Play Based Learning Preschool
Our preschool program builds upon the curriculum and approach to learning that we introduce in our infant and toddler classrooms. As a school inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy, we focus on emergent practices, meaning the way we think about classroom work and lesson planning responds and adapts to the interests of the child. As preschoolers become increasingly verbal, children’s questions and classroom conversations create prompts for learning plans and for topics of study, giving children a voice in their classroom, building opportunities for leadership, and naturally engaging their interests. It is a play based program, which means teachers layer learning into all aspects of play, whether that is small group work, choice time, project work or center work. Preschoolers are introduced to a myriad of open-ended materials and are encouraged to use their imagination to interpret and create how materials can transform and adopt new meaning depending on the way in which they are presented.
The preschool program follows a consistent structure that aligns with a child’s natural cadence to the day, which provides a helpful framework into which we integrate play, small group work, child led decision making, and typical daily routines. Following breakfast, teachers introduce new topics of focus during Morning Meeting and before they transition into small group activities, project work, center time and outdoor play. Children are encouraged to take an active part in Morning Meeting, to work in both teacher and child-led groups, and to assist in decision making during center time. Preschool classrooms include a nap after lunch as well as an afternoon snack before transitioning back into small group activities as well as an afternoon meeting before pick up.
Two Birds Toddler Preschool & Childcare
Morning meeting is an opportunity to gather the entire class and introduce new topics of study, promote social development within larger group participation amongst peers, introduce teacher and child-led discussions, and to establish recurring routines to kick off the day such as reading, singing, creative movement and dance.
Children eat as a class to promote family-style meals for breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack. By replicating the style in which meals are served at home, we promote conversation, independence, feeding skills and social engagement.
We utilize small group work to introduce new learning skills, materials, and topics the classroom is investigating. Project work is often initially teacher led, and then as children revisit skills and topics, can be child-led as well.
All classroom environments are organized around centers within the room, such as dramatic play, art, construction, a cozy corner, library, and science. Centers provide an opportunity for teachers to curate the materials presented to encourage productive play, and for children to make choices about how they spend their time and exhibit agency in the classroom.
Outdoor play focuses on engagement with the environment and neighborhood. Teachers bring equipment such as parachutes, chalk, hoops, bubbles and balls as well as explore and observe what’s happening in the community.
The preschool program incorporates a 2 hour rest period following lunch. All children select a Two Birds blanket to snuggle with during rest and sleep on cots in the room. For preschoolers who do not require two hours of sleep, teachers work with them to read quietly and allow their bodies and minds to rest.