Jackson Pond Preschool Child Development
One of the main goals at Jackson Pond Preschool is to provide a program that will best prepare the children for kindergarten. Focus will be placed heavily on building a foundation of literacy. Literacy is the foundation for all learning and education to take place. This will be done through the implementation of oral language development, literature, writing, and activities to promote the understanding of print.
An example of a unit that ties all of these concepts together, engaging the children in learning, would be on the topic of “community.” Perhaps a field trip to the local grocery store, or a visit from a firefighter with a hook-and-ladder truck would begin the unit in an exciting fashion. Music would be incorporated during large-group time, promoting fluency in oral language. Songs about the community would help the children remember knew vocabulary, while incorporating poetry will help children grasp the concept of rhyme and alliteration.
Shared reading is something that would take place every day in the classroom. Big books as well as regular sized books tie the unit together, allowing the children to hear about various jobs and activities that take place in their own community. This is also when concepts of print are introduced. For example, the teacher has the opportunity to point out the book’s author, illustrator, and cover. Also, while reading, the children are shown the concept of directionality, where to start and where to go next, top to bottom, left to right, etc.
Dramatic play also ties the unit together. Based on the unit of study, play time becomes a time for the students to further explore the topic. For a unit on the community, students could work at a restaurant, be a police officer, work at a bank, be a librarian, or work as a mechanic. Children would be able to bring props from home, dress up, and use materials that enhance literacy. Having a notepad and pencil for taking orders, or books to read to the children in the library, play money to practice banking, or creating a list of rules and laws that others must follow in the community, all add value to the foundations of literacy. Play time also gives the teacher an opportunity to talk with the students one-on-one about what they are learning. By taking notes about what each student says, the teacher can create mini stories about each child’s experience with the community.
Creating a list of vocabulary for each unit provides the opportunity to teach the students alphabet awareness. Students will begin to recognize letters seen in these words, thus allowing the students to write about certain discoveries in learning logs. Various levels of emergent writing will arise, such as scribbling, letter-like forms, letter streams, and invented spelling.
Math and science goals, lessons, and units will be met and followed in a similar fashion as above. Learning centers will also be an effective tool used in the classroom at Jackson Pond. It will be through everyday, hands-on activities that the children will learn and grow in their abilities to understand, comprehend, and discover in school, thus preparing them tremendously for kindergarten and the educational years ahead.