 - 11:30 Outside play - Dismissal 3:10 - 3:30
Arrival: Children arrive at preschool; are greeted by one of the teachers; find their cubby; put their belongings away; move their attendance card; and find an activity to do. The parent signs the child in on the sign in form. We suggest that parents only stay a few minutes to say goodbye.
Large group opening: The children gather at the group time area and begin with the hello song, check attendance to see who is missing (helps children identify friends in class), check the calendar and upcoming special events, read a story, and check special activities for the day.
Free choice: The children select activities in any of the learning centers in the preschool. The adults facilitate the play activities. The children participate in the planned art activity during this time. The children participate in individual or small group activities relating to skill development.
Clean up: The children stop playing and gather at the group time area. Children are assigned to clean up specific areas.
Large group activity: The children participate in a large group activity and take turns washing their hands for snack.
Snack: The children sit at tables with adults and interact socially while eating a nutritious snack. Self help skills such as pouring, spreading, cutting, and using manners are developed during this time. Children are responsible for cleaning up their own materials.
Books: When children are finished eating, they take care of their snack materials and wash their hands. They go to the library area and find a book to look at until all children are finished with their snacks.
Individual and small group activities: Children will develop preschool readiness or Kindergarten readiness skills by participating in individual or small group activities. The children will also participate in The Developmental Activities Project - the Math program used in Kindergarten in the Grinnell-Newburg Community School District. Our goal is to familiarize the children with the basic rules of the program, to help them learn to work individually with the materials and to become accustomed with the questioning process that encourages them to think about what they are doing with the materials. Children will also participate in the Handwriting Without Tears preschool program. Our goal is to help children develop the skills needed for handwriting in Kindergarten.
Large group closing: The children review what happened during the preschool session and preview the next session and upcoming events.
Outside play: The children improve large muscle development and social skills on the equipment on the playground. We go outside every day, unless the weather is not appropriate. In the winter, please send boots, hats, mittens, and snow pants that are labeled with each child's name.
Dismissal: The children will have their materials to take home in their cubby. The person picking up the child must sign the child out on the sign out form.
Excerpted from the preschool's website