Here at Mount Zion, our 3-year-old and 4-year-old preschool programs begin to lay a solid foundation of skills and character in our youngest students. Just a glimpse into our preschool room at Mount Zion and you will begin to see how much fun learning can be!
Each month brings a new theme to explore with many new centers based on that theme. These active, hands-on units are created and developed to encourage exploration and discovery as students dig deep into learning about each new concept. Children are able to learn best when they can interact with each other and their environment. The more variety in presentation of the material and the more they experience it in meaningful ways, the more they will remember. This also helps students to understand the purpose behind their learning. As the themes change, so do all of our centers, giving students multiple opportunities to explore and discover. Schedule a tour and come see how much fun learning can be!
Each day/week brings new learning targets for the students to work on. Learning targets are written in student-friendly language and are linked to standards. For example, one of the learning targets we work on at the beginning of the year is “I can learn to be a part of a classroom community.” In a community, each member has a role and responsibility to the others in the community. We learn about our classroom rules, how they keep us safe and how they help us to work and learn together. We also learn how these rules help us to love God and love people. As part of our role in the classroom community, everyone has a job every day. The students really look forward to their turn to help in the classroom.
Student’s responsibility for their own learning and behavior is key to their long-
term success. One of the ways this responsibility is communicated is through the language of the learning targets. Beginning these learning targets with the student language ‘I can’ or ‘I can learn how,’ expresses to the student that they are capable. Teaching the student that they can learn and they can try, even if they are not able to accomplish the task yet, focuses their attention on what they are responsible for and helps them to develop a growth mindset. With effort, the students will be able to learn how to accomplish these tasks.
Praising the hard work and effort that they put into each task also helps them to develop grit. Grit is the ‘stick-to-it-ness’ that helps students to persevere, even when the task becomes difficult.
Learning about language is a big part of our preschool program. Letter recognition, writing and phonemic awareness are all areas we work on every day. The multi-sensory approach we take to teach these concepts helps to not only activate multiple areas of the brain, but also helps to engage learners with different learning styles. We use a program with songs and motions that give visual, auditory and kinesthetic cues to help students really remember the concept … and it’s fun! The students sing these songs throughout the day and even go home singing them. It gets “stuck in their head.” What a great and powerful tool for learning!
Math is another important part of our curriculum. We work on topics such as number recognition, counting, patterning, graphing, sorting, shape identification, sequencing, measuring, weight, addition and subtraction. We use hands-on materials and play math games together. We spend time working together with partners to help us gain practice and experience using these skills. We use the multi-sensory learning songs to help us understand and remember math concepts as well. We sing about everything!
There is so much to discover about the world that God made! We will explore the science concepts of motion, creation, life cycles, senses, weather and more throughout the year. Our discovery centers are a key component to our science curriculum. We learn things hands-on by actually doing the investigating ourselves. A concept will be introduced at circle or in a story, we will then get the opportunity to work on a specific science activity and have time to dig deep as we investigate and make discoveries for ourselves.
We begin each day with a lesson from God’s word. From the creation of the world to character traits that God desires in us, we will learn how much God loves us and how he wants us to love others. As we learn about these concepts, we will also learn songs to help us remember and apply His word to our lives. Many of these songs are Bible verses. How fun to hide God’s word in our hearts when we can sing and remember it!
As you can see, there are so many ways that our preschoolers learn, grow and discover each day. Learning is fun and your child will have so much fun learning and growing here at Mount Zion!