Polar Bears

Pre-Kindergarten Curriculum Information

Our Pre-K program focuses on providing a balance of developmentally and academically age-appropriate experiences that are essential to early childhood education. Our students are continuously building on and mastering various skills through a variety of different lessons, centers, activities and experiences.

Our weekly lesson plans include pre-reading, pre-writing, pre-math, oral language, science, cooking, and art.  In addition to these planned lessons, teachers provide the opportunity for daily experiences through imaginative play, manipulatives, motor and sensory activities, and fine and gross motor activities.  Students are encouraged to explore through play and to try new things.  Little Oak’s philosophy has always been that children learn wonderful things about themselves and the world around them through play and exploration.

For many years we have consulted with area kindergarten teachers from both private and public schools asking what skills and abilities they like to see a child bring with them to kindergarten.  From those lists we created our “Kindergarten Readiness Curriculum” for our Pre-K students. Our Pre-K program is equivalent to most Junior Kindergarten programs in the area. Our goal at this level is to provide our Polar Bear and Brown Bear students with exposure to the social and early academic skills needed for their continued developmental and academic growth and success.

To better prepare our Pre-K students for entry in kindergarten they will be experiencing many different areas of social interaction, academic preparation through age specific lesson plans, and group orientation. We strongly encourage Pre-K students to attend school three or more days a week to help better prepare them for kindergarten.

Academic Preparation

  • Weekly Theme – Each week the teachers present a new theme to the students and plan lessons and activities around the theme of the week.  
  • Letter of the Week – Students are exposed daily to letter recognition, formation, sound sequencing, phonemic awareness and print awareness with each new letter of the alphabet that is presented weekly.
  • Pre-Reading Activities – Through books, felt board stories, puzzles, rhyming and sequencing of events, early reading skills are developed.  
  • Pre-Writing Skills – Through writing practice students further develop their letter recognition and letter formation skills.  
  • Oral Language – Students experience sharing in front of their class and are provided opportunities for observing and listening with their peers through the sharing experience.  
  • Social Studies – Throughout the school year our students learn about different cultures and holiday celebrations through presentations and activities.  
  • Early Math – Activities include rote and written counting, sorting by color, size and shape, number recognition, pattern recognition, calendar skills, and numerical sequencing.  Early math skills are also developed through weekly cooking projects.
  • Science – Our students observe, compare, classify, and discuss experiments and activities and engage in hands-on participation to solve problems and reach a scientific conclusion.  We often incorporate nature walks and working in our Little Oak Children’s Garden. In the spring our students begin planting and maintaining their classroom’s raised garden box.

Fine and Gross Motor Skills

  • Our students develop and strengthen their fine motor skills through regular use of scissors, pencils, markers, crayons, glue, and manipulatives.
  • Gross motor skills are developed through riding tricycles, climbing our play structures, running, skipping, and all other playground activities that involve movement and use of a child’s large muscles.  
  • Our playground swings provide our students the opportunity to develop and improve their spatial awareness, coordination, and balance.
  • Music and Movement – Our students further develop their motor skills, including motor memory and body awareness through the regular use of musical instruments, dance and movement to music, and related teacher led activities.

Art with Miss Jenny

  • Miss Jenny is our amazing art teacher who has created a beautiful environment in Room 8 for our students to create masterpieces while learning about different artists and art history.  Our Pre-K classes work with Miss Jenny weekly and develop the ability to express themselves through a variety of art mediums and other art related experiences. Jenny attended the University College of Ripon and York St. John in York, England where she received her BA in Art, Design and Technology.  She then received her Post Grad in Art from the University of London.  She has also completed many Early Childhood Education units at West Valley College.

Spanish with Maestra Judy

  • Maestra Judy is a California credentialed, bilingual elementary school teacher, with a B.A. degree in Spanish from U.C. Berkeley.  Judy studied at Madrid University in Spain and at the Sorbonne in Paris.  She has taught Spanish to all age groups and was excited to join Little Oak in 2013.  Maestra Judy visits the Pre-K classrooms twice a week throughout the school year and the Bears’ look forward to her Spanish lessons!

Social Interaction and Developmental Skills

  • Children’s Sharing Days – Event where a student brings an item to present to the class.
  • Cooking – Through weekly cooking projects that involve spreading, pouring, counting, etc. students develop many critical skills as well as hand-eye coordination.  
  • Conflict resolution skills are taught and implemented with teacher guidance and support.
  • Communication skills are developed through interaction with peers and teachers.
  • Group discussions of the weekly theme, daily calendar, etc. build confidence and improve group speaking skills.
  • Teacher directed group activities that encourage team building are provided daily.
  • Self-help skills are developed daily through hand-washing, cleaning up after snack and lunch, hanging up coats, etc.
  • Classroom Helper – Students rotate through classroom job responsibilities and learn many important skills through helping their classmates and teachers.

Throughout the month of April our Pre-K teachers work with each student to complete a Kindergarten Readiness Evaluation.  Information obtained from this completed packet will be used to better determine the areas that a student may need to work on prior to the start of kindergarten.  Each family will receive a copy of their child’s completed packet.  At this time, as well as throughout the year if needed, your child’s teacher will discuss areas that may need to be worked on and reinforced outside of school.  This added support and involvement will help to make the transition from preschool to kindergarten a successful one for your child.

For more Polar Bear classroom news, click here.

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