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infant excited by a toy a teacher is playin with

Learning through Play

Many centers talk about play in their curriculum, but often offer structured lessons based on a purchased, scripted curriculum or traditional primary-grade direct instruction, worksheets and skill drills. We create a learning environment where teachers set the stage to excite children's learning. Your child can select activities that are created to meet his or her individual needs and strengths.

Literacy Gains Power

Children learn the power of literacy when it is part of their play and daily activities. For example:

The bus needs a sign: a few children build a bus using big blocks and chairs and the teacher asks, "When I see a bus there is usually a sign on the front telling people where the bus is going. Where is your bus going? How can you let people know?" The children respond, "A sign." The teacher then asks, "Would you like to make a sign that will tell people where your bus is going?" The children say "yes" and find materials to help make a sign for their bus with the teacher. Literacy gains power.

Mutiny in the classroom: a preschool classroom decides they will no longer listen to their teacher Susan because "she is too bossy." They start chanting, "We hate Susan." Susan replies that there are rules in the school that are very important, and that the book of rules is in the office." The children chant, "No more rules!" and "We want to see the book." After visiting the office to see the book of rules, Susan gathers the children in the reading area and prepares to write on flip chart paper. She says, "When grownups get mad about rules, they try to change them. What rules do you want to change?" We want a TV in the block area!" We want ice cream at lunch!" Quickly, the children list many new rules they want. While making the list, their anger starts to dissipate; then, they are able to resume their play and activities. Literacy gains power.

I can't find my lovey: often, children have a special blanket or toy called a "lovey" that is part of their sleeping routine. Sometimes when it's nap time, the lovey is missing. The child is upset and not able to settle down for a nap. The teacher asks, "Would you like to make a sign about your missing lovey?" The teacher and child make a sign; go to the office to make copies; and visit other classrooms where the child explains his missing lovey. After visiting several rooms, the child learns that someone has found the lovey and returned it. Literacy gains power.

In our literacy-rich environment, the curriculum also includes experiences with music, movement, art, language, mathematics and science in an educational program that encourages the acquisition of concepts and skills through experimentation and discovery.

Updated 12/11/2014