Going to preschool for the first time is exciting as well as a bit frightening! This is often a child’s first experience in a group setting away from home. At Rose Marie Academy, we try to make this transition as smooth as possible by providing a warm, inviting environment and fostering close communication between family and school.
Arrival and Free Choice
The day begins with arrival, greeting, and personal sharing with the teacher. Then children have the choice to spend time at different centers in the classroom or engage themselves in the use of various items prepared by the teachers. Having choice time is important because children learn through play.
The day formally begins when the class comes together on the carpet for music, story, alphabet or number exposure, or some topic related to a theme. Large group time is used to discuss plans for the day and reviewing or introducing concepts. This time also includes attendance, jobs, calendar, and sharing.
Work Time (Center Time)
Activities are related to a broad selection of goals and there is always a follow-up to themes or topics presented earlier. Children work in small groups thus enabling the teachers to guide learning activities or engage in direct instruction with individuals as needed.
Snack and Playground Time
Snack time acts as a learning experience of sitting together, having communal conversation, and eating. Sharing and table manners are emphasized as well. Outdoor time develops the children’s gross motor as well as their social skills as they learn to play cooperatively with other children.
This time is set aside to give children the opportunity to finish their work. There is a period for cleaning up and restoring center materials to their proper location.
This time is used to discuss together what children have done that day. It includes presenting children’s accomplished project for the day and showing appreciation by praising their individuality and creativity.
As there are specific needs every year, the curriculum is planned around a theme that students have identified as a learning topic or that the teacher has selected based on children’s interests. The teacher usually elicits ideas from students about various topics of interests at the start of the school year. Different themes are then incorporated in class using the skills listed in the curriculum. Previous knowledge of different subjects is not a prerequisite as exploration and observations are used as teaching-learning tools. Self-help skills and creativity are encouraged. At this level, children are given opportunities for literacy and numeracy growth.
Some topics/ themes at this level are:
Me and Myself, Families and Responsibility, Animal Families and Interdependence, Weather, and Earth is My Home.
Arrival and Playground Time
Child Center Children working Students are provided with thirty minutes free-play on the playground. Outdoor time develops the children’s gross motor as well as their social skills as they learn to play cooperatively with other children. During this time they are supervised by the teacher and teacher assistant.
The day formally begins by coming together on the carpet area for music, stories, alphabet and number exposure, or some topic related to a theme. Large group time is used to discuss plans for the day and reviewing or introducing concepts. This time also includes attendance, classroom duties, calendar and sharing.
The core curriculum subjects include Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Students continue discussion about the thematic unit already introduced during Circle time. During this time students are actively engaged in class participation and discussion about the topic.
Snack time acts as a learning experience of sitting together, having communal conversation, and eating. Proper hygiene, sharing, and table manners are emphasized during this time.
Rest/Quiet Time/Story Time
Students are encouraged to look at books individually or, if they prefer, to listen to a story.
These include Music, P.E., Swimming, Thai Culture, Library, and ICT classes. During this time the students will be instructed by subject specialists. Thematic units will be integrated into the specialist classes wherever possible.
This is an extension of the morning activity where the students are involved in hands-on activities to explore further the topic introduced earlier. Students may be separated by ability level and work individually or in small groups. Activities may include worksheets, cut-and-paste materials, matching, sorting, puzzles, manipulatives, and individual or group projects. These activities provide an opportunity for the teacher to guide learning activities and engage in direct instruction.
A Summary of C4 Curriculum
Children playing and learning in the Child Center. Everything from C3 level is reinforced and extended. The C4 level is more prescriptive because it is meant to prepare students for the Primary Program. Some common topics or themes covered at this level are: All about Me (Parts of My Body/My Feelings/My Family/My Friends/My Five Senses), Local Culture and Different Cultures, Living and Non-Living Things, My School, The Seasons, Personal Hygiene, Weather, Plants and Seeds, Animals (Farm/Wild), Animal Habitats, Pets, Extinct Animals, Endangered Species, Community Helpers, Transportation, Protecting our Environment, Types of Homes, Landforms, Tools, Space, and other topics which students may want to know more about.
Skills that are mastered at this level are:
- The ability to identify and touch with both hands the various parts of the body.
- Movements up, down, in and out.
- Jumping with two feet together.
- The use of appropriate vocabulary to express feelings, greeting people in Thai.
- Pointing and telling someone where it hurts.
- Listening with interest to stories.
- Identifying both upper and lower case letters.
- Reciting the alphabet, articulating clearly, building a sight word vocabulary, and being able to copy words or sentences when presented with a model.
Some math skills that are mastered at this level are:
- Being able to count to ten and to count a set of ten objects.
- Being able to identify numbers to ten and to count backwards from ten.
- Identifying and drawing some shapes like circle, square, triangle. rectangle, oval, diamond, heart and star.
- Identifying dimensional shapes like sphere, cube, cylinder and cone.
Identifying and creating a pattern.
- Making comparisons like more/less, bigger/smaller, empty/full. heavier/lighter.
- Identifying halves.