Thursday, December 30, 2010

What Do We Do All Day?

As we approach parent teacher conference time, I like to provide parents with an outline of our curriculum.  The curriculum was compiled by me, based on my experience as a preschool teacher and my formal training in Montessori primary education.   I will make copies available for you at conferences and I look forward to your feedback.  Thank you for taking the time to read this. ~Jennifer
 Helping Hands Family School Curriculum
All of the children at Helping Hands Family School will explore the following concepts, in anticipation of preparing them for kindergarten.  The children learn these concepts at their own pace and are not expected to master them.  
At Helping Hands Family School the children use Montessori materials, create art, sing songs, and participate in self directed imitation play. The teachers create lessons and make materials to meet the needs of each child, based on their observations of the children at play in the environment.
 Below is an outline of the content of our year long curriculum.  Helping Hands Family School presents lessons, provides materials, and strives to create an environment that nurtures individualized learning in the following areas: 

  • Practice problem-solving skills in social situations i.e. peaceful conflict resolution
  • Work in groups or with a partner on a variety of projects
  • Share classroom materials with the group
  • Practice using manners: please, thank you, excuse me, table manners, holding the door for others, waiting for a turn to speak in conversation
  • Communicate his/her needs
  • Take care of his/her own basic needs: clean up, roll up nap pad, fasten clothing, use tissue as needed.


  • Introduction to the numerals 1- 30
  • Count objects to 10
  • One-to-one correspondence of objects
  • Sort by various attributes: color, shape, size
  • Patterns: AB, AABB, ABC
  • Sizes: small, medium, large
  • Shapes: square, rectangle, circle, triangle
  • Match: symbols, shapes, patterns, etc.
  • Same and Different
  • More, Less, Same
  • Time: Day and Night, introduction of the clock
  • Introduction to alphabet: letter names and sounds
  • Recognize, spell, write first name
  • Hold a pencil, marker, crayon correctly
  • Retell familiar stories
  • Draw pictures and dictate sentences about stories and experiences
  • Answer questions about stories
  • Repeat simple nursery rhymes and fingerplays
  • Learn concepts of print: left to right direction, holding a book right-side-up
  • Build new vocabulary
  • Build listening skills
  • Strengthen visual discrimination
  • Sequencing: beginning, middle, end (story telling structure)
  • Develop fine motor skills: play dough, scissors, writing utensils, glue sticks, tape, stencils, stamps, Legos, etc.

    Nature & Geography

    • Explore science tools: magnets, prisms, magnifying glasses, etc.
    • Experience the world through nature walks, gardening, and other explorations
    • Observe insect life
    • Observe plant growth
    • Observe weather and plant life during each season
    • Measure and mix ingredients in cooking activities
    • Identify basic colors and explore color mixing
    • Make observational drawings and dictation
    • Explore the world with the five senses
    • Investigate local animals, the homes they live in, the food they eat
    • Introduction to our world through map puzzles, maps, books, photos, music and food

    Creative Arts

    • Explore a variety of art processes: painting, drawing, sculpture, weaving, collage
    • Use a variety of art materials: crayons, tempera paint, watercolor paint, colored pencils, markers, oil pastels, art chalk, clay
    • Experiment with mixing paint colors
    • Sing traditional songs and songs that enhance the curriculum
    • Participate in movement songs and dances
    • Use scarves, rhythm sticks, and bean bags to practice rhythms
    • Use a variety of children’s instruments
    • Participate in dramatic play
    • Dramatize familiar stories
    • Act out the movements and sounds of animals
    Our classroom and school family community is centered around and dependent upon the following three ground rules.

    Be Safe
    Be Gentle
    Be Kind

    At the beginning of and throughout the school year the children are given examples of ways to be SAFE, GENTLE and KIND.  When using materials, when interacting with others in our classroom, when interacting with family and the world outside the classroom, and when caring for animals and all living things.  These values are encouraged throughout our program. 

    Each day we light a candle for PEACE which brings us together in the moment as a classroom community. 

    We all have something to learn and we all have something to teach.

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