toddler playdoughTeaching the Basics

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Introduction to Preschool: Monday/Wednesday OR Tuesday/Thursday
Messiah’s Kids Preschool offers 2-day classes for children who are 2 1/2 to 3 years old starting in August.
2 ½-3 year old class curriculum: Our Twos class incorporates the basics of the Learning Without Tears Curriculum that the two higher class levels build on throughout the students’ years at Messiah’s Kids Preschool.  The developmentally appropriate program, “Get Set for School”, complements and expands our existing Highscope Pre-K program.
Each classroom uses Learning Without Tears’ proven strategies:
•          Multisensory approach that addresses different learning styles
•          Developmental progression that builds on what children   already know
•          Friendly voice that connects with children
•          Engaging lessons that invite active participation
The focus for one of the youngest of our classes is the Writing and Readiness portion of “Get Set for School”.  This program incorporates child-friendly teaching strategies, such as using music and movement to bring lessons to life, and multisensory manipulatives to build fine and gross motor skills. Our readiness and writing lessons teach body awareness, cooperation, taking turns, listening, crayon grip, drawing, building, letter and number recognition, capital letter and number formation. 
Physical development and social/behavioral skills are particularly important in Pre-K. In fact, children need to develop both fine and gross motor skills to be able to write. All these skills are critical to good emotional and social development and future academic performance. This class focuses on learning to maintain a correct crayon grip, fill-in and in the lines coloring, basic color recognition and applying those colors to everyday items.
We identify the basic 2-dimensional shapes and learn to trace them.  Our level of writing and readiness focuses on tracing lines, shapes, letters, numbers, and first names, rather than forming them on our own like the higher leveled classes perform.
We learn to say the ABC’s from memory and count to at least 10 while also identifying letters and numbers out of their memorized order.
Our class’s main focus is readiness skills that help them develop the social skills necessary for higher levels of preschool and eventually kindergarten.  Students develop communication skills through interactions with teachers and peers, transitioning through the day, calendar and group times, and sharing and interacting with others during play.  We develop the skills needed to empathize with others, participate in imaginative play along with peers, manage emotions, follow rules and procedures, respect others and property, and self-care skills.  We develop gross motor skills along with our fine motor skills.  We work on sorting, organizing, exploring, experimenting, cutting, puzzles, and sequencing.
These are the general skills practiced as we prepare ourselves (readiness) for future school experiences.  These skills and others in the readiness area are developed and taught more specifically throughout the year.