The classroom is organized into different learning centers. Each learning center is
filled with engaging materials and necessary tools for children to experiment with
new ideas and apply skills they have already mastered. Children explore the concepts
in curriculum through planned activities in learning centers that incorporate literacy,
language, writing, art, collage, woodworking, sculpture, construction, drama, science,
sensory, cooking, math, cultural studies, music, dance, computers, puzzles and games.
The learning centers in the preschool and pre-kindergarten classroom support the
curriculum and introduce children to skills that encourage learning and build
Books, puppets, music, poems, pictures, books on tape and flannel boards; the Library
offers children a variety of materials support language and literacy development.
Puppet play between friends helps children develop language and communication skills
essential for life-long learning. Independent reading time allows children to practice
holding books and following the story through pictures as they begin to develop word
recognition. Songs and music help children develop important memorization skills that
will promote early reading. Flannel boards and flannel pieces encourage children to use
their imagination and create their own stories. All of these activities found in the
Library help foster a love for books and reading!
The Writing Center
The Writing Center allows children a place to work on the small muscles in the hands that
strengthen the fine motor skills needed in learning to write. Materials such as lacing
beads, sewing cards, stencils, and play dough encourage children to practice fine motor
skills. As children develop the ability to hold crayons and pencils, materials that
encourage writing are introduced. Materials such as pencils, clipboards, and picture
dictionaries offer inspiration and imagination takes over as children use paper and
envelopes to create "cards" for a family member. By adding pictures of food and some
glue sticks, children are motivated to create restaurant menus for the dramatic play area.
By integrating the Writing Center into the entire classroom, children learn to write by
doing things they love to do such as making games, labeling their sculpture in the gallery,
or copying a favorite cookie recipe to take home. Learning to write becomes part of the
Like any artist, children too need a studio. The Studio is made up of a variety of
learning centers including, art, collage, woodworking, and sculpture, all stocked with
materials to inspire the artist in any child! The Studio provides children a place to
express themselves in many different mediums. By manipulating clay, they can create bowls
or cups for the baby dolls in the dramatic play area. Woodworking helps develop their
sense of space and process, and often yields a rather unusual birdhouse! The young painter
is inspired to create a masterpiece on fabric, wood, paper, or cardboard. The imaginative
inventor uses recycled paper towel tubes and foam pieces to create a meaningful sculpture.
Every child is an artist in The Studio!
The Construction Site
The Construction Site is made up of two types of building; large building and small
building. Building with large wooden unit blocks, plastic cylinders, cardboard tubes, and
rubber mats give children the opportunity to plan, build, and demolish! Building with large
materials is an important piece in children's spatial and gross motor development. Through
planning and problem solving, children work together to build structures and in turn learn
a tremendous amount about space, size, gravity, and volume. Once the structure is built,
the children discover as much from its demolition as they did in its building. How far
does it fall? Does it make noise when it falls? Cause and effect discoveries help
children understand how they impact the world around them. Small building at tables using
Lego bricks or small blocks helps children to develop their fine motor muscles while they
create a small scale building. Small building allows children to work independently, so
planning and building decisions are their own. Building independently or with a team
strengthens the child's understanding of how pieces can be manipulated to create a larger
whole, teaching them early math skills in the process!
The Theater combines the dramatic play, music, and dance centers into a magical place where
children can use their ingenuity to act out their imaginations! Dress up clothes, shoes
and hats inspire children to be princes and princesses from far way kingdoms. Dressing
and caring for baby dolls help children develop a sense of empathy and self esteem.
Role-playing encourages children to practice different social situations and develop
language to communicate with family and peers. Playing a variety of musical instruments
help children distinguish between sounds and learn about rhythm and pitch, all vital to
early literacy. Dancing allows children to be free! Moving to the beat of a drum or a
special song allows children to develop a sense of their bodies in space. Gross motor
muscles used for balance and coordination are used and refined through dance.
Incredible experiments take place in The Lab! Math and science skills are put to practice
as children test theories of "What will happen if...?" Planting seeds in soil, weighing
rocks on a balance, measuring the length of the classroom, all take place in The Lab.
Children start to develop an understanding of how plants grow, how water moves, and what
type of birds live in our neighborhood by testing, observing, questioning, experimenting,
and discovering. Children use magnifying glasses, magnets, water droppers and microscopes
to investigate natural and synthetic materials. Items are sorted, categorized, counting,
and subtracted. Children use rubber bands to create shapes, beads to create patterns, and
units of measurement to determine width and length. Through manipulation and
experimentation, children acquire early math and science skills and understanding that will
help them sort, categorize, hypothesize, and make conclusions about the world around them.
Measuring, mixing, stirring and pouring... The Kitchen is a place where things are made.
Children learn the process of how things are created. By spooning flour into a measuring
cup, children learn about volume. By stirring ingredients together in a bowl, children
learn parts to whole concepts. And by enjoying a warm oatmeal cookie at snack, children
learn that hard work pays off! In The Kitchen, children are encouraged to be vital part
of the classroom community. By preparing snack for their peers, they learn responsibility
and develop pride. Setting one cup and one plate for each person at snack develops
one-to-one correspondence, an early math skill. The Kitchen is a place for all the
senses... what does it feel like? Does it have a scent? Questioning and answering in
The Kitchen helps children develop vocabulary and language skills. Learning how bread
is made gives a sense of history and an understanding of the process things go through
to be created. Many classroom favorites make their way home to be shared among family and
friends, creating a sense of community beyond the classroom walls.
The Cultural Center
The Cultural Center is a place for finding a location on a map, trying to pick up cotton
balls with chopsticks, or listening to a beautiful song sung in French. Exposing children
to cultures different from their own helps children learn to understand and accept
differences in people. Our community and our world are made up of many different types of
food, music, transportation, clothing, languages, art, celebrations, and traditions. The
Cultural Center offers children a peek at the world outside their doors. Playing a game
of dominos or mancala strengthens children's social and math skills, while teaching them
that many of the games we use today in our society were originated in other countries and
by other cultures. Recognizing flags from different countries and finding the country on
the map help children learn geography. Most importantly, The Cultural Center will act as
a special place where children in the classroom can share their own culture and traditions
through games, activities, family pictures, and children's own storyboards.