Preschool

DENVILLE TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SCHOOLS -- PRESCHOOL

PHILOSOPHY

Pre-schoolers with disabilities require specially designed activities which will enhance the development of primary skills in all domains - physical, intellectual, social/emotional and fine and performing arts. We know that children develop physically, emotionally, and intellectually at different rates. Therefore, the curriculum must be responsive to anticipated differences in abilities and interests. At the same time however, teachers, specialists and therapists must guide the children to a common level of preparedness for kindergarten and beyond.

Common among all children, however, is a profound sense of curiosity and a delight in experiences that lead them to a better understanding of themselves, and the world around them. They learn best by doing and they retain most when interacting and sharing with others. They benefit from participation in the selection of activities which the teacher prepares and facilitates according to need.

By designing our preschool curriculum to embrace and accommodate the persity among children, we lead them to the discovery of positive attitudes about themselves and others, and to an enduring enthusiasm for learning. This remains their best hope for continued success in the years ahead.


EQUITY STATEMENT

The Denville Township Public Schools are committed to the achievement of increased cultural awareness, respect and equity among students, teachers and community. We are pleased to present all pupils with information pertaining to possible career, professional or vocational opportunities which in no way restricts or limits option on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, ancestry, national origin, disability or socioeconomic status.

GOAL I: KINESTHETIC LEARNING

There is a pronounced relationship between body kinesthetic development and the acquisition of academic skills. At the preschool level teachers and classroom aids work with occupational and physical therapists to enhance body-kinesthetic development in all children. Inpidual therapy sessions are provided as necessary.

OUTCOMES - Students will demonstrate growth in:

1.1 development of perceptual awareness and sensory integration:
a. body awareness
b. spatial and directional awareness
c. coordination
d. balance, rhythm
e. imitation of body movements
1.2 development of gross motor skills:
a. controlled body movement
b. body stretch and stamina
c. body coordination
d. body flexibility
e. large muscle strength and coordination
f. participation in independent and group games
1.3 development of fine motor skills:
a. small muscle control though use of:
-playdough or clay
-crayons, markers, paintbrushes, etc.
-manipulative toys
-fingerplays
b. small muscle strength though use of:
-playdough or clay
-self-help activities such as turning faucets, zipping, buttoning, etc.
c. eye-hand coordination through use of:
-manipulative toys, games, puzzles, etc.
-art activities
-tracing basic lines, shapes
-filling in spaces within given boundaries with crayon, paint, etc.
-kinesthetic forms of technology (mouse, keyboard, etc.)
-beginning experiences in tracing and printing upper/lowercase letters
in name and numbers 1-5
-manipulating eating utensils
1.4 awareness and development of healthful behaviors
a. sleep, rest
b. exercise
c. toileting
d. personal hygiene, oral health
e. proper nutrition

GOAL II: VISUAL/SPATIAL LEARNING

Long before they are able to learn and communicate through abstract means, children know the world through visual and spatial imagery, by seeing and observing. Drawing, painting, shaping, arranging blocks, and working puzzles and manipulatives are good examples. Therefore Bridges to Learning will include experiences that provide for the nurturing and development of visual and spatial learning.

OUTCOMES - Students will demonstrate growth in:

2.1 seeing and observing
2.2 recognizing faces, objects, shapes, colors, details, scenes
2.3 navigating self and objects effectively through space
2.4 perceiving and producing images in the mind
2.5 using images as a means to recall information
2.6 decoding pictures, maps, charts and graphs
2.7 recognizing numerals 1-5 and simple sets
2.8 identifying clocks and calendars as means of measuring time
2.9 identifying and determining direction, position and location
2.10 distinguishing among like and different objects, colors, shapes, etc.
2.11 creating, discussing and evaluating visual arts in a variety of media including:
a. painting (easel, fingerpaint, sponge, etc.)
b. clay or playdough
c. various textures of paper
d. crayons, markers, chalk, scissors, glue, etc.
e. wood creations with hammer, nails and paint
2.12 creating play structures using blocks.

GOAL III: MUSICAL LEARNING

Musical experiences at the preschool level include listening, singing, rhythm and movement. Such activities serve to make the classroom an enjoyable place where music accompanies and enhances variety of physical and social activities.

OUTCOMES - Students will demonstrate growth in:

3.1 singing voluntarily in appropriate settings
3.2 listening politely and attentively
3.3 responding through voice and movement
3.7 using songs to learn and enhance other skills
3.8 appreciating music as an accompaniment to movement, drama, etc.


