Our first year preschool program is for three and four year olds (Chipmunks) and runs two days each week.
Children must be three by Sept 30 and be toilet trained. There are three Chipmunk classes:
AM Chipmunks – Tues & Thurs – 8:30-11:30
16 children/3 teachers
10 children/2 teachers
PM Chipmunks – Tues & Thurs – 12:00-3:00
10-16 children/2-3 teachers
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A CHIPMUNK
The children arrive and play outdoors until the bell rings. After going inside, they hang up their coats, put their boots/shoes in their cubbies, put on their slippers and find a seat at circle.
Circle begins with a song that might have each child’s name in it. This makes them feel special, helps them recognize each other by name, and encourages new friendships. The Chipmunks learn to listen to each other as they excitedly share stories of what they have done or will do very soon. They may share special treasures brought from home, and engage in movement activities fostering gross motor development.
Snack begins after partners are picked at circle, and hands are washed before eating. Each child will have a turn to bring in the snack to share with his/her classmates several times throughout the year. We sing a song or recite a poem before eating.
Then Free Play starts and the Chipmunks choose an area to play in (house corner, blocks, library, games, puzzles, Legos, cars, slide, etc.). Art projects are available and encouraged so that experimenting, creating, and learning can happen in a slightly more structured manner. It is so important to learn the joys of cooperating, sharing with one another, taking turns through play, and experiencing fine and gross motor skills through art projects.
Clean Up gets underway as we impart the philosophy that cleaning up is fun when done as a group, and necessary after play. The Chipmunks listen for the jobs they are assigned to do with a small group of friends, and when finished, they may go to the book corner and choose a book to look at.
Movement and Story Time reconnects the group to enjoy each other’s company while doing some movement activities before being quiet and attentive for our story listening time. Exposure to books and the written word is an important pre-reading skill. The children develop better listening skills, and learn what the expected behavior is when listening to a story.
Then it is time to get our coats on and be ready for outdoor play until the bell rings for carpool, at which time the children gather to sit on the benches to await their ride home.
Music – Music is a vital part of each day at Acorn School. Our program is designed so that songs and musical activities become an integral part of the Acorn curriculum. Many of the songs and activities have been passed down through the years making Acorn the special place that it is. Creative movement, rhythm instruments, finger plays, song stories and the simple joy of singing are only some of the wys we help children learn to love music during these early years. In addition, Acorn’s special music class one day a week for each age level underlines the important place we give to music in the lives of our children.
OBJECTIVES FOR CHIPMUNKS
- Establish the love of learning
- Separate from parents comfortably
- Develop independence in self-help skills — dressing, personal hygiene, and care for belongings
- Develop a positive self-image and a feeling that “I can do it!”
- Learn to participate in group activities: music, drama, games, and art
- Learn to cooperate and use words to express feelings and solve problems
- Practice good manners and respect for others
- Begin to develop good listening and recall skills
- Appreciate literature through different media: books, flannel board, drama, puppets, finger plays, and nursery rhymes
- Strengthen gross motor skills through climbing, jumping, running, etc.
- Enhance fine motor coordination by manipulating small objects: Legos, blocks, scissors, glue bottles, pencils, Play-Doh, chalk, etc.
- Explore, create, and express themselves comfortably
- Appreciate music
- Appreciate our natural environment
- Identify colors and basic shapes
- Understand the concept of numbers 1-10
- Recognize one’s first name and the letters in it
- Begin identifying upper-case letters in the alphabet
- Play, Play, Play!
Chippie Cheeks is an optional program to extend the chipmunk day.
Objectives for Chippie Cheeks
To provide a safe and happy place for children to further increase their social and learning experiences.
Parents have the opportunity to sign their children up each month.
11:30 Recess – Outdoor time to play with peers and get some exercise
12:20 Library Time – An opportunity to listen to a story, read book or hear music
12:30 Activity Time- A varried program which may include art projects, gymnastics, a hike through the woods, outside play or dramtics, among others.
1:30 Car Pool