A Day at Nursery School
A Morning Class at nursery school is made up of three periods: free play which involves exploration at various classroom centers, group time which includes structured teacher-led activities, and self-directed outside time which focuses on gross motor skill development and individual social/emotional growth. The order of occurrence and length of time for these three periods differ for each age group.
Each classroom is arranged with specific learning centers that include blocks, dramatic play, manipulative toys and cooperative games, easels for art, a variety of books to be enjoyed in a comfortable setting. library, science and discovery, sensory table and music and movement. Each child may spend time in any designated area of the room and may choose an activity according to their inclination each day. Each child is encouraged to use this time intentionally and to interact with other children. Caring for and putting away materials are important parts of free play.
Outdoor play is a fundamental component of each day. Playing on the playground equipment helps develop gross motor skills, offers abundant socialization and conflict management opportunities. We encourage appropriate risk-taking so children can propel their skills forward while learning to navigate their physical limits. Learning to get along with friends, learning about safety on the playground, and using imaginations in new and exciting ways are also important aspects of productive outdoor play. Children play outside daily, weather permitting. In the event that we cannot go outside, a 6,200 square foot indoor room, fondly called "The Big Room,” is set up with a wide variety of play equipment such as tricycles, tumbling mats, climbers, slides, parachutes, balance beams, balls, and hula hoops.
This period encompasses several different areas: circle time, rest time, snack time, and other teacher-planned lessons. Children participate as helpers at family-style snack time, taking turns as cup or napkin helper and serving themselves food and water. We give thanks for our food before eating and encourage the use of acceptable table manners. During quiet time children may listen to music, look at books, or play a quiet learning game. Classes gather together at Circle Time. Number concepts and early literacy skills are presented through stories, flannel boards, and games. The child's music program is rich with songs, rhythms and rhythm band. Fine motor skills are strengthened as the child creates with art materials, manipulative toys such as pegboards, playdough, and puzzles. For 3, 4, and 5 year olds, art is typically created during free play as an interest area individually or in small groups. Toddlers and 2 year olds more often work as a whole group on art projects.