Welcome to the CHUM Virtual Tour!
During the school day our students have the opportunity to learn through play with this schedule.
They are given the opportunity to make decisions about choosing where they would like to start their day and how they would like to use their time during that portion of their day.
Our classroom is two rooms, first is the art room. This part of the classroom is where the students start their day playing in the sand table, with play dough, creating pictures. Every class the students will work on creating art; either drawing, gluing, cutting a project that is shown during the first circle time.
The second part of the classroom is the circle room; this room is used for the 2 circle times, taking attendance, reading stories. This is also where the imagination takes place. Toys are switched monthly to follow along with the curriculum that is being taught. Many things change within this room including posters, books, the students art work, and the listening center.
Goals for our 3 year olds
There are some goals for the year for students enrolled in our 3 year old class :::
*Each child will have a positive first school experience in a safe environment.
*Each child will learn to look to an adult other than a parent for direction and support.
*Each child will learn to interact with a group of her peers in a socially acceptable manner.
The reason for the above stated goals is that a child's learning is greatly enhanced once their social, emotional and physical needs are met. That being said, we don't ignore academics at CHUM, it just doesn't 'look like learning' as we adults have in mind.
We have a variety of pre-reading, pre-writing, and pre-math activities available to the children on a daily basis.
Goals for our 4 year olds
Here are some goals for students enrolled in our 4 year old class :::
Building upon the skills and success the children achieved in our 3’s program, the following goals are set with the expectation of mastery by the majority of students by end of the school year-
* Recognize and write own name
*Learn to use scissors effectively
*Identify 10 basic colors
*Identify 9 basic shapes
*Confidence to speak in front of the group
*Listen attentively while peers and/or teacher are speaking
*Listen and follow a 2 or 3 step direction
*Understand the concept of numbers (how many)
*Identify numbers and letters (not all, but understand the concept of print)
*Recite full name, parent’s names and address and phone number
Goals for all Students
Let’s look deeper into some of the goals we have for students.
Increase Vocabulary through conversations, songs, finger plays, stories & descriptive language regarding children’s play.
Develop Phonological Awareness
Saying rhymes and singing songs, making rhyming words and noticing that words ‘start the same’ (Madi, Mrs., Mom). Every morning during the first circle time our students sing this song. The all begin to be able to sing the song on their own. Adding the element creating the pattern to tap along to the beat helps the students learn rhythm.
Develop Knowledge of Print
Written language caries a message, dictations reflect the child’s thoughts. taking dictation from a child so they can see the connection between the spoken word and written word AND it can be read back "just like I said it". Each month as the bulletin board is changed a new question is asked of the students.
Demonstrate an Understanding of Letters and Words
Writing orders in the ‘pizza parlor’, using alphabet magnets to write their own, family members, or classmates names, pointing to letters and stating “that’s my J for Julia” or “Madi and Nora both have a’s”. When taking attendance or giving out jobs for the day, our teacher will spell names or have the child look for their name. Throughout the school year she will also ask them to say their last name or parents names when their name is called.
Develop Pre-reading Skills
Pre-reading includes the following: recognizing their own and their friends names, being read to in the book corner or at group time, holding a book upright, turning pages front to back, reading left to right, "reading" the pictures by telling the story in the child's own words, and reading out loud together a familiar book at circle time that is repetitive (Brown Bear, Brown Bear). We also have songs and finger plays daily.
Develop Pre-writing Skills
Pre-writing includes: all fine motor activities - lacing beads, coloring, painting, sorting beans, squishing play dough to strengthen the pincer grasp so a pencil can be held correctly. Once the children can control a writing utensil, they are encourage to 'write' their own name on their art projects.
Develop Pre-math Skills
Pre-math includes: sorting - you need to know a red block from a blue one before you can distinguish a 3 from an 8 (or a b from a d), classifying by attribute - you need to know the names of shapes and descriptive words, counting (on the calendar, in songs and finger plays and objects), comparing - using physical objects to represent more and less, block building - it takes 2 squares to make 1 rectangle.
The students during the school day get “jobs” to help make the classroom work. This fosters responsibility and also pride in a job well done.
Two of the jobs students have a turn at are the “five minute flower” and the “bell
ringer”. The five minute flower alerts the students that it is time to choose one more thing to do or to finish up their activity. Then the bell ringer will ring a bell to announce it is time to clean up.