GOAL IV: LOGICAL-MATHEMATICAL LEARNING

Young children take delight in the natural world. They are, in the purest sense, practicing scientists and mathematicians. Each day they make countless observations and test innumerable hypotheses. Therefore, Bridges to Learning will include experiences that provide for the nurturing and development of logical mathematical learning processes.

OUTCOMES - Students will demonstrate growth in:

4.1 observing, comparing and contrasting:
a. sets using concepts such as more than, less than, as many as
b. part and whole relationships
c. objects with respect to length, height, capacity and size
d. time and distance
e. temperature
f. introduction to simple formal measurement standards
g. estimation
4.2 classifying:
a. groups or sets by sorting and matching according to property or attributes
b. environmental objects as living/non-living
4.3 establishing sequence and order:
a. copy, extend or record linear patterns
b. describe order of events
4.4 interpreting or predicting causes and effects:
a. describe changes in nature
b. use experience to predict outcomes
4.5 recognizing and distinguishing geometric shapes and their properties.
4.6 counting, recognizing and using numbers 1-10.
4.7 recognizing patterns and sequences in nature and music.
4.8 recognizing whole and half.
4.9 sorting and matching objects by properties or attributes.
4.10 developing and applying problem solving strategies independently and cooperatively.

GOAL V: VERBAL-LINGUISTIC LEARNING

The critical importance of language based learning is evident in virtually all aspects of life and learning. Therefore, Bridges to Learning will include experiences that provide for the nurturing and development of verbal-linguistic learning processes.

OUTCOMES - Students will demonstrate growth in:

5.1 developing listening and pre-reading skills:
a. listen and respond to a variety of preschool level reading materials
b. understand fundamental print concepts:
1. introduction to upper/lowercase letters, beginning with child's name
2. listen for similarity in sounds through rhymes
3. directionality
4. notice return sweep as teacher reads
c. differentiate purposes for listening/reading such as enjoyment, information, etc.
d. expand vocabulary
e. dictate own stories and recognize own words when read
f. identify words used as labels in the classroom environment
g. create pictures to depict story
h. use prior knowledge to increase comprehension
i. select own reading materials to examine during inpidual reading time
j. distinguish between real and make-believe
k share ideas and reactions to readings
l. extend appreciation and understanding of reading materials through drama, art and music
m. listen to and follow directions

n. listen and respond appropriately to artistic performances
5.2 developing speaking skills:
a. strengthen oral muscles through motor exercises.
b. contribute to discussions
c. participate in songs, dramatic role-play and nursery rhymes
d. express thoughts in complete sentences
e. tell and recount stories from presentations and pictures
f. make and respond to introductions
g. talk with others to explore and resolve problems
h. participate in discussions as speaker and listener
i. speak before a group
j. evaluate and generate statements of opinion, personal preference and values.
l. conceive and ask appropriate questions

GOAL VI: INTRAPERSONAL LEARNING

Intrapersonal intelligence provides the foundation for meaningful development in all other areas. Understanding and acceptance of one's strengths, weaknesses and emotions as well as interests, goals and values provides the foundation for all future skills. Therefore, Bridges to Learning will provide for the nurturing and development of intrapersonal learning processes.

OUTCOMES - Students will demonstrate growth in:

6.1 development of knowledge, understanding and positive acceptance of self:
a. recognize and appreciate self-worth and uniqueness
b. acknowledge areas of strength, weakness, need and ability
c. recognize success and feel pride in accomplishment
d. acknowledge personal dignity and physical inviolability
e. associate constructive behaviors with positive consequences
f. persevere in self chosen tasks
g. identification of personal interests
6.2 identification and expression of needs and emotions:
a. identify pictures expressing various emotions and relate to
personal feelings.
b. express feeling in art and music activities
c. role play through drama and puppetry.
d. dictate stories expressing feelings.
6.3 awareness of belonging to various groups, team, etc.

GOAL VII: INTERPERSONAL LEARNING

Interpersonal intelligence facilitates the social interaction necessary for success in school and in life. At this level children learn the importance of helping, understanding and respecting others.

