Moving on to a Pre-Kindergarten program is vital for a child. The teachers set up these students for success in a positive and innovative setting. These students are able to learn how to successfully prepare themselves for Kindergarten, based on the Kentucky Standards, through play-based learning. While incorporating The Creative Curriculum, this interactive approach allows students to foster their creativity, develop emotional and social skills, as well as actively support pre-literacy skills. This approach appeals to a child’s organic approach to curiosity and desire to engage in their interests. Each student is able to have large and small group interactions throughout the day, as well as occasional one-on-one time with their teacher in order to grow successful relationships within the classroom.
In our students’ first year, they are introduced to play-based learning with the classroom set up in centers. While using the Creative Curriculum, students are taught to learning is fun and will come naturally to them! Each child is given the opportunity to learn through a variety of different subjects, based on their own desires and interests. This is a gateway for us, as educators, to introduce them to new experiences, thoughts, and vocabulary. Children in this classroom will have a great time as they learn beneficial life and academic skills. Our students are ready to learn, and approach it in an engaging way that allows them to feel happy and enthusiastic!
At three years old, children are just learning about their spirituality. Through the Virtues of Practice curriculum, developed by the Dominican Sisters of Nashville, our students are exposed to the introductory values of the Catholic faith. Teaching children what it means to have faith and reverences is done through drawings, conversations, and play!
St. Athanasius Preschool also participates in going to weekly Mass on Tuesday mornings. Every week, the children join their fifth-grade buddies, who mentor them through their spiritual journey. Introducing them to the church at this age is beneficial for them to be comfortable and feel accepted in this environment. This allows the students to feel welcomed when they join in with their buddies, who serve as a moral role model as they continue their education and Christian values through their years with us.
Through the teaching practices of the Creative Curriculum, students are given the tools to learn how to properly manage their feelings and how to engage their peers in conversation.This is one of the most important skills for young children to learn, as it can benefit them through their entire lives. Children at three years old are beginning to speak in two-way conversations, and the teachers at St. Athanasius supply the proper language building tools for the children to become successful in managing their surrounding.
Children are so excited to move their bodies in so many ways. In our classroom, it’s more child-specific. Each child develops at a different pace, and making sure that we are providing the proper support to allow them to grow as individuals. As teachers, we understand this concept and do everything we can to naturally encourage each child’s developmental milestones through their early years. Modeling and teaching children how to increase their mobility, balance, and flexibility through time in our P.E. class, outside play space, and gross motor activities in the classroom are all ways we help our students progress.