From the Director:
Behnke Preschool puts a strong emphasis on language and literacy development throughout the preschool day. Based on the best research evidence by the International Reading Association, access to appropriate, high-quality early language and literacy experiences will enhance young childrenâ€™s development. The preschool curriculum, therefore, should emphasize a wide range of language and literacy experiences including, but not limited to, story reading, dramatic play, storytelling, and retelling. Behnke Preschool students participate in Mouth Time and Sound Spot daily as part of the curriculum. During Mouth Time, students engage in fun and interactive activities that focus on auditory memory (repeating multi-syllabic words and non-words), phoneme awareness (rhyming, blending, elision, same initial sound, same final sound), phoneme production (labeling articulators and using them purposefully to make sounds), and sound-symbol correspondence. At Sound Spot, we combine the Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum for developing fine motor skills with Behnke Preschoolâ€™s unique focus on phonological awareness. During this time, the skills learned during Mouth Time are built upon to begin to learn grapheme (letters) â€“ phoneme (speech sounds) correspondence. While learning about letters and the sounds they make, preschoolers also begin to make the letters first with play dough, then tracing (in rice, shaving cream, or on paper), and finally independently.