At First Lutheran Preschool & Kindergarten, we offer a variety of classes for preschool and Kindergarten aged children (ages 2 1/2 through 6).
Our school offering extends into enrichment classes before or after school programs. The children and families at First Lutheran love these additional enrichment classes: KIDMOVES ( movement & dance) DISCOVERY KIDS ( arts & science) , BOOKWORMS (literacy exploration) and SPANISH. All enrichment classes are offered in different sessions throughout the school year and are only available to children that are already enrolled in a preschool class throughout the school year.
The following are our class offerings:
Kangaroos – 2 years old between 3/1 and 9/1 The Kangaroo class meets each Friday morning for 2 hours. It is designed for children who are 2 between March 1 – September 1. Children will be exposed to art and sensory experiences,dramatic play, blocks and floor toys, outside play, and circle times with songs and stories. This class provides an opportunity for parents to participate in activities with their child, form relationships and recieve support from other parents. The class is planned and facilitated by one of our experienced teaching staff.
Lambs 2 1/2- 3 years This class meets two days a week for 2 hours. It is designed for children who are 2 by February. It is primarily a play group – a child’s first exposure to a group experience. They will begin to work on their self-help skills, transitioning from one activity to another and following directions given by an adult other than their parents. Children entering this program do not need to be potty trained. Realizing age doesn’t necessarily mean school readiness, we use the school districts August 31 cut off date for entrance into the Dove and Lion classes.
Doves – 3 and 4 year olds The 2 day or 3-day Dove program are designed for 3 & 4 year old children who are 3 by August 31, and are potty trained**. . the emphasis in these classes is on exploring their world and developing communication skills, social skills and self-help skills. Children will learn to make choices regarding a variety of activities available and practice appropriate behaviors and skills in a school setting.
Curriculum is based on the Creative Curriculum focusing on experiential learning including teacher-directed and child-selected activities. All classes offer art, science, music, dramatic play, stories, and outdoor play. A whole language approach is used in all classes to enrich and support the child’s learning experience. Snacks are provided by the parents on a rotating basis. Birthdays and holidays are celebrated at appropriate times.
Lions – 4 and 5 year olds 3-DAY LIONS or 4-DAY LIONS: These are the two options for Pre-K classes. Children registered in this class need to be 4 by August 31. This class will build on skills learned during the Dove year. To prepare children for Kindergarten, this class will reinforce self help skills and strengthen their self esteem.
All of the classes use developmentally appropriate practices. Activity centers are used at every age level. All classes offer art, science, music, dramatic play, stories, and outdoor play. A whole language approach is used in all classes to enrich and support the child’s learning experience. Snacks are provided by the parents on a rotating basis. Birthdays and holidays are celebrated at appropriate times.
Parents are invited and encouraged to observe all of our classes and ask questions of their current teachers as well as the teachers in their child’s next educational setting. Please check with the director about observation times.
**Youngsters must be toilet trained. This means children must be able to take clothing off, get on the toilet by themselves, wipe themselves, and pull clothing back up. Children must be wearing underclothes consistent with being potty trained, not diapers, or pull-ups. It is also helpful to have children wearing clothing that is easy for them to remove in the bathroom. We realize that four-year-olds occasionally have accidents. Sending a backpack with extra clothes is necessary, especially at the beginning of the year. We have some extra emergency clothes; however, children are most comfortable in their own clothes. Under rare circumstances it may be necessary for a parent to be called if accidents continue to happen on a regular basis.
Kindergarten: In Kindergarten we create an academically challenging program that builds each child’s self-confidence and nurtures a natural curiosity in life and learning. The child of five or six is developmentally building an identity of his/her own and learning to become independent. In addition, socializing, considering the rights and feelings of others, and learning how to resolve conflict are high priorities for this age and thus for our classroom.
As the year begins, children learn to follow class routines and schedules, to work with different people and to plan and choose activities from a wide range of materials and projects. Decision making and time management are also important skills that children learn. Through the morning challenge, group work, classroom jobs, and discussions during meetings, children develop a sense of themselves as individuals and as a part of a group. A notion of community continues to develop with traditions such as The Big Cheese and mixed level exchanges.
We offer open-ended questions that challenge children to think, to guess, and to estimate. We try to ask questions that have many answers. We give students some “think time” so that the child who needs more time to ponder an idea is accommodated. We encourage children to try new activities. Our teachers are there to offer students experiences for their own discovery, and to help them articulate what they have learned.
We use a thematic approach and integrate many subject areas so children can construct a meaningful and lasting knowledge of materials and acquire a multifaceted understanding of the theme. Themes originate with teacher’s interests, response to world events and children’s inspirations. We provide projects that connect the action, feeling, and thinking of components of young children’s learning. In introducing a theme of study, our learning process first considers the child’s previous knowledge or experience with a subject. Inquiry usually follows these steps: posing a question or introducing a theme to the class, finding out what the group knows about the topic, researching the theme in depth using a variety of materials and approaches then summarizing and celebrating what we have learned.
Second Step: The preschool years are very important. We want your child to be as ready as possible for kindergarten. This is not just about knowing letters and numbers. It’s also about knowing how to learn and get along with others. We will be using the Second Step early learning program in your child’s classroom to teach these important skills.
The Second Step program teaches skills in the following four areas:
- Skills for Learning: Children gain skills to help them be better learners,including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, and ask for help.
- Empathy: Children learn to identify and understand their own and others’
feelings. Children also learn how to show care for others.
- Emotion Management: Children learn how to calm down when they have
strong feelings, such as worry or anger.
- Friendship Skills and Problem Solving: Children learn how to make and keep friends and to solve problems with others in a positive way.
Your child will be learning a lot this year—and he or she will need your help! Throughout the year, your child will be bringing home Home Links that go with each of the Second Step Weekly Themes. Home Links are simple, fun activities for you and your child to do together. They are a great way for you to understand what your child is learning and for your child to show you what he or she knows.
If you have any questions about the Second Step program, please contact us for more information. Thank you for supporting your child in learning the skills that will help get him or her ready for school and life.
P.S. Make sure to join www.secondstep.org with the activation key
SSPE FAMI LY68 to get information about what your child is learning
in the Second Step early learning program!