13 South Main Street
Pennington, NJ 08534
|Play- based||mostly teacher led||not formally in curriculum||conducive environment|
|Nursery rhymes, poems, songs|
|Emerging literacy skills|
|Math & number sense||
|Time & space||
|Sci. reasoning/physical world||
|Other subjects taught||Self-help, social skills and problem solving are taught through routines, mealtimes that involve children pouring their own beverages and sharing food family style, participation in cleaning and maintaining the classroom, working out conflicts through discussion, and participation in interest areas that offer a wide array of toys, props and manipulatives.|
From the Director:
Problem solving and developing thinking skills are the most important aspects of our instruction and teaching approach. We allow ample time for play so that children learn, with teacher modeling, to make choices, resolve conflicts and become involved in high-quality play as opposed to superficial use of materials.
We work with each child individually, providing new and different materials for children who are excelling, and educating ourselves in techniques that will make the classroom a comfortable, welcoming and successful place for children who are developing at a different pace than the norm.
"Our philosophy is that a child's work is play. We believe that children develop higher-level thinking and problem solving skills by doing rather than watching. All of our activities encourage social, emotional, physical and mental growth, while providing lots of fun."
Excerpted from the preschool's website
Each class includes:
Structured small group activities that encourage fine-motor practice, patterning and building, and creativity.Activities include manipulatives, cutting, drawing, puzzles, games, playdough, water play and more.
Circle time with stories, discussions and singing
Snack time featuring school-provided healthy snacks: milk and water, a whole grain, a fruit or vegetable, a protein
Gross motor play on the playground or large indoor play space
Creative art expression and/or science experiments
All classes receive music instruction once a week with our highly-trained music teacher.
Our school communicates constantly. We communicate with parents in the following ways:
Individual visits with teachers before school
Open House before school begins
Class lists with teacher's home phone numbers, allowing parents to call teachers at any time
Extensive handbook detailing philosophy and mission statements, policies and procedures
Parent coffees the week after school begins
Designated classroom parents
Parent representatives on school board representing the interests of each age group
Back-to-School Night for Parents in October
Twice-yearly formal parent-teacher conferences, accompanied by written reports summarizing children's development and learning
Day-to-day informal discussion between teachers and parents
Director's open-door policy - parents are always welcome to speak with the director
Parent education programs - In 2008, the school had an evening program on discipline, based on parents feedback and interests
Involvement with the Greenmarket program
Formal parent survey each spring
We also use the Creative Curriculum as a documented framework for our own lesson planning and parents are invited to examine CC publications whenever interested
Parent exchange bulletin board
School lending library with books and periodicals about child development
Our school encourages parents to say a happy goodbye to their children and leave for at least a few minutes. Often a child is upset because of the transition from home to school, not because he or she doesn't enjoy the classroom experience. The teachers comfort the child, offer special distractions, such as blowing bubbles or reading a good book, and I, the director, check in every few minutes to see how things are going. I call the parent and give her or him an update on the situation. I also work hard to reassure parents that separation anxiety is perfectly normal, and our feeling is that if a child can go on and have a happy, busy day at school, he or she is participating in a successful school experience. The key to working through separation is comforting the child, making sure he or she knows that the teachers are trustworthy, loving adults in their lives, communicating with parents, and encouraging the family through the time when separation is challenging for them.