4 year old program

PROGRAM GOALS

4 year old class

 

The Transition-to-Kindergarten (TK) class is designed to give children the gift of another year for growth and development before starting kindergarten. The class provides the children with an introduction to a structured school environment including specific tasks at centers, teacher table, journal writing, etc.The children are provided with large and small group instructions as
well as individual help during small group instruction. This class is ideal for children with summer birthdays, children recommended by previous teachers and children whose parents
feel the need to give their child an extra year to grow before beginning  kindergarten.

 

Philosophy

 

We are dedicated to the philosophy that young children grow in an orderly and sequential manner with predictable stages of development. We recognize that each child is unique and
accept each child at their current stage of development. It is our intention to nurture the
development of the whole child- physical, emotional, social, cognitive and spiritual.

 

The program provides each child with age appropriate experiences, which will encourage:

  • Self-esteem and positive self-image
  • Social interaction
  • Self-expression and communication skills
  • Creative expression
  • Large and small muscle development
  • Intellectual growth
  • Spiritual development

 

The program schedule is planned to provide a flexible balance of:

  • Active and quiet activities
  • Individual and group activities
  • Indoor and outdoor activities

 

Objectives

 

The state of Texas has developed prekindergarten Guidelines that offer detailed descriptions of expected behaviors across multiple skill domains that should be observed in 4 to 5 year old children by the end of their prekindergarten experience. The staff at Crossing Point uses these guidelines when developing our curriculum.

 

Our curriculum provides developmentally appropriate experiences for the learning needs of all children to help them have an effective and positive prekindergarten year.

 

The prekindergarten guidelines are divided into 10 skill domains, which have specific outcomes that the children strive to meet while at Crossing Point. Each child comes to our school with unique experiences and knowledge which influences their rate of learning. Therefore, some children will be at the beginning of the learning continuum while others will be further along. Crossing Point meets each child at their skill level and works with them on an individual basis.

 

10 Skill Domains

(As outlined in the Texas PreKindergarten Guidelines)

 

Social and Emotional Development

 

Cognitive development is very important but just as important is the emotional and social
development of preschoolers. Crossing Point teachers help guide the children in social and emotional situations to help them build a sense of who they are and what they can do. Children will develop relationships with their peers, separate smoothly from mom and dad, begin to become independent in appropriate ways and participate appropriately in classroom activities.

 

Areas of development include:

  • Self concept skills – respects personal space, positive self image, problem solves
  • Self control- behavior & emotional control & focuses
  • Social competence-role playing, communicates effectively with peers
  • Social awareness – becoming aware of the needs and feelings of others

 

Language and Communication

 

During the preschool years young children’s language skills expand greatly. By providing language rich classrooms, the teachers are able to help the children get experiences that will help them as the progress in school. Oral communication is expanded by the labeling of objects and through conversations that take place throughout the school day.

 

Areas of development include:

  • Listening comprehension – following directions, responding appropriately to commands and questions
  • Speaking (conversation) – uses conversational language correctly
  • Speech production – children are understood by others
  • Vocabulary– labels items, describes people, places, things and actions
  • Sentences & structure – increases descriptions of items and begins to tell stories

 

Emergent Literacy: Reading

 

Children want to learn to read and write! The teachers at Crossing Point engage the children in reading and writing activities to help develop a love for reading and an interest in writing. Phonological awareness, awareness of the sounds in language is one of the key predictors of later reading success.

 

Areas of development include:

  • Motivation to read
  • Phonological awareness – letter sounds
  • Alphabet knowledge
  • Comprehension of read aloud stories

 

Emergent Literacy: Writing

 

Children begin to learn that words are made up of letters and that words have meaning
through hands on activities. The children write in journals using pictures and “pretend writing”.

 

Areas of development include:

  • Motivation to write
  • Independently coveys meaning
  • Forms letters
  • Concepts about print

 

Mathematics

 

Problem solving is an integral part of our math curriculum. Children are encouraged to ask thoughtful questions, recognize problems that occur in their environment, and to use mathematical reasoning with familiar materials in their classroom. The teaching of mathematical concepts happens throughout the day not just at a set time.

 

Areas of development include:

  • Counting
  • Adding to/taking away
  • Geometry and spatial sense
  • Measurement
  • Classification and patterns

 

Science

 

The children will meet “The Quirkles”, a group of characters representing the letters of the alphabet. Each letter introduces the children to a different scientific concept.

 

Areas of development include:

  • Physical science
  • Life science
  • Earth and space science
  • Personal safety and health

 

Social Studies

 

Preschool children are interested in learning about the world around them. They begin with the world revolving around them and move to understanding that the world is a big place and is made of people from different backgrounds and cultures.

 

Areas of development include:

  • People, past and present
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Citizenship

 

Fine Arts

 

Children love art! They learn to express themselves and recognize how other people express themselves through the fine arts.

 

Areas of development include:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Dramatic expression

 

Physical Development

 

Movement is the center of a child’s life. They learn so much by moving through their day and this world. Physical activity promotes cognition and helps enhance a child’s social skills and self-esteem through group participation.

 

Areas of development include:

  • Gross motor skills
  • Fine motor skills

 

Technology Applications

 

The use of computers is important for young children. It enhances their learning environment while teaching children to acquire information and possibly communicate with
others. We chose not to have computers at CPCS because the majority of the children have access to computers at home. Working on a computer takes away the social interaction time, so computers can be done at home and the social interaction can occur in the classroom.

 

Achieving our
objectives

 

 

Thematic Approach

 

The thematic approach is used for curriculum development at CPCS. Thematic teaching enhances learning by allowing children to make connections between the various experiences during a school day.

 

Teachers will incorporate each theme in all areas of curriculum. This helps the children learn more about each theme with a hands on approach.

