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When children enter the classroom they are greeted by their teacher, and then given the freedom to explore the various learning activities and interesting centers that have been prepared before their arrival. These centers are changed from week to week, Day to day and sometimes hour to hour. Paint, clay, collage, musical instruments, construction, blocks, books, dolls, suitcases to pack, house play, and play dough. Each day is a special day. There are enough interesting centers and an activity going on at one time that the child is motivated by knowing that they are available. Always something new or some way that is new, but, always enough things remain the same to provide securities and the comforts of familiarity.
A teacher is always nearby to lend support when needed to help the children when they momentarily lose control of materials, equipment, or even their emotions. A teacher is always nearby to answer questions, offer a challenging statement or make and ask for suggestions, in keeping with each particular child's current level of achievements, interest, ability, and needs. A gradual approach to a rhythmic activity or a dancing time of crawling, jumping and growing like flowers, or we will explore the outdoors and learn to run, climb, jump, or swing to and fro. A time to grow, to explore, to experiment and to discover. Time to play and to be a child. Yet, all the time the children are being continuously challenged by specific learning goals we have for them.
In order to begin to read and perform other academic tasks, the children must first gather meanings from the world and develop an awareness of concepts.
In order to gather from the world, children must have many satisfying sensory motor experiences. Children must touch, feel, smell, hear, and see. This is how children interpret their sensory experiences, which is a prerequisite for developing minds.
The program we pursue is geared toward helping children develop habits of observing. Questioning and listening. It gives them awareness of their own feelings and of their own rights to express those feelings by sometimes channeling them into other expressions. They learn that they are free to make choices and that as long as they stay within the limits of considerations for people and things they do not always have to conform. An open-ended program, like ours, prepares children to utilize their intellectual and creative abilities in future learning tasks.
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