IN THE JUNIOR ROOM
The Junior room has 16 spaces for children 2 ½ to 3 ½ years of age. There are some years depending on space and movement in the other rooms that our age range will be 2 to 3 years old with only 15 children in the room. We have two staff who are solely responsible for the programming and day to day care of the children and one staff who is also actively involved in the programme of activities and care of the children and also has unique duties supervising the gym at wake up time from 2:00 – 3:30. Our programme is based on the philosophy of learning through PLAY, with the implementation of activities which support the children’s interests and development. They will explore the world around them with the materials and experiences provided to them throughout the day.
We plan according to the Emergent Curriculum. This means that we follow the children’s lead when planning and setting up the room. This is done through daily observations of interactions between the children and the children and teachers. Through our observations we will make decisions on what will happen next and what will best motivate the children’s learning. We will then follow the children’s lead by introducing new and exciting activities to expand their interests and learning.
EARLY LEARNING FOR EVERY CHILD TODAY
Early learning for Every Child Today “ELECT” was put together by a panel of experts in early childhood education in the Province of Ontario. Each child will have a booklet in his or her cubby. The teachers will document observations of developmental abilities, and interests on a regular basis. Parents are also invited to document observations that they see at home. This booklet is a wonderful tool for the teachers as it assists them in implementing an Emergent Curriculum. You can google EARLY LEARNING for EVERY CHILD TODAY to see the full publication.
PRE-SCHOOL ROOM GOALS
Throughout the day your child will have the opportunity to learn and develop through play. The teachers will provide an environment that allows the children to learn at their own pace and through their own interests. It will be the teachers responsibility to provide a programme that is rich with learning opportunities, exploration, fun and exciting activities.
When evaluating the children’s progress we look at the five areas of development:
PHYSICAL: They will continue to develop their physical skills through climbing, walking up stairs using alternating feet, kicking balls with precision and beginning to ride bicycles using the peddles.
EMOTIONAL: To begin to understand their emotions and have the ability to express themselves with words.
COGNITIVE: With the use of puzzles, toys, games, books, music etc. the children will begin to understand and learn about the environment around them. They will also ask questions and share stories about the things that interest them.
LANGUAGE: To begin using more complex words, to move from short phrases to full sentences. Have the ability to express themselves to their teacher’s, friends, parents etc.
SOCIAL: The children will begin to form lasting friendships. They will move away from solitary play to more co-operative play with their friends. The ability to share will become more prominent and problem solving will become a natural part of their day.
While we look at all stages in a child’s development, each child grows and learns at his or her own pace and will reach certain milestones in their own time.
PARENT / TEACHER MEETINGS:
We hold parent / teacher meetings twice a year. They are in October / November and April / May. These meetings give the teachers and parents an opportunity to sit down to discuss the programme and the goals for your child in the Pre-School Room. These meetings also help the teachers to learn about your child’s life at home and to bridge the gap between home and school. Should you have any questions and or concerns regarding your child in between meetings you can approach any staff in the room and a suitable time will be set up to meet.
SELF HELP SKILLS:
The Pre-School Room is the time when a lot of various skills will begin to emerge such as dressing, eating, toileting etc. It is very important to allow and encourage your child to begin the simple skills of dressing such as pulling on pants, putting on shoes, putting on jackets etc. Although time restraints may not allow this to occur all the time, it is very important to make every effort to encourage your child to develop these skills. Simple fun games or songs will make the learning and developing of these skills fun for everyone.
During your child’s time in the Pre-School room it is typically the time when he / she will begin the toilet training process and to gradually accomplish independent toileting skills. It is a big step in their lives and should be approached with patience and care. To begin the process you should be watching for signs of readiness such as:
· Interest in the toilet
· Dry Diapers
· Less fluid intake
· Dislike of wet or soiled diapers
Some things to remember is to remain positive, take the child’s lead, try to avoid power struggles and to be consistent when encouraging your child through the toilet training process. Also remember it is a joint effort between home and school and everyone can work together for the success of your child. It is also important to remember that times of transition (ie: room change, moving, new baby etc.) are not great times to begin the process as too many changes may be frustrating for your child and may cause it to take longer for them to train in the end.
Separation anxiety is natural when beginning in a new room. The children are leaving what is known to them and beginning in a new room with new teachers, friends, surroundings and new expectations. It is important to remain positive and to show your child that you are excited for them during this next phase in their development.
Until he / she is more comfortable, it might be better to