3-4 years old
Within the Bears class we work towards students’ beginning to develop more independent classroom skills including selecting and becoming engaged in an activity, utilizing self help skills without reminders, cleaning up materials once finished, and following classroom rules and routines without reminders. Students’ emotional skills are also addressed by supporting students in accepting changes to their routine, utilizing parents and teachers as role models, identifying and describing their feelings, and communicating their wants and needs in socially acceptable ways. These skills are systematically taught and addressed throughout the day.
Language development is developing quickly from age three to four as students begin to speak clearer, ask and answer questions more frequently, and increase their sentence length to 4-5 word sentences. We help facilitate this language spurt by introducing word play with rhymes and repetitive phrases. Students in the Bear class work on following simple 2-step directions and actively participating in conversations with adults and peers. Story time is encouraged within the classroom as this helps students with alphabetic knowledge, understanding print carries a message, and early reading comprehension skills.
Three to four year olds are often curious and eager to ask questions about the world around them. Students are frequently asked open ended questions to help them develop the ability to notice and comment about details, while comparing and contrasting and recognizing cause and effect with the objects and events in their environment. We teach students to approach problems flexibly, persist through challenges, and draw on their prior knowledge. Students work on classifying, arranging objects in a series, simple patterns, early number sense and positional vocabulary.
Preschoolers are on the move. We work on further developing their gross and fine motor skills by working on running while avoiding obstacles and moving in non-traditional ways such as galloping, jumping, or skipping. Students also work on climbing skills, pedaling a tricycle and further refining throwing, kicking and catching a ball. These skills are all worked on in fun, child-led, naturally occurring settings, to ensure students remain engaged and are having fun! Pegboards, buttons, tongs, scissors and simple writing tools are all used within the classroom to help students develop fine motor skills and allow them to be more independent within the classroom.