It is exciting to be part of a Preschool Program at Small Steps. Each day is filled with new possibilities for the curious preschooler. Age group: 2.5-4.5 years old, it is run at a 1:8 ratio.
We follow the ELECT (Early Learning for Every Child Today) document for our programming. Our day consists of a combination of teacher planned and child directed activities. These activities are all based on the teacher's observations of the children. They reflect learning and skill building in the Domains of Social, Emotional, Communication, language and literacy, Cognitive and Physical.
In the Preschool Room, the Registered Early Childhood Educators provide an enriched curriculum with activities that are stimulating and provide learning in a multitude of areas. Our goals are to foster independent thinking children that have the ability to tackle new tasks with confidence. We provide opportunities for learning the will enhance social skills, self-help skills and cognitive ability. The teachers base their activities on their documented observations of children, ensuring the child's interest in the activities. This also ensures that children's individual needs are met.
Language and Literacy skills are developed with the use of stories (and repletion of stories) songs and finger plays. These help to build vocabulary, letter recognition and pre-reading skills. Children are asked "what if" type of questions to help promote their use of language and vocabulary, as well as building their critical thinking skills.
Group activities are meant to engage children in social interactions to help build their interpersonal skills and self-regulation (behavioral) skills. These skills help your child build confidence in their ability to handle new environments and social settings (such as school or birthday parties) in which they may not be familiar with all of the participants. They also help foster your child's ability to focus when there are distractions, receive information with others, to speak in front of others, turn taking, and following instructions. Some activities, such as circle time set routine into the day and help set the routine, which is the beginning of telling time.
Pre-math skills are introduced through matching, patterning, sequencing, and quantitative concepts. You will find these "hidden" in our play with sensory items, manipulatives (lego, for example), puzzles, lacing and floor toys such as cars.
Group times help to foster your child's ability to focus when there are distractions; learn to receive information with others, to speak in front of others, to take turns and to follow instructions. It helps to set routine into their day as well, which is the beginning of telling time.
Creative activities are a wonderful way to encourage self-expression as well as being rewarded for individualism. Children learn not only their colours but also how to make colours (science!) Eye- hand co-ordinations as well as fine motor skills are enhanced and help to set the stage for printing.
The Dramatic centre is also an amazing way for children to role-play and practice newly learned social skills, empathy and sharing in a safe way.
At Small Steps, preschoolers will follow a tailored program plan on weekly basis to develop basic skills as to part of their developments physically and mentally. Here is an example of a typical program plan to help parents better understand your little ones' learning details:
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