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First United Methodist Preschool

1201 Lavaca Austin, Texas 78701
Austin, TX 78701

Phone:
(512) 478-5709

Website:

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We believe...that children learn through play. Children naturally learn through what they see in the world. Teachers create a developmentally appropriate environment for each child to play, create, move, experiment, and express themselves. Children are active learners and have opportunities for choice, independence, and learning through play with real materials in hands-on direct ways. Childrenâ??s activities, materials and classroom curriculum are selected based on individual childrenâ??s development: socially, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually. Children are provided a balance of indoor and outdoor time, active and quiet play and individual, small and large groupings. Children need routine and continuity in the classroom and with adults. We create consistency in the classroom through predictable schedules, activities, and by limiting transitions and enrichment activities.

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
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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  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • 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.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • 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 All toddlers through five years also attend music class two days per month. All three though five year olds attend chapel once per week, and exercise class twice per month. All toddlers through five years also attend storytelling twice a week.

From the Director:

We believeâ?¦in respecting individual differences in childrenâ??s growth and development. Children learn best through small group play and one-on-one interactions with adults, therefore low child-to-teacher ratios are maintained. Children move through predictable developmental stages at their own rates. Children are provided support and encouragement and are not hurried through processes related to those milestones. Arbitrary age requirements are not imposed for milestones such as toileting, specific academic skills, etc., but rather celebrated by the adults around them. Children express creativity and self-expression through open-ended projects and experiences. Creative, child-directed play is encouraged in many forms such as drawing, painting,music, building, role play and more.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

First United Methodist Preschool strives to create an atmosphere in which each child can develop socially, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually. We offer an educational experience through a flexible, well-planned program. The basis of the program is that play is learning. First United Methodist Preschool is a preschool for children ages two months through four years. One of the main objectives of First United Methodist Preschool is to help children develop self-discipline. Our guidance technique offers children clear expectations, and options encourage problem solving.

A Typical Day

9:00 Arrival and Learning Centers
10:00 Snack and Clean Up Time
10:30 Playground
11:15 Storytime
11:30 Learning Centers
12:15 Lunch
12:45 Depart

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We believe...in family communication and involvement.

The diversity of each family and child is welcomed, respected, and incorporated in an inclusive environment.

Families receive frequent ongoing communication from teachers regarding their childâ??s developmental progress and classroom activities through various modes of communication.

Families are incorporated into the program through a system of individual classroom activities and networks, preschool gatherings and events, invitations to First United Methodist Church fellowship and worship opportunities, and notifications of local community events.

Families support the preschool through volunteer opportunities, annual giving, committee and classroom projects, and Preschool Board service.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Fundraise
  • 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

Separation

Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school

Handling Separation: From the Director

Separation anxiety is handled as follow. We ask that parents proceed with a regular drop off and if their child fails to engage or continues to cry, we will contact the parents to pick up their child early. Doing so allows the child to adjust to the regular drop off procedure and doesn't confuse the child when a parent stays and tries to leave after a period of time. Beginning with a shorter day has been very effective for children and parents.