Early Childhood Education & Preschool
In the first five years of their life, your child’s brain develops more rapidly than at any other time. It is critical that they grow in an environment where they feel safe, welcomed and loved while also incorporating methods of learning about themselves and the world around them. Adaptive and comprehensive early childhood education programs allow children to build a depth of skills in a variety of key competencies as well as social and emotional skills that are the building blocks for later years. As a result, there is an invaluable impact of early childhood education on a child’s later engagement and relationship with learning, with peers, and with themselves.
At Two Birds, our teachers ensure that our students have access to printed materials in a number of different formats to improve literacy skills. In the classroom environment, we incorporate letters and words in a variety of ways; this could be incorporated into the group work of the day where they have opportunities to write messages to parents and friends in the journaling or messaging center or this could be increasing the students’ exposure of letters and words through labeling of furniture and objects. We also create small group experiences that dive a little deeper into literacy; children dictate stories to teachers to be written down, as well as time that incorporates singing, word play and rhyming games. Individually, children have a dedicated time each day to focus on literacy and choose a rich piece of literature and spend time practicing comprehension and other skills that prepare them to be a good reader.
The Two Birds curriculum is grounded in play based learning. In early childhood education, play is work. As children play, they are constantly building knowledge about the materials they’re working with, concepts they’re utilizing, how they interact with others and with their environment, and about their own capabilities and view of the world. In a play based approach, we leverage these learning opportunities by curating the way in which experiences and materials are introduced to create and enrich intentional play. We follow this approach in all of our programs, changing the information that is introduced through play as children grow and develop. Through the eyes of children, school is play. Through our eyes, this play, whether that’s small group work, projects, morning meetings, individual play or outdoor time is an opportunity to layer in new concepts, skills and learning.
When building our teams, we prioritize working with teachers and staff who reinforce and cultivate a warm, welcoming and open-minded environment within our community. We look for educators with a range of backgrounds in early childhood education and experience but, more importantly, we value teachers that are aligned in our teaching philosophies, believe in play based learning, value our curricular approach, are collaborative and passionate about working in education. We firmly believe that our teaching teams are educators as well as care givers and that teachers of birth through 5 programs have a fundamental role in a child’s development. Our teachers follow positive reinforcement with respect to social and emotional skills and utilize coaching and modeling strategies, not punitive tools, when working with children on behavioral development.
Community is core to the Two Birds program and underscores the importance of the relationship between families and their child’s school. Two Birds organizes a variety of activities, engagement and events to connect with parents as part of the school community. Examples of this include schoolwide exhibitions to showcase children’s work, family days to celebrate as a school, open houses to invite parents to meet teams and tour classrooms, and various other events throughout the year. Two Birds also embraces technology to foster a transparent and inclusive environment within our community. We use an app called Brightwheel to share photos and videos from classroom experiences and so parents can communicate directly with teachers during the day. The combination of the schoolwide events and experiences with the day-to-day interactions strengthens our relationship with families and allows us to make children’s learning more visible to families.