Callahan Learning Center – Preschool Class
Being the teacher of a preschool classroom is such a joy! The cognitive skills of four year olds is becoming more sophisticated. They are becoming more confident and independent. Their attention spans have increased and they are eager to learn new things. Being their teacher means watching them make friends, learn problem solving skills, take more risks. It’s a very exciting time in a child’s development.
As the school year progresses, the children in our 4 year old class really start to understand that Kindergarten is just around the corner. To watch the eagerness and excitement in their eyes is truly special! All year long, the class will work on skills that will be necessary for them to succeed in Kindergarten. At Callahan Learning Center we believe that social skills are equally important as academic skills. In our preschool classroom, children will work on academic skills in the areas of literacy, mathematics, social studies, science, art, and music. They will also work on social skills such as – walking in line, sitting on the carpet for circle time, working in small groups, working in large groups, taking turns, and raising their hands just to name a few. The goal of our preschool class is to prepare the children to be successful in Kindergarten and beyond.
The curriculum in the class was developed using Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Learning – the same standards that the Head Start program uses. These standards are researched based and are designed to align with the curriculum used in Kindergarten. Assessments are done throughout the year to ensure that each child is on track for success!
Our staff are highly trained in child development. They understand the importance of planning and implementing activities that are age appropriate and meaningful. Every activity in the classroom has a purpose. Although the children are given time in their day for free play, research has shown that this is when a significant amount of learning takes place. Even in these moments, our staff recognize the progress and development that is taking place. The classroom environment has been designed so that the children are constantly building on prior knowledge and skills. Yet, at times, they are free to choose any activity that they like allowing them to build a sense of independence and self-control.
A Day at CLC for our Preschool Class
Meet Audrey*, a representative 4-Year-Old Attending Our Program.
Arrival – Audrey arrives at the center. She arrives just in time to wash her hands and join the class for breakfast.
Breakfast – The menus at Callahan Learning Center have been developed using USDA guidelines. We are proud to offer a variety of nutritious food options. Today’s breakfast is English muffins, bananas. While the children eat, the teacher talks to the children about the day planned.
Literacy Group – Audrey and her friends settle on the carpet for a literacy lesson, commonly referred to as “circle time”. The children will be exposed to many literacy skills during this time – letter recognition, rhyming, storytelling and sequencing, story comprehension, poems and songs, and many others. They sing songs, play games, use flash cards, read books, and listen to books. But, literacy can be so much more than that! Who said they must stay on the carpet and sit in a “circle”? The teachers at Callahan Learning Center work hard to make sure that classroom activities are enjoyable and engaging. The class might go on a parade, or a scavenger hunt, or a nature walk for their literacy group lesson! It’s all about exposing them to the concepts of literacy while keeping them engaged and having fun!
Small Group – Next, the class prepares for small group time. During this time, the class is divided into two groups. Each group will participate in an activity that is curriculum based and will has a goal of helping children meet a development milestone. They might do an art project or play a game. After each group is finished, they will switch places allowing all children to participate in the activities. Group time is a great time for Audrey and her friends to learn cooperation, how to self-regulate their emotions, and practice fine motor activities.
Outside – Once on the playground, Audrey and her friends scream and run across the grass. This is their time to be free and have fun! We have a large playground that offers plenty of space for the children to be loud, run, explore, and let their imaginations run wild. Not only does outside time allow the children to expel energy, it also encourages use of gross motor muscles, allows their imaginations to work, and helps them have a sense of freedom.
Learning Centers – Back inside the classroom, the preschool class moves on to learning centers. Although it seems that Audrey and her friends are free to just play in the classroom, there is a lot of leaning happening. Studies have shown that a great deal of learning happens during child guided play. The children interact with one another, ask questions, learn social skills, and work on independent skills. This is one of the most important parts of their day. Children are eager and curious by nature. When this curiosity is fostered, children develop a love of learning and become much more successful.
Lunch – Part of our philosophy is creating an environment of community within the classroom. Each child helps to clean up the classroom. The children are encouraged to help each other and to be responsible for the belongings of the classroom. Once the room is back in order, everyone is ready for lunch! Audrey and her friends wash their hands and help set the table. Today’s lunch is baked chicken, steamed broccoli, mixed fruit, a roll, and milk. The class eats family style, meaning the teachers help the children serve themselves and everyone sits at the table together. Table manners and proper social skills are encouraged at meal times.
Nap time – Another important aspect of child development is adequate rest. From 12:30 to 2:30 every day the children will be allowed to rest. Although sleeping is not required, this is such an important time for a child’s development! The teachers play soft music, sit with the children, rub their backs, and tuck them in for a nap. After thirty minutes of rest, Audrey is still awake. Our highly trained staff recognize that children stop napping at different ages. Audrey’s teacher gives her a puzzle that she can do while her friends sleep.
Mathematics – After waking up, Audrey and her friends wake up to find several math games have been set up. Often these games or on the classroom tablets. While these games are teaching valuable math skills, they are also teaching children the value of taking turns. Classrooms technology is vital to ensuring that children are ready for Kindergarten.
Snack – After the children have had fun on the tablets, they have a snack to reenergize for the afternoon. Today, snack is yogurt and granola. Yum!
Group time – It is time for another small group activity. These small group activities are helping prepare the preschool class for Kindergarten. At Callahan Learning Center, we work hard to provide a balance of free play and structured learning. We want Audrey and her friends to be well prepared to succeed in today’s Kindergarten classroom!
Outside – Audrey and her friends are rewarded for their hard work with another time to play outside! Giving children plenty of opportunities to explore and play is fundamental to their development. It helps balance the structure of the classroom while still building skills they need to be successful.
Art/Music – What better way to end the day than with a dance party! Or maybe a group art project. Either way, ending the day with an extracurricular activity such as art or music is a great way to foster a sense of community in the classroom. It’s a time for Audrey and her friends to interact with the teachers and build strong bonds.
Departure – Just as Audrey is cleaning up from her art project her mother arrives to pick her up. She grabs her jacket from her cubby before hugging her teacher good-bye. She has had a great day!
* Audrey is a real CLC Student, her name and image used with permission. The story is representative of a day at CLC, but does not represent a specific day.
**This timeline is a representative day for a child at Callahan Learning Center. Weather, Holidays, Special Theme Days, and many other things can change the actual calendar of a specific day.
|Open Time||Close Time||Teacher||Address|
|Monday||5:00 am||8:00 am||not available||Arrival|
|Monday||8:00 am||8:30 am||not available||Breakfast|
|Monday||9:00 am||9:30 am||not available||Literacy Group|
|Monday||9:30 am||10:30 am||not available||Small Group Activities|
|Monday||10:30 am||11:00 am||not available||Learning Centers|
|Monday||11:00 am||12:00 pm||not available||Lunch|
|Monday||12:00 pm||12:30 pm||not available||Rest Time|
|Monday||2:30 pm||3:00 pm||not available||Mathematics Group|
|Monday||3:00 pm||3:30 pm||not available||Small Group Activities|
|Monday||3:30 pm||4:30 pm||not available||Outside Time|
|Monday||4:30 pm||5:30 pm||not available||Art/Music|
|Monday||5:30 pm||5:35 pm||not available||Departure|