What a wonderful world

In colorful classrooms, filled with inviting materials, children blossom intellectually and socially. Teachers encourage and challenge them to make choices and take risks, try new activities, and explore friendships, but are always nearby for support and comfort.

Much of the learning is organized around concrete themes that have relevance and meaning for young children, like school and family life; transportation and nature, thus enabling them to better interpret and find their place in the world. Engaged in developing these themes, children are able to connect books, songs, discussions, artwork and excursions, and then to apply this knowledge to their growing skills. Together on one floor, with kitchens in their imaginative play room and play areas outside their doors, the Tiny Tots have a cozy niche of their own, but can also enjoy the many resources of the school.

Learning through exploration.

Curiosity, creativity, independence, cooperation and persistence are some of the approaches that enhance early learning and development. A child can find success in school in many ways, and there are various approaches to take. By understanding these various styles that involve children in learning, the Tiny Tots teachers, look for ways to encourage and increase a child’s engagement. These areas of development include, leadership skills, self-motivation, expressive and receptive language, and positive self-esteem to create successful and nurturing learning experiences every day.

The main focus of an early childhood program is to develop children’s social skills. Stable interactions in the early lives of children provides a sense of well-being which enables them to participate positively in classroom activities. Emotional support and secure relationships help children acquire such characteristics as self-confidence and the ability to function as a member of a group. Learning takes place when children use their words, work on their conversational skills, listen to one another and problem-solve. Cooperating, taking turns and empathy are life skills children need for school and for adulthood. Courtesy and manners are also part of life in the classroom.

Children are encouraged, at various times throughout the day, to work independently with materials. Teachers support children in their endeavors, although they are invited to discover ways to complete their work individually or in small group settings. The work may include building with blocks, dramatic play, creating art, fine motor projects, math, language and science activities. This allows children to explore the different areas of the room on their own or with others. Through this work, they further extend and develop their own talents and interests and sustain an independently chosen activity over time.

Tiny Tots 1 – 3 class transition

Tiny Tots 1 through 3 classes, complete the transition from home, learning the routines of group life and finding a comfortable place among their classmates. Because children this age are sensory learners, they are provided with a wide variety of materials for exploration including, blocks, paint, sand, water and manipulatives. Activities are designed to foster the individual’s developing skills and also focus on being able to share materials, take turns and begin to listen, as well as to express their feelings and ideas.

Nursery students can work more independently but are also ready to collaborate with their peers…

Language empowers children to actively and positively participate in both the cognitive and social aspects of the classroom. Experience with written and oral language provides children with the tools to interact with others and to represent their thoughts, feelings and experiences. Listening skills are developed through an exchange of ideas in whole group meetings, small group discussions and shared reading experiences. Emerging literacy is heavily stressed in the classroom. Children work on their pre-reading skills through letter recognition, sound-symbol correspondence and exposure to books.

Children develop such mathematical concepts as sorting, patterning, numeral recognition, informal measurement, estimation and graphing. The children are exposed to these concepts at morning meeting, through games and manipulatives, and when problem-solving situations arise. Ideas and concepts related to math are integrated into specific math experiences, as well as across the curriculum.

Nursery students are given many opportunities to develop both fine and gross motor coordination. They work with materials that involve lacing, cutting, stringing, pouring, drawing and dressing themselves. When engaged in gross motor activities children work on underlying skills such as balance and coordination. They develop these skills through jumping, hopping, running, sliding, and climbing stairs and large structures.

In addition to the rich program we provide, our Nursery students also participate in art, music, story time, imaginative play, dance/movement and activities outside the classroom.

The Nursery class starts the commencement phase of formal english language acquisition by means of phonics. The method adopted by Scarsdale results in students not only learning to identify the sound letter relationship of the alphabet and its shape, but also helps increase their vocabulary and ability to use the word in a sentence. The whole learning process is interactive and the phonetic experience is interwoven with many fun and creative activities. Mathematics is also introduced at this level.

The Nursery class uses many of the same materials but with greater skill and in more complex ways. These youngsters can work independently but are also ready to collaborate with their peers on group block building projects, planning story re-enactments, or constructing wooden houses for the class pet. They assume greater responsibility for their classroom through assigned daily jobs and can direct their increasing attention spans to develop work habits and to delve into selected curriculum units. In addition, they are ready to move out from their classroom, to go to the dance and movement class, the music room and the cafeteria later in the year.

Parents and teachers working together

Tiny Tots parents and teachers are usually in close touch in informal ways and a weekly newsletter is sent home for general class information. Parents are also invited to participate in various classroom activities. Formal conferences are held twice during the year to review children’s cognitive and social development and a report is sent home twice a year, in December and in May.