A Typical Day in Our Integrated Preschool Program
Our preschool program combines a mix of student-led, play-based, and teacher-directed lessons and activities. A typical session in preschool includes an arrival routine, a daily meeting, multiple centers, bathroom and snack breaks, at least one whole group activity, and a dismissal routine. As weather permits, there is also outdoor time. Opportunities to move and utilize both fine and gross motor skills abound throughout each session.
The arrival routine consists of putting belongings away, saying goodbye to family, signing in, and completing a cooperative group activity. Students start to build independence as they engage in these familiar tasks.
For the daily meeting, students gather to review the schedule and talk about what to expect for the day. This meeting also includes music and movement. Through music, students build and learn various language skills, phonemic awareness, math concepts, social skills, and gross motor skills.
At centers, students can work independently or with a peer. Skills developed at centers include: literacy, math, science, art, fine motor, and social skills. At some point during each center period, students work with a teacher in a small group to target various literacy and/or math concepts. New games and activities are introduced at this time to ensure student success. Activities are chosen to target student interests but also to broaden their perspectives for new ideas.
During each preschool session, students will also gather together on the rug to read a story and/or participate in a whole group literacy or math activity. This activity is usually connected to what the students saw or will see at centers and may be theme-based according to the season.
Bathroom and snack breaks are scheduled into each session. Students can also use the bathroom whenever necessary. The bathroom routine includes an emphasis on hand-washing and increased independence for personal care, with support as needed. Snack time with peers is an important opportunity for students to replenish their bodies (they expend a lot of energy in preschool!) and work on social skills by chatting with friends and teachers.
Various large muscle activities such as jumping, running, and hopping are introduced to develop gross motor skills. Gym class is a regular part of the program once a week. Students also regularly use the preschool playground when the weather cooperates. Small muscle activities such as cutting, coloring, and manipulating objects with fingers are incorporated into centers and embedded in every session.
Finally, when it is time to leave, students work on the dismissal chain. They pack up their belongings and put on their coats and backpacks. As with the arrival routine, students gain independence through the consistent expectations that are part of the dismissal process.
Preschool is an exciting and invigorating experience for our youngest learners!