The 3/4s Preschool program is the gateway into a child's experience at New City School of St. Louis.
Starting with our theme, "All About Us", a child begins the process of learning about him or herself, as a person, as a learner, and as a member of a group. One of the most important goals of the curriculum is to help children develop both their intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences. We believe that the social-emotional well-being of a child influences all other areas of his or her development and cognitive growth.
Our theme studies are woven throughout the day in everything we do as we help students learn to work and play with others, to express their feelings and learn about themselves. Each student brings to school a variety of family experiences. We use this diversity to help students learn to respect individual differences, as well as celebrate each child’s unique cultural background.
Hands-on, experiential activities, such as self portraits, body murals, and the "Look at Me Then, Look at Me Now" project, provide students with many opportunities to look at him or herself as an individual, as a member of a family, and as a good friend. Throughout the year, the children engage in a variety of multiple intelligence activities related to this all-important theme. Centers, as well as small group and whole class instruction times, serve as the avenue for developing the foundational understanding for reading, writing and math.
Three- and Four-Year-Olds...
tend to be curious, friendly, active and VERY loving. They learn best by playing and exploring, examining and manipulating real-life objects.
Play is a crucial component of how a young child learns best, so we consciously design the play environment to promote the development of cognitive skills. Children are constantly asked to think about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Play helps build self-esteem, problem solving and communication skills, abstract thinking, imagination, empathy, risk taking, and ultimately the development of academic skills. Play is a child’s work!
Children at this age are still fairly egocentric and often base decisions on their personal interests; therefore, they still need adult guidance to try something new or understand another’s perspective. Repeated modeling and ongoing practice of appropriate ways to communicate permeate the cooperative environment of our classroom. We utilize the Responsive Classroom model, which aids in the development of our classroom family. Each student is an integral part of our community and is responsible not only for him/herself, but for his/her friends as well.
Top Ten Things You Should Know about the 3/4s
Person of the Week: Through personal posters and family interviews, children use their intrapersonal intelligence to showcase themselves and their families.
Metamorphosis: Our growth and a caterpillar’s growth are captivating naturalist activities which allow students to watch nature develop.
Dr. Seuss Week: Children celebrate the fun and silly stories of beloved author Dr. Seuss.
Pajama Day: Bringing home and school together is such a fun day, as is getting to go to school in our pajamas!
Share Bear: This weekly visitor gives each child the opportunity to share information and practice turn taking.
Service Opportunities: Learning about others in our community and how we can give of ourselves is our ultimate goal. Some past experiences have involved singing with our elders at a senior complex.
Baby Week: Children share their baby photo and some cherished stories with their classmates.
Camping: Children enjoy bringing the outdoor experience into our classroom with sleeping bags, s'mores, and campfire stories.
Spring Preprimary Show: Children use their musical and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences to share all about friends and family.
Photography and Voice Thread: Children use technology to enhance linguistic activities by taking photographs of favorite spaces around school, and record their reports of each space.
A Typical Day in the 3/4s
8:30-9:00 Outdoor Play on the PrePrimary Playground
9:00-9:15 Morning Meeting
9:15-10:20 Centers and Snack
11:00-11:25 Shared Reading or Science/ Math
11:25-11:50 Music and Movement Specialist Class
11:50-12:00 Preparation for Lunch
12:30-1:00 Puzzles and Readers' Workshop
1:00-1:15 Dismissal and Good-Bye Song
1:15-2:45 Rest Time for those Children Staying All Day
2:45-3:15 Choice Time
3:15-3:30 Reflections on the Day; Dismissal
Click here for more details on the 3/4s curriculum.