Classroom structure is specifically organized to allow for a balance of active and quiet times. This balance allows children to have the focus and energy they need to participate fully at all times. Throughout the day, children have the chance to take part in large-group, small-group and individual activities. See a sample class day.
Our curriculum is child-centered and focuses on social
interaction. Pre-Academic areas are introduced through large and small
group activities based on children's interests and during "work time".
Those children who demonstrate readiness are encouraged to pursue
learning activities through their 'work'. Teachers plan, question and
process with children in developing a personalized education program
appropriate for the child's developmental level.
Language and Literacy
The teachers strengthen literacy skills by integrating social interaction and language development throughout the day. Children learn to name and classify shapes, letters and numbers and to cultivate other pre-reading skills during circle time, story time, dramatic play, listening and writing centers.
Our library is designed with young children in mind. This special space allows visiting parents, grandparents and children's authors to share their favorite books. It becomes a destination for all students to explore and "read" their favorite books!
Children are exposed to numerical concepts such as patterns, graphs, logical reasoning, number recognition and measurement through exploration in the classroom. These concepts are organically integrated through topics the children are studying. For instance, while studying various animals that fly, children used Unifix cubes to measure their own wing span. Individually, they recorded their numbers on paper and as a class they created a graph of these various numbers. Another favorite area for introducing math concepts is the classroom block area. Using unit building blocks, children begin to learn math properties related to balance, addition and division.
Movement & Music Program
Children learn about themselves and their world through physical exploration, discovery and interaction with their surroundings. The focus of our movement program is geared towards the students' understanding of space, time, rhythm and force. Through the practice of singing, listening and moving, each student begins to develop an understanding of how to make their voices and body's move together.
Each week, all classes attend a Movement & Music class that incorporate creative movement, yoga and physical education. These classes allow students ways to explore
their bodies through the practice of apparatus work (gymnastics), rhythmic activities (creative movement) and object handling (balls, hula hoops, ribbons, etc). Students will begin to cultivate the tools necessary to practice various fine and gross motor skills, such as running, galloping and sliding. Additionally, our tricycle track provides another outlet for the development of many of these gross motor skills.
Our students also build strength and flexibility by practicing fundamental yoga to begin basic motor planning coordination. After warming up, music is incorporated into these movements. Often involving repetition, they encourage children to keep a steady beat, while singing and moving in unison!
Art & Reggio Emilia Influence
The early childhood program found in Reggio-Emilia, Italy, incorporates
an emphasis on the learning environment, process vs. product,
developmentally appropriate practice, and the importance of the
community of learners. In order to allow children a unique space where they can work on prolonged art investigations, we renovated a dilapidated room on the 6th floor to create a dedicated art room. Art also extends our Movement Program. Our classroom teachers communicate with our specialist who creates yoga or movement activities to expand the classroom work into the physical realm.
The Pottery School at Greenwich House, Inc. offers integrates pottery into our students curriculum. Pottery Dave provides hands-on experiences with clay, pottery tools and paints and children are encouraged to learn new skills that allow them to conceive, construct, realize and share artistic ideas with others as they advance at their own pace.
The American Ballet Theatre conducts workshops for our 3s/4s and 4s/5s classes. The program culminates with a field trip for our students and their families to visit the American Ballet Theatre.
Rooftop Playground and Garden
Our rooftop playground features a jungle gym, play house and recently added garden! Now not only can our students build and refine their gross motor skills while enjoying fresh air, but they can learn how to grow plants and vegetables!