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Little Gems Preschool

1827 218th Place Northeast
Sammamish, WA 98074

(425) 836-3480


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Teacher-Led

From the Director:

A little more than one third of the day is child directed the rest is teacher directed.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • 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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  • 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
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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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • 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 Drama-which is teacher lead instruction. The children participate in a play the first week of June at the end of every school year.

From the Director:

Even though formal instruction is teacher lead children are encouraged to participate, comment, reflect, reason, predict, compare, and express their point of view. Each child gets a turn to engage in all the learning experiences. Play based learning takes place during free play time each day. Stations are set up for children to engage in learning experiences in all domains and may engage in them at will during free play. Teachers are available to interact with and encourage the children during these times.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

When a child is identified as needing extra help in a domain an individual education plan is created for that child. The director meets with the parents and the need is dentified by the parents and director. Both the parents and the director set goals for how that need will be filled at home an at school so everyone is on the same page. The director then meets with the child's teachers to inform them of the goal. The director shows the teachers how to implement the goal with the child. The director then follows up with the teachers and the parents to ascertain if the goal is being met or if additional approaches need to be implemented. This might mean that a teacher makes a behavior chart for a child and the child is able to earn a sticker or a hand stamp at the end of class for listening or staying seated. It may mean that a teacher spends more time helping a certain child with their writing. It may mean that a child who is reading a head of the class is asked to do additional reading during class to keep their superior skills challenged. It may also mean that a child who has difficulty making friends is helped and encouraged by a teacher to initiate play with another child or enter the group during free play.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

It is our goal to actively strive to provide learning experiences in all five domains of early childhood and to create a basis for continuity bewtween preschool and elementary school. Our curriculum has a strong base for reading, math, social skills and the arts. Children are offered developmentally appropriate hands-on learning experiences in a safe, loving, and responsive learning environment. We recognize that each child has unique challenges and abilities and because of this we provide open communication between parents and staff. We follow "Best Practices" standards of Early Childhood Education and the learning philosophy of Skinner who stated, "Young children are hands on active learners." Last but not least, we are committed to the success of every child in our program. This means we will work with children and their families individually, if needed, to insure academic and social success.

A Typical Day

Free play-indoors 30 minutes
Cognitive Math Exercise-fun but with a goal
Social game
Cognitive Reading Exercise-fun but with a goal
Social game
Free play-outside 30 minutes

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

I hold a Masters Degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Development. I am a Child Specialist and a trained Child Behaviorist. I meet with parents individually to offer free advise on many topics of Early Childhood. I provide a monthly newsletter highlighting the children's weekly learning experiences. These news letters are designed to help the parents follow along and encourage them to be involved in what their child is learning. I give formal written assessments once a year to target areas of growth and areas that may need more attention. I encourage parents to talk with me at drop off time or pick up time about their child's development or any concerns they may have about their child or even my school. I have an open door policey for our parents and they are welcomed in the class room at all times. I also encourage parents to become part of our PTA.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

Separation anxiety is handled in a number of ways. All new students get free summer sessions. The summer sessions are small groups with higher teacher to student ratio. We will also allow parents of children with separation anxiey to stay in the class room and slowly withdraw over a period of time if necessary. We also offer positve reinforcement and lots of reassuring. Teachers are expected to comfort crying children as well as distract them and treat all children in our program with respect, tenderness, and great care.