from Dr. Shelly Hoffman, Head of School
I am amazed at how much is covered in the first few weeks of preschool each year and how well these young children become
“trained” to our routines and expectations. I would like to share
“a day in the life of a preschooler”:
As preschool students enter the classroom each morning, they put their lunch on the lunch cart, hang up their backpack, put their water bottle on the hydration station table, say goodbye to their parent, and immediately try to go to the bathroom and then wash their hands. Learning how to take care of toileting needs is no small feat! Many of our students have been introduced to potty training but have not quite mastered it. Our numerous trips to the bathroom throughout the day help empower these young students to be successful in taking care of their bodily needs. I am always impressed to see our teachers doing a great job of being positive and supportive while maintaining dignity when accidents occur. Our staff does an amazing job of teaching these young children independence in the bathroom and the importance of hand-washing and using our electronic soap and towel dispensers.
Once the children have visited the bathroom they re-enter the classroom to build and play while others arrive and have their needs met. Some favorite first-of-the-morning activities are building puzzles, legos, building with magnetics, and imaginary play in the home living area.
Next up is the morning routine. Children sing and move to two songs, welcoming each other. Next comes singing the ABC’s, exploring the letter of the week through Zoo-phonics, identifying the weather and days of the week, and a counting review, ending with a review of the schedule for that day.
Center time is where children get to work on multiple skills rotating in small groups through various centers, each with a different focus. Centers are a time for discovery play, reinforcing new concepts, working one-on-one with the teacher for a bit, and learning social skills such as taking turns and sharing.
Another bathroom break and morning snack is up next on the agenda, followed by outside play time.
Morning recess is a favorite part of the day. This free-choice play time is full of energy as children ride trikes, swing, go down the slipper slide, play in the sand box, and ride scooters. I’ve discovered how well they can maneuver those scooters, and that it is wise to stay off the track when the scooters are out!
After morning recess, we have time for group work focusing on fine motor skills. Students draw, color, cut with scissors, glue, and paint to create intriguing projects. Since our class sizes are small, it is easy for the teacher to receive immediate feedback, called a “formative assessment” – to see whether children are “getting it” or not. This real-time assessment drives future instruction to move on to another skill or, if needed, take time for review.
Next: another bathroom break and getting ready for lunch.
Lunch in our multi-purpose room kitchen is always fun, and another opportunity to work on being independent and on fine-motor skills as our young students learn how to open and close their lunch containers. Seeing the pleasure they have when they can “do it themselves” is satisfying.
After lunch we have another bathroom break and then each child finds their cot with their pillow and blanket, their “stuffy”, and we lie down for a rest. Most children fall asleep, filling the classroom with peaceful quiet. To help them settle, we pull the blinds and curtains, turn the lights off and play soft lullabies.
Upon waking from rest, shoes get put on and another bathroom break is taken, followed by our afternoon snack and another 30-minute recess.
Our school does something very special and unique in our local area. We end each day with Enrichments. Children discover and explore through a number of Enrichments every week, including Art, Music, Sign Language, P.E., Baking, Spanish, Board Games, Library, and Godly Play Bible stories.
The last 15 minutes of each day are spent cleaning up the classroom. The students are directly involved in the cleaning tasks, enjoying a sense of accomplishment and working together. At this age, using brooms and the vacuum is great fun!
Finally, we gather in the reception area to wait for Mom & Dad (or our special person). I love seeing the joy on these young faces as they give Mom/Dad a welcome hug and hug their teacher good-bye. Our day is filled with fun, movement, learning, and most of all LOVE!
Please know that you have an open invitation to come for a visit and learn about our school. It is a great place to be! I love showing off our school! We serve students age 2.5 through 3rd grade. --Dr. Shelly Hoffman