All the students help to pick up both rooms of the classroom.
The leader (also the working parent's child) will bring snack and pass it out and then two more students will pass out cups and napkins. We encourage healthy snacks with at least one fruit of vegetable to promote an example of healthy eating habits and to help nourish our young learners. If any child has a food allergy, that food item is not allowed as a snack. Our school and our snacks are always peanut and tree nut free. We provide examples of safe snacks to make shopping for snacks easier.
When snack is set at the table. The students enjoy their snack after hear what the leader brought.
An Example of a Learning Unit
Last month was our DINOSAUR unit. This is a favorite among many of our students.
Throughout the unit the students will create dinosaur crafts, read books about dinosaurs, play with dinosaurs in the sensory bin, sing songs about dinosaurs, and there is even a creative play center with....you guessed it, DINOSAURS!
However, the activities below are probably the highlight of the month. In this video and picture, our 4 year old class works on making fossils and both classes were able to crack open dinosaur eggs. Through these activities the students are learning science concepts (how fossils are created and cause and effect with cracking eggs and mixing the dough), Math concepts (counting scoops for the dough and using tools of measurement), along with strengthening fine motor strength (stirring, manipulating dough, and using a hammer and a nail to break open the fossil egg and a toothbrush to wipe away debris).
At the end of the school day the kids go out to the playground and play. The climbing, jumping, balancing, and running that children to when playing outside, helps to develop their gross motor muscles. The children love the fresh air and the opportunity to freely move their bodies. On the days we are unable to play outside, our teacher will lead an indoor activity that works on gross motor development.
Field Trips and Visitors
During the school year we will have visitors come to provide additional education on topics or just to get our students moving.
Visitors to CHUM provide information or expertise that supports our learning at school. Bylooking to others, we are engaging in our larger community.
At CHUM Preschool we have monthly field trips for our four-year-olds and field trips every other month for our three-year-olds. This offers the children a chance to have experiences and learn beyond the classroom. Some of the experiences are not available to the general public such as our Mancino’s Pizza field trip where the children tour the kitchen and make their own pizzas. Sometimes field trips are to introduce a new experience such as our visit to Kalamazoo Public Transportation, new
family activity like going to Harvest Moon Acres, or to learn from those with expertise such as our lessons from the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Occasionally after these field trips there will be a follow up activity to further build upon the experience. This year the three-year-old students visited a dairy farm and the next classroom day, the students made ice cream together.
Some field trips line up with our creative play centers and allow the students to recall the experience and take on the adult role in a safe way. This is true with our fall field trips when the students go to the pumpkin patch, Fire station and Mancino’s Pizza. After those field trips we have set up in our creative play room; a pumpkin patch market, Firefighting gear and
equipment, and a pizza parlor. Regardless of where our students go, field trips offer time for fellowship and a chance to further
get to know one another.
Additional Learning Opportunities
As a KCReady4’s supported preschool we are offered the opportunity to engage the whole family in an activity within a content area (math/science) together at no cost to the preschool. This shared experience models for parents and myself techniques to engage preschoolers and their siblings in learning opportunities that occur organically in our daily lives. This relaxed time together culminates in conversation, the breaking bread and a take away to be used at home.
Munch and learns happen after class, parents will join in instead of picking up after school.
Part of our school that might not seem so obvious when coming in for a tour, is that throughout the school year we rotate the toys every 4-5 week. This is to keep the children’s interest and to build on skills from earlier in the school year, (having a skinny peg board after manipulating a chunky peg board) support themes and experiences outside of
school, (apple orchard/pumpkin patch after visiting harvest moon acres - pizza parlor and fire
station after visiting Mancino’s and the fire station) and to experience the same skills with different
materials (orange ‘pumpkin’ pompoms with tongs to place 1:1 on pumpkin patch then pink
pompoms with smaller tongs to place into a small bottle).
Thank You for Your Time!
Thank you for joining us on our virtual tour! If you have any questions please let us know. You can call us at 251-2131 or email us at email@example.com. We hope this gives you an idea of how we address academics here at CHUM. The children think they are just playing but we provide materials, time and support that build the foundation for future learning.