The day begins with the AIP infamous "Drive Through Drop Off!" Parents, especially those with younger siblings, have shared that this is one of their favorite things we offer. Parents drive through the car line to drop off their children who are met by their smiling teachers each day. The Preschool 3's and the Pre-K 4's meet in our preschool building which is located in front of the church building and is made up of three exciting rooms: The Art Room, The Story Room and The Play Room. The Fives class meets in a separate classroom located in the church building. Our day also involves sharing a school provided snack! After Music altogether at the end of the day, parents pick up their children in the same drive through fashion.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! What do we do in ALL these rooms?
In the Art Room we learn to paint with brushes, marbles, cookie cutters and even our fingers! We learn proper use of glue, markers, scissors, stencils, stamps, and a variety of other materials. Some of what we do is experiential...such as using different kinds of paint, play dough and clay. We like to enjoy a media in terms of what it can do, what it smells like or what it feels like. We believe that the process of working with a material is more important than the product that is made. We love to do activities that develop the child’s creativity and imagination. Some activities involve listening and following directions as we use art materials. Often our “projects” enhance vocabulary and awareness as we introduce colors, numbers, shapes, and letters. During “free choice”, the children are involved in making choices, sharing, and cooperating. Our large “rice table” engages their senses and teaches basis concepts related to science and math such as measuring and pouring.
In the Story Room we learn to listen, sit still (for short periods of time, of course!), and learn new vocabulary and information connected to the topic of discussion. We learn to take turns talking, to cooperate and be considerate of the needs of others. Our block area has unit blocks and accessories to learn spatial concepts and pre-math skills. During free choice we have manipulative toys and activities to help develop the small muscles needed for future writing. Our cognitive and fine motor skills are exercised with puzzles, games, small toys and Legos. We also enjoy looking at books and having them read to us. With our Pre-K children, we introduce a new letter each week with an emphasis on its” phonetic sound and how to “say” the letter in Sign Language. We teach and incorporate American Sign Language into our lessons and music. Skill sheets are available to Pre-K children who are interested in doing worksheets.
In the Play Room we stretch our attention span and imagination. Play builds vocabulary and challenges children to organize ideas, to think, and share. We get to use a wide variety of playthings: building with blocks, play house or grocery store, cars and trucks, dress up clothes, dolls and doll houses, pretend telephones and computers, Fisher Price toys, matchbox cars, hammers and tools! We also enjoy group activities such as circle games, dancing and moving to music. We like to climb on the indoor climber, run an obstacle course, play with the parachute and jump on the trampolines! Weather permitting, we play outside on the playground, play with side walk chalk, shoot baskets and even ride bikes! Play time is when we build the language and social skills involved in making friends and settling disputes. At the same time we are building our large muscles and coordination.
In the Fives Room, which is located in the Church building and is one classroom space, we play and experience all of the above, plus enhance our play with STEM activities, social emotional learning and beginning getting our feet wet with schoolwork using a blend of curriculum materials from Learning Without Tears, Zoo Phonics, and Pocket of Preschool.
Music is a very important part of our program because music is the language of children. We use it for lining up, transitions, clean up time, teaching concepts and for pure enjoyment. Instruments to learn rythym and scarves used for dancing and expressing feeling are favorites during the day. We always end our preschool day with a fifteen minute music session together in the Play Room.
Chapel is held once a month inside the Church building. We hear stories from the Bible and sing and dance to special Bible songs. Often times we have a guest leader join us with guitar and a fun lesson. We learn about Jesus, prayer, love, kindness, joy, and much more. We take the prayers songs we learn and say them before our daily school provided snack! Chapel is often a highlight for our students!