Typical day in our Pre-K program

Our Pre-K students are crossing that great bridge between their first tentative experience away from home and the self-confident autonomy of going off to kindergarten. For the most part, their preschool skills are solidly established and are now being refined: they move quickly and gracefully; they assimilate new rules and routines easily; they ask peers to play and are willing to negotiate to keep the play going. They’re fully acclimated to the school environment and no longer need the comforting secure routines found in the preschool classrooms. Pre-K children enjoy novelty and big opportunities to explore on their own terms. Their thinking and motor skills are better so they get more satisfaction from doing puzzles, playing games, and experimenting with learning materials. They are quick to help, or talk, or change what they’re doing at a moment’s notice. And they have become joyfully self-aware: they now know that they know things. The world is a wonderfully exciting place for a Pre-K child!  To satisfy their curiosity, we tailor our schedule and curriculum to fit their emerging self-awareness and their desire to explore the world around them.

A typical day for Pre-K children begins with Free Play, as it does for the younger preschool children. Teachers set up the room with challenging materials for children to explore individually and together. Teachers facilitate play and cognitive/perceptual development by unobtrusively interacting with the children in the various learning centers. Their goal is the development of language skills, social awareness of peers, creativity, cognition, cooperation, and pre-academic skills–always with the objective of meeting or exceeding the skills outlined in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

When Free Play is over around 9:45, the Pre-K children are ready to move into the more structured portion of their morning. After they clean up their toys, they have their first Circle to talk about the theme in depth, introduce the project for the day, and talk about the letter of the week. Then, they split into 2 groups: one group stays in the classroom to do the project and the other group goes to the Big Room, where they meet up with other Pre-K children who might have been their buddies when they were together in a preschool class. When the classroom group is finished with the project, they go to the Big Room and the other group returns to the classroom for project.

Pre-K children take a trip to the bathroom & wash hands before they have their snack.  The children pour their own water from a pitcher on the table, and talk among themselves animatedly, often making plans for the playground!  This age group can dress and undress themselves more quickly and independently than our younger preschool students, and they are typically in a big hurry to get outside!

The morning ends with a last meeting time that includes a story, calendar, job chart, and sharing time ( “show-and-tell”), songs, finger plays, and sometimes a group game. Pre-K students have a longer attention span, so they usually love the routine of their last circle and the opportunity to contribute to a large group discussion.

By year’s end, our Pre-K students are really ready to shine in kindergarten because they’ve experienced predictable routines and challenging experiences in a safe and developmentally nurturing environment.

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