Pre K/K Intentions: The Pre K/K is dedicated to providing warmth, mutual respect and a child driven education. Warmth will be provided through an interactive, home-like environment. Mutual respect is based on healthy relationships, recognizing the children as capable beings and treating them as such. A child driven education will be constructed by listening to and supporting the children’s ideas and providing them the tools to reach their own conclusions and build on to their knowledge. Our main focuses will be shelters, breads, maps and bio-mimicry.
Maps, Making Maps, Reading Maps, Storytelling through Maps: There is a huge interest in maps in our class. Studying maps entails so many different ideas: symbols, orienteering, following paths and routes, directions, storytelling, scale, measurement, environments, etc. So we are exploring all the different ideas necessary to use and make maps. Investigating maps is inherently linked to place and storytelling. Using maps effectively requires many different intelligences: visual, spatial, social, tactile and kin-esthetic. Using maps and making maps keeps us out in nature, which is a favorite spot to be in the Pre K/K classroom. The children started the year with quite a bit of map knowledge. Everyone agreed: “X” marks the spot and maps mean treasure! To support that interest, we are sending (via US Mail) a large map from home to home, having Pre K/K families mark their route to the Co-op and bring in a treasure from home.
Bio-mimicry: Bios=life/Mimicry=imitate. We feel that nature is an important learning tool that should be embraced and utilized: nature inspired design, nature driving inquiry, natural materials abound. It seems natural. Specifically, Pre K/K is exploring birds, their habitats, life cycles, anatomy, nests and anything else we wonder about birds. We will be taking field trips to the Cascade Raptor Center throughout winter and spring terms.
The World is a Stage: Plays, act-outs, shows, dances, magic tricks, jokes, and so much more…Developing casual dramatic play into legitimate theater is a very consuming, yet quite satisfying endeavor for this age group. Casting and directing builds social skills, developing characters, plot, and setting creates a foundation for early literacy, and the on-stage performance supports physical activity and confidence building. Live theater is truly an all-encompassing activity, intellectual, personal, social, and physical.
Breads, Homes & Cultures of the World: We have people in our classroom from all over the world. We are all very different. Nature teaches us that diversity is a necessary part of evolution and development. We want to familiarize ourselves with different cultures from around the world through studying bread, shelter, song and stories. Our map study helps us to visualize the different places, shelters, breads and cultures we have investigated. Also, shelters are really fun to play in and bread is really fun to make and eat!