4s and Young 5s
We nurture a classroom community where each child feels safe, respected, supported, and challenged as they learn and grow. Families are important members of our community and we work closely with you to develop the unique potential of each child. Room arrangement and activities are planned to promote positive social interaction between the children, and between the children and their teachers.
Each day, different manipulatives, puzzles, and age-appropriate games are set up on our large classroom tables. These are selected to provide varied experiences, and to encourage independent exploration.
The classroom is organized into interest areas, including blocks, dramatic play, science and sensory, reading, math, writing and art. These areas are designed to allow children’s activities to overlap between areas. For example, children might use the writing center to create signs for the airport they built in the block area, or to make lists for a turn to paint at the easel. When possible, we arrange the room to allow the children to preserve their work throughout the day, letting children know that their work is valued, and giving them opportunities to reflect on, adapt, and extend their efforts.
Art materials are always available in the classroom, and additional art projects, including painting, collage and printing, are provided daily. These projects are open-ended and focus on the process rather than the product. Art projects challenge and develop children’s fine motor skills, persistence and ability to focus closely on a task. Three-dimensional projects help children express their creativity and develop their spatial relations and problem solving skills.
At Circle Time, the children learn Zoo-phonics, explore our current theme, listen to stories, and participate in music and movement activities. Circle Time helps children learn how to be members of a group, develop their listening and attending skills, and build their confidence to speak in front of the group and contribute their ideas.
During daily Table Time, children work in small groups on activities to develop skills including listening, following directions, and developing kindergarten readiness. These activities include representational drawing, cutting, counting, sorting, patterning and writing using correct pencil grip. Children remain with the same group and teacher for several months, ensuring that each child’s instruction is tailored to their growth and development.
We learn about our community and classroom topics by meeting invited visitors and taking field trips. Field trips include Hidden Villa, the Los Altos Fire Station and the Los Altos Nursery. We visit our Community Center neighbors at the Senior Center and attend Community Center events including the Gingerbread House Exhibit. Invited visitors include community helpers, a dentist, and parents or family members who share their occupation, a talent or a family tradition. In addition, during summer camp we include a special visitor each session.