The focus at this age is to build on the social skills and sense of self-confidence that were laid as a foundation in the Preschool room. The expectation is that children can focus for a longer period of time in both large and small group activities. They also are encouraged to be more responsible about following directions and getting along with others.
In this class, children are taught letter recognition, pre-reading and writing skills. We also explore math activities such as counting, sorting and classifying. Much like the preschool class, mornings begin with an activity time during which children are encouraged to explore sensory stimulation, art, blocks, dramatic play and manipulative play areas. We use stories, songs and field trips to support the weekly or monthly activity theme as well as the lessons the children learn.
The teacher in the room is free to move around and interact with children during this activity time observing and assessing. Through asking questions, encouraging negotiation and taking advantage of those “teachable” moments the teacher sees skill areas where a child excels or might need some extra practice. These observations are used in planning more specific activities and themes, building on a child’s interests.
Morning classes also provide time for snacks, large-scale motor activities (outside or in our fellowship hall) and more focused large or small group activities. Children might practice writing, cutting, sorting or matching, which play an important role in developing pre-reading and pre-arithmetic skills.
The class size in this room is limited to 18. We try to maintain a 1:9 ratio and an assistant is available to help maintain a legal ratio of 1:10.