When children arrive they hang up their belongings, change to indoor shoes, and practice greeting each other and teachers as they prepare to say goodbye to caregivers. The transition from home to school include these practical life skills as well as early math and literacy rituals, like being read an arrival message and participating in a question of the day.
Welcome Proposals for Discovery and Explorations
Children then begin exploration in a variety of centers where thoughtful proposals are staged by teachers to introduce children to experiences including art, sensory, science, math, literacy, blocks, sand, and water. During this time, teachers assess, observe, and document each student's progress and interactions.
Children gather as a whole group to build a responsive classroom in which they set expectations and plans for the day. They often begin with movement play, practice greeting games and rule creation, and then engage in early learning activities that integrate counting, rhyming, and patterning.
Active Play and Outdoor Learning
Children develop large motor functions through group games, outdoor play, dancing, and community walks. Appreciation for the natural world is developed through gardening, observation of seasonal changes, and exploration of living things. This time includes right brain / left-brain exercise, literacy development, and socio-emotional growth.
Many practical life, safety, and care rituals are incorporated in the day. Hand washing allows children to practice health and wellness skills. They learn a routine and procedure that is consistent and can be followed at home, too.
Snack and Story
Children come together for a nutritious snack of fruits, vegetables and water. Using real glasses and plates, they practice trying new foods, table manners, and having thoughtful conversations. Teachers may highlight classical music or read a story. Occasionally, they will take a survey of preferences to practice real-life math or discuss the division of the snack to explore quantity, fractions, and simple math concepts.
Inquiry and Research Groups Planning
For small group study, children and teachers create an emergent curriculum around their interests. They begin the meeting by returning to their observations, questions, hypothesizes. Teachers often introduce materials, language or concepts that children may use to take their process and interests further.
Then children make decisions about the center or group that will allow them to do their research, investigation and exploration. Each group is usually with a teacher who is guiding, observing, documenting and encouraging children to take their process farther.
At the close of the day, children meet to reflect on their work and possible next steps. This time often incorporates an exercise in mindfulness, gratitude, guided movement, or a reflective protocol like Visual Thinking Strategies
Children enjoy nutritious lunches together within their classroom communities.
To transition to go home at the close of the day, children change shoes, gather their belongings and say goodbye, often mentioning what they are looking forward to when they return to school.