Back to Vashon Preschools

Vashon Maury Cooperative Preschool

PO Box 925
Vashon, WA 98070

Phone:
(206) 463-2779

Website:

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Philosophy & Approach

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"The Coop Preschool is a unique school program embracing not only the development of the child, but also the education of parents and the support of the family.
The Parent Education and Cooperative Preschool programs that you see associated with local community colleges were originally created based on the assumption that parenting is one of the most important careers in an individual's life, and, as with any vocation, preparation and continuing education are necessary for success. We still believe this holds true today, and continue to base our programs on this philosophy.
The Coop Preschools are built around a laboratory approach, with parents and children participating in a learning experience together. The lab is the Preschool classroom, complete with your child's teacher, a Parent Instructor, working parents and playing children.
"
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

"Toddler Overview
A typical day will include:
Greetings: It is important to make the children feel welcome to the classroom, and to make contact with each child and parent as they enter. Name badges for all the children will be attached to their clothes, and as the year moves on, the children are encouraged to find their own.
Discovery Time: The children are encouraged to investigate all the different areas of the classroom, and will show increasing comfort as they explore the Preschool environment in the secure knowledge that a parent is nearby. This can be a hectic process as at this age, the children move quickly between activities. As the children are familiar with their routine, they begin to engage in parallel play. Theme oriented projects are used in the classroom, with the focus being on process rather than product.
Clean-up: Even as toddlers, children are encouraged and expected to participate in the clean-up process, as we instill the need for everyone to help take care of their classroom.
Outside: Weather permitting, it is great to let the kids have outside exploratory time too - time to run, jump, play in the sand box and climb on the climber.
Snack: Learning about cleanliness is part of our snack routine, as all children and adults wash their hands before sitting down to snack. Children are learning social skills, from sitting down to eat with others, to cleaning their place before they leave the table.
Music & Goodbyes: Music is a wonderful time for children to explore rhythm and tunes, as well as dance and movement. We often have bells, or colored scarves to dance with, and parents join in as much as the children. Circle: As the session comes to a close, children sit in their parent's lap for a good-bye circle. At this time, songs and finger-play may be introduced, before the energy level is calmed with a goodbye song.
2 years to 3 years
A typical day will include:
Greetings: It is important to make the children feel welcome to the classroom, and to make contact with each child as he or she enters. This is an important time to reassure children who are attending school without their parent, and to help families with separation issues. Children are encouraged to find their own name badges and cubbies.
Discovery Time: The children explore all the different areas of the classroom, and show increasing independence as they adjust to allow their parents to work in a specific area rather than follow them around.The children show increased interest in playing with each other, although at this stage is is usually in parallel play. The children still move quickly between activities but now are becoming more able to focus for slightly longer periods of time Theme oriented projects continue to be used in the classroom, the focus being on process rather than product.
Clean-up: Children are encouraged to participate in the clean-up process. As the children are familiar with their routine, they become more comfortable in their surroundings and are very capable of putting things away, with adult supervision.
Outside: Weather permitting, it is great to let the kids have outside exploratory time too - time to run, jump, play in the sand box and climb on the climber.
Snack: Learning about cleanliness is part of our snack routine, as all children and adults wash their hands before sitting down to snack. Children are learning social skills, from sitting down to eat with others, to cleaning their place before they leave the table. Snacks are served family style, allowing the children the opportunity to make choices and practice serving themselves.
Story Circle: As the children become more able to sit and pay attention for longer periods of time, a story is read, with the children encouraged to participate with the teacher.
Music: Music is a wonderful time for children to explore rhythm and tunes, as well as dance and movement. Instruments are often incorporated, or colored scarves to dance with, and parents join in as much as the children.
Goodbye Circle: As the session comes to a close, children sit on their own, or in an adult's lap, for songs, finger-play, and games, before everyone sings a goodbye song.
3 years to 4years
A typical day will include:
Greetings / Discovery Time: Children are encouraged to find their own name badges and cubbies before they begin their day. They continue to explore all the different areas of the classroom, and show their independence and new social skills as they choose to engage in cooperative play and understand the fairness of taking turns. The children are becoming much more able to focus on more sophisticated projects for longer periods of time and are occupied for longer in each center than before.
Clean-up: Children are now very able to participate in the clean-up process.
Outside: Weather permitting, it is great to let the kids have outside exploratory time too - time to run, jump, play in the sand box, climb or try other outdoor activities on offer.
Snack: Learning about cleanliness is part of our snack routine, as all children and adults wash their hands before sitting down to snack. Children serve themselves and continue to develop social skills, from sitting down to eat with others, to cleaning their place before they leave the table.
Story Circle: The children now easily participate in circle time activities, joining in with songs and finger-play, and attending to the story presented. This is also a chance to introduce more interactivity with the children being encouraged to share their observations and thoughts.
Music: Music is a wonderful time for children to explore rhythm and tunes, as well as dance and movement. We often have bells, or colored scarves to dance with, and parents join in as much as the children.
Goodbye Circle: As the session comes to a close, children are now much more able to sit on their own, with adults nearby, for songs, finger-play, and games, before everyone joins together to sing a goodbye song.
4 yearsto 5 years
A typical day will include:
Outside Play: Children are quite skilled now in using their large muscles, and love to climb and run. Outside play time is a great way to burn off some energy and get the children ready for a more structured learning environment.
Greeting / Story Circle: After making your child feel welcome, it is often time for a story. This is also the time for the teacher to discuss the day's activities, and prepare the group for what to expect that day. Assignments are often allocated, for the children to take home, to be brought back and shared with the class the next day. Most children are now capable of raising their hand and sharing. We concentrate on building vocabulary and social skills as children learn that what they have to share is valuable to the overall classroom community, and develop confidence to stand and discuss their ideas in front of their peers.
Discovery Time: Free choice snack is offered as part of discovery time, as we teach children to recognize their bodies cues. Projects will be more involved and comprehensive than in previous classes, and parents will take on the ever more vital role as assistant teachers, running experiments, taking dictation, and encouraging children to expand their thought processes. There is also a strong emphasis on building community, learning communication skills, negotiation, and problem solving to get along with other students and adults.
Clean-up / Running Time: Children are now competent and capable to help clean up the room and prepare for the next activity.
Music Circle / Goodbyes: During this time of song and movement, following directions will be encouraged, as well as creativity and finding joy in rhythm and sounds. It is also a time to discuss projects and themes that have formed part of the days activities.
"
Excerpted from the preschool's website

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • 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
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school