 

Themes may include the following:          

Colors                           All About Me                              Dr. Seuss          Rhyming Words 

Holidays            Community Helpers                    Senses              Numbers          

Nutrition                       Presidents/Famous
   People          SeasonsAnimals

Cowboys                       Families                        Weather

 

 

Faith Building

 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, andself- control.” Galatians 5:22-23

 

Each month the TK children will hear Bible stories and secular stories to help them
learn a different “fruit of the spirit”.The children will hear how the different fruits enable them to be more Christ-like, becoming the person that Jesus wants them to become.

 

No doctrine is taught as we come together from different denominations, but our goal is to partner with parents and guide the children on their spiritual journey. Our hope is that Christ will be part of each child’s daily life and not just on Sundays.

 

Circle Time

 

Circle time is a time for large group instruction. Circle time may include:

  • Calendar activities
  • Phonics activities
  • Number activities
  • Discussion of weekly themes
  • Review of daily schedule and day’s activities
  • Reading of morning messages
  • Show and Tell

 

 

Center Time

 

The TK class spends a large portion of their day in “centers”. The centers provide children with hands on activities in a variety of areas. Each center has a particular task for the children to accomplish. The center’s activities change weekly and correspond to the theme studied.

Each center fosters learning in a variety of ways.

 

Imagination Center – home living, dress-up, dolls, restaurant, and others

  • Get along with others
  • Act out events and life situations
  • Develop skills in conflict resolution
  • Enrich children’s verbal and nonverbal communication skills

 

Arts Center – free art as well as projects requiring following directions.

  • Encourage creativity
  • Follow simple directions
  • Learn to make decisions by choosing different art materials
  • Build self-confidence
  • The process of creating is more important than the product itself

 

Writing Center – draft books, tracing, wipe-off boards

  • Curriculum– Handwriting Without Tears
  • Experimenting with the written word
  • Inventive spelling
  • Develop fine motor skills
  • Understanding left-right progression
  • Intro into making books of their own, dictating and illustrating

 

Games, Construction & Block
Center
– board games, Lincoln Logs, Legos, blocks

  • Opportunity to develop large and small muscles
  • Choose size and shape for their creation
  • Develop their own ideas
  • Play cooperatively and respectively

 

Puzzles and Manipulatives – puzzles, unifix cubes, pegboards

  • Develop fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination
  • Develop thinking and recognition skills
  • Develop problem solving skills
  • Match, classify and sequence
  • Work both independently and cooperatively

 

Library Center – books and books on tape

  • Develop listening skills
  • Stories have a beginning, middle and ending
  • An author is someone who writes a story
  • An illustrator is someone who draws pictures for a story
  • Left to right progression
  • Some words rhyme
  • Develop comprehension
  • Use pictures to form a story using each child’s own imagination

 

Teacher Table

 

The TK children spend time at “Teacher Table” each day. The children work in small groups with their teacher. The time is spent on specific skills: reading readiness, math, science, social studies, and health.

 

Language/Reading Readiness – Curriculum: Read and Sing and Step Up to Literacy by Frog Street Press and Handwriting Without Tears

  • Recognize and write name correctly
  • Recognize color and color words
  • Beginning sounds
  • Introduce a letter each week
  • Days of the week
  • Sequencing
  • Fine motor skills
  • Following directions
  • Retell events in a story
  • Rhyming words
  • Opposites
  • Understanding that picture clues help us in reading
  • Difference in real and make believe
  • Roles of author and illustrator
  • Beginner reading books are used by ready students
  • Listening skills
  • Listening to stories for enjoyment
  • Introduction into use of the library and how to handle books
  • Recognize the importance of imagination
  • Left and Right

 

Math Skills – Curriculum: Step Up to Literacy by Frog Street Press

  • Recognize numbers 1-20
  • Introduce patterns – ABAB, ABCABC, AABBCC etc.
  • Use manipulatives to form shapes
  • Understand positional words: first, middle, last

 

Science – Curriculum: The Quirkles by Frog Street Press

  • Integrates literacy and science
  • Science experiments
  • Character education

 

Movement

 

The TK children attend movement class three times per week to work on their gross motor skills, exercise, and identify body parts.

 

Children will be provided with opportunities to develop in these areas:

  • Movement Awareness – body awareness, rhythm, eye-foot coordination, spatial awareness
  • Locomotor Skills – walking, running, leaping, jumping, hopping, galloping, skipping, body rolling, sliding
  • Nonlocomotor Skills – dodging, stretching/bending, turning/twisting, pushing/pulling, swinging/swaying
  • Manipulative Skills – ball rolling, throwing, bouncing, striking, kicking, catching, trapping
  • Health Related Fitness – basic nutrition, flexibility, aerobic endurance
  • Love for Movement!!!

 

Recess Time

 

The TK children have recess time during their regular morning routine either at the
playground or in the gym. Recess time offers the children the opportunity for free play with their friends.

 

The“big gym” is available for additional play time. The teachers engage the children in organized games such as relay races, ball games, and others, which allow the children to
learn to follow rules, and to have good sportsmanship. The gym is also available for free play where the children can run around and interact with their friends.

 

 

Discipline

 

An important part of the TK program is helping children make appropriate choices. The TK children learn to become self-directed and self-motivated; to do the right thing because that is what is expected of us and not because we will “get something” for doing the right
thing.

  • Children will learn to make appropriate choices and be accountable for their choices and actions.
  • Teachers will talk with the children about inappropriate behavior and discuss
    alternatives.
  • Time Out will be used at the discretion of the teachers
  • Parents may be asked for a conference to discuss chronic discipline concerns.
  • The school has the right to terminate the enrollment of any child that hinders the
    learning and safety of other children.