OUTCOMES - Students will demonstrate growth in:

7.1 development of interpersonal skills associated with family life:
a. identify family group members and the roles of each
b. recognize and show affection through words and actions
c. identify and contribute to the needs of a family (love, cooperation, chores, etc.)
d. identify and respect cultural differences among families.
e. recognize that differences among families and people are special
and interesting
7.2 development of interpersonal skills associated with school life.
a. demonstrate ability to separate from home and parents with minimum anxiety
b. accept direction and redirection graciously
c. identify opportunities and demonstrate willingness to share
d. recognize situations that require one to offer or accept assistance
e. accept strengths and weaknesses of others
f. demonstrate appropriate behaviors and responses to various situations
g. express feelings appropriately and respect those of others
h. show appropriate levels of respect to peers and persons of authority
i develop and maintain friendships
j develop leadership, follower/helper and collaborative skills
k identify avoidance techniques and sources of help when threatened
with abuse or harassment from any source.
7.3 development of interpersonal skills associated with play, group and game activities:
a. cooperate, interact and share in group games, activities and facilities
b. observe game rules and procedures
c. play safely, fairly and in a spirit of fun
a. recognize success and feel pride in accomplishment
b. recognize and appreciate self-worth and uniqueness
c. exercise self-discipline and autonomy in self directed activities
d. associate constructive behaviors with positive consequences
e. persevere with self-chosen tasks
f. acknowledge areas of strength, weakness, need and ability
g. acknowledge personal dignity and physical inviolability
7.4 development of interpersonal skills associated with social studies:
a. understand behavioral cause and effect relationships within and beyond
the classroom
b. empathize through stories, songs and drama, people and events of the past and
present.
c. suggest solutions to problems which arise in groups
d. develop an emerging awareness of the care of property and materials
e. share activities with children of other grades within the school environment
f. develop awareness of the need to respect and preserve a healthy environment.

ARTICULATION

Open communication between school and home is an important component to a successful experience for preschool children. Preschool staff are always available to discuss issues of concern with parents. Suitable contact is maintained with kindergarten teachers and interaction with the student population and teaching staff is encouraged.

Additionally, preschool staff and child study team members maintain close communication to insure that each child receives appropriate instruction suitable to inpidual needs.

WORK HABITS

Integrated age appropriate work habits for preschool children include:
-Active Listening/Speaking Skills
-Following Directions
-Organization and Time Management
-Self-help skills

INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS

Preschool teachers utilize a wide range of developmentally appropriate instructional techniques. These include but are not limited to:
-Preparing the classroom environment for maximum exploration and interaction.
-Referring to life experiences as a learning basis.
-Providing opportunities for learning through child initiated play allowing
for limited teacher intervention to guide through next level of learning.
-Providing opportunities for integration of various disciplines in meaningful
contexts.
-Referring to life experiences as a learning basis.
-Recognizing the importance of multi-sensory learning experiences.
-Corroborating with therapists, special teachers and others to enhance themes
or activities.
-Providing opportunities to develop social skills and solve interpersonal
problems.
-Recognizing play as an appropriate method of learning.
-Directing, supporting and facilitating as needed.
-Utilizing available technology to enhance instruction and assessment.

ASSESSMENT

Students

Youngsters begin their preschool training at different chronological ages, with perse prior experiences and at various rates of social and emotional maturation. Research indicates that brain physiology alone may exhibit a three to five year growth differential among children of the same age. It is therefore more reasonable to assess children in terms of their personal inpidual growth and development than to compare them to artificial norms or to one another.

Because we do not expect very young children to take pencil and paper tests, the preschool environment is ideally suited to multiple, authentic forms of assessment which measure both the process and product of instruction. Indeed, these are the only practical means. Such ongoing and frequent forms of assessment may include but are not limited to:

-Parent-teacher conferences
-Formal and informal observations
-Dialogue between teacher and child
-Shared student reflection
-Projects in various media
-Video or audio tapes of special projects, presentations or routine activities and
behaviors that document understanding, growth and progress
-Teacher check lists and narratives that document such attributes as:
+motivation
+responsibility
+confidence
+problem solving
+teamwork
+appreciation and tolerance of persity
+positive work habits
+development in multiple intelligences
-Portfolios of routine and best work
-Audio tape of child speaking, singing, etc.
-Self-portraits and other pictures

Instruction

Strategies for assessing instruction may include but are not limited to:
a. self assessment
b. peer coaching and consultation
c. formal evaluation
d. supportive supervision
e. student achievement

Program

Assessment of the program should take the following into account:
a. the degree to which the program meets the various needs of children.
b. the degree to which the program maintains an effective integrated curriculum
within and beyond the classroom.
c. the degree to which the program responds to and articulates the needs of the school,

community and preschoolers.
d. the degree to which the program embraces available and emerging technology.
e. the degree to which the program effectively adapts to societal pressure and change.
f. evaluation by administrators.

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