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A Child's Place International Nursery School & Kindergarten

4701 N. Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21210
Baltimore, MD 21210

Phone:
(410) 532-5399

Website:

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Teacher-Led

From the Director:

CURRICULUM PHILOSOPHY A developmentally appropriate curriculum for young children is planned to be appropriate for the age span of the children within the group and is implemented with attention to the different needs, interests, and developmental levels of those individual children. Realistic program goals are based on regular assessment of individual needs, strengths, and interests. The process of interacting with materials and people results in learning. Learning activities and materials should be real, concrete, and relevant to the lives of the children. However, the normal developmental age range of the children may range as much as two years. The complexity of the materials should reflect the age span of the total group. As children work with materials and engage in activities, teachers listen, observe, and interpret children's behavior. Teachers can then facilitate the children's involvement by making suggestions, asking questions, or adding more complex materials to a situation. Activities and environments will change in arrangement and inventory during the course of the year. Special events will be planned into the curriculum when possible. A curriculum guide assists teachers in establishing an in-depth, quality program for all children in school. This planned program should provide each child with an individual education program that is designed according to the child's particular developmental needs. The child, not the teacher, determines the curriculum. Identification of a child's strengths and weaknesses, based on normative data, offers educational direction to the teacher. Normative data refers to the ages at which the average child achieves essential skills. This school uses its own evaluation checklist/report card designed by the staff. This evaluation checklist/report card enables the teacher to identify the child's skills and to provide a program based on the existing skills. Normative data on child development, sequenced in a hierarchy, which moves from the simplest to most difficult skills, provides the structure for teaching. Proper assessment and prescription identifies the individual child's level in the hierarchy. Instructional objectives are designed for the new skills to be taught. Instructional objectives state a new skill or behavior, which will be demonstrated by the child after he has been taught. These skills are observed and recorded by the teacher. The curriculum consists of the programmed arrangement of time, materials, and tasks to be accomplished. The school environment is arranged to meet the individual needs and developmental levels of each child. The teacher begins by finding out what the child can do through the use of normative data on child development. Two or three weeks may be needed to set aside for this purpose at the beginning of September or whenever a new child enters the program. This assessment will determine the outcome of teaching which goes on in the program. Individual long-range instructional objectives will be written by the teacher based on what the child can and cannot do in each area of development. Beginning where the child is now, the teacher moves toward long-range objectives by teaching one step at a time. Progressing step by step, one skill built upon the other ensures success for the child. The preschool child learns by doing. Through manipulating the environment, the child acquires more and more pieces of information that promote an understanding of the world. Because maturation occurs at its own pace, the hurry-up and pressured approach is not appropriate for the preschool child. One does not need to be at a specific level of achievement at a certain time in order to feel successful. It is the whole child that is important, not the pluses or minuses that mark the child's skill chart. Therefore, different levels of ability are expected, accepted, and incorporated into the planning and implementing of the curriculum. The preschool curriculum is organized sequentially into five units that guide the child on a joyful journey of discovery. The five units--MY SELF, MY FAMILY, MY COMMUNITY, MY EARTH, MY UNIVERSE--are designed to build upon the child's past, explore his present, and challenge his future. Each unit is planned in a manner that encourages creative expression, nurtures self-esteem, and fosters a love for learning. Each unit is comprised of four areas: ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS, MATH, SCIENCE, and SOCIAL STUDIES. Each unit's content is a balanced and integrated presentation that minimizes passive learning through teacher instruction; maximizes active learning through play-filled child-to-child interaction; and expands the child's world through daily discoveries. Although goals are suggested in each unit, the success of the child is neither goal-oriented nor goal-dependent. The preschool teacher understands the age characteristics of the 'typical' child, and to measure success, she factors in the abilities of the 'real' child to make certain that the curricular material is developmentally appropriate. Thus, the curricular 'bottom line' is that it encourages creative expression, nurtures self-esteem, and fosters a passion for learning.

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
  • English language arts skills are integrated into each aspect of the preschool curriculum. Curricular goals are:
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Math skills are integrated into each aspect of the preschool curriculum. Curricular goals are:
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
  • Science skills are integrated into each aspect of the preschool program. Curricular goals are:
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Music skills are important to the preschool curriculum. Curricular goals are:
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 Italian Foreign Language

From the Director:

Description of the Educational Program The preschool child learns by doing. Through manipulating the environment, the child acquires more and more pieces of information that promote an understanding of the world. Because maturation occurs at its own pace, the hurry-up and pressured approach is not appropriate for the preschool child. One does not need to be at a specific level of achievement at a certain time in order to feel successful. It is the whole child that is important, not the pluses or minuses that mark the child's skill chart. Therefore, different levels of ability are expected, accepted, and incorporated into the planning and implementing of the curriculum. The preschool curriculum is organized sequentially into five units that guide the child on a joyful journey of discovery. The five units--MY SELF, MY FAMILY, MY COMMUNITY, MY EARTH, MY UNIVERSE--are designed to build upon the child's past, explore his present, and challenge his future. Each unit is planned in a manner that encourages creative expression, nurtures self-esteem, and fosters a love for learning. Each unit is comprised of four areas: ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS, MATH, SCIENCE, and SOCIAL STUDIES. Each unit's content is a balanced and integrated presentation that minimizes passive learning through teacher instruction; maximizes active learning through play-filled child-to-child interaction; and expands the child's world through daily discoveries. Although goals are suggested in each unit, the success of the child is neither goal-oriented nor goal-dependent. The preschool teacher understands the age characteristics of the 'typical' child, and to measure success, she factors in the abilities of the 'real' child to make certain that the curricular material is developmentally appropriate. Thus, the curricular 'bottom line' is that it encourages creative expression, nurtures self-esteem, and fosters a passion for learning.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The administration and staff of A Child's Place believe in the unique individuality of all children. Accordingly, they are committed to providing a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment that fosters the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of each child. The basis of our approach is the simple observation that children learn most effectively from direct, hands-on experience and through the process of investigation and discovery. No two children learn at the same pace, nor do they necessarily learn best from the same method or approach; therefore, we place a high priority on flexibility and on striving to meet the individual needs of the pre-primary age youngster. Parental involvement and participation are especially welcome and encouraged by the entire staff. Since a child enters the preschool program with innate abilities, a family structure and ethnic roots, a self-image in process, a distinct personality, and a developing ability to give and receive information, our initial approach is to validate, affirm and build on this reality. Moreover, we are committed to helping the child develop a strong sense of independence, interdependence, self-confidence and self-discipline. The preschool teacher is responsible for the classroom environment and for designing a developmentally appropriate curriculum that strikes a balance between child-selected and teacher-guided experiences. Likewise, the teacher provides a non-threatening atmosphere where the learning process is joyful and free from cultural bias and gender prejudice. Through daily example, positive reinforcement and a deliberate effort to design the preschool curriculum in such a way that acceptable standards of behavior are attainable, the teacher introduces the concept of 'moral values.' While this term may have multiple connotations, the staff at A Child's Place defines it as 'the ability to distinguish right from wrong.' Ideally, the children who attend the preschool program will develop into warm, caring, intellectually curious people who are fascinated by the universe. We hope that they will grow in their understanding that we all belong to and are responsible for this fragile planet EARTH. Our dream is that they will see education as a life-long pursuit, and that they will recognize their role as responsible members of the human family to foster peace and justice.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

PHILOSOPHY and GOALS of the SCHOOL A Child's Place provides a diverse and comprehensive program to fulfill the needs of the children in the community. The curriculum provides each child with opportunities to experience, explore and learn about the world around him. Each child is a unique person with an individual timetable for growth and development. This growth and development includes physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional, as well as individual personality, learning style, and family background. Both the curriculum and staff's interaction should be responsive to the children's individual differences. The children should be encouraged to accept one another's differences and should be led by example to respect different cultures and customs. Through teacher demonstration of compassion and caring the children should learn to be supportive of individuality. Learning in young children is the result of interaction between the child's thoughts and experiences with materials, ideas, and people. These experiences should match the child's abilities, interests, and understanding. This can best be accomplished in a noncompetitive atmosphere built on a foundation of trust between teacher and child and among the children. Teachers use their child development knowledge to design the most appropriate learning environment for the children in their charge. The content and teaching strategies are developmentally appropriate, age appropriate, and individually appropriate. Children's play is a primary avenue for mental growth. Play enables children to progress along their own individual developmental sequence from the sensimotor intelligence of infancy to pre operational thought in the preschool years to the concrete operational thinking exhibited by children in primary grade school.

A Typical Day

Each classroom and age group has a differnt schedule. The day combines teacher directed and self directed activies.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

REPORT CARDS and EVALUATIONS A report card for kindergarten will be sent home three times during the school year. Children in nursery school will receive an evaluation in early January and again in late May. PARENT CONFERENCES and VISITATIONS Two scheduled conferences a year are held between parents and teacher. A sign-up sheet on the classroom door will be posted. Teachers are available for conferences with the parents at any time that either party feels it is needed. These conferences should be scheduled with your child's teacher. Formal evaluations of each child will be made twice a year and a report card will be sent home. The results of these evaluations can be discussed with your child's teacher by scheduling an appointment for review with the teacher. These report cards become part of your child's permanent record. Teachers are available daily, from 1:30 -3:00 p.m., for telephone conferences. Call the office telephone number: 410-532-5399. While we maintain an open door policy for parent visitation, we ask that visits be limited to observations through the two-way classroom windows unless arrangements have been made in advance with the teacher. We ask that you follow the following guidelines. Observations: Unless prior arrangements have been made with a teacher, please use the observation window in the hallway. Observing anonymously will give you a better perspective on your child's play patterns, behavior, etc. Classroom Participation: 1. Make arrangements ahead of time with a teacher to share your special talent with the children. 2. Interact with other children, not just your child. 3. Expect your child to be guided and disciplined by the staff while you are in the room. Classroom rules and manners are not suspended when there are visitors. 4. The teachers are the authority at all times and their decisions are final. If you disagree about anything, please schedule an appointment to discuss the situation. Classroom participation is not conference time to discuss your child. 5. With 12 or 16 children in a classroom it is not possible for parents to participate in the classroom very often. Any new person in the room disrupts the children's routine and causes extra work for the teachers. Please consider this when requesting time in the classroom. Teachers have the option of turning down your request if it is not convenient. Birthday Celebrations: Birthday celebrations are fun for everyone. Contact your child's teacher to schedule your celebration. It will be scheduled during one of the day's snack times. These celebrations are not to replace private parties. They are to be small celebrations with cupcakes or a special snack only. Please be sensitive to the feelings of all the children if you plan parties at home. Unless all the children in the class are invited to the party, send your invitations through the mail and not via the children's cubbies.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • 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
  • 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

Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

It's on an individual basis. Some children need to ease into the program with a part day experience and others are ready before the parents are ready. We make a joint decision with the family as to the way a child is introduced to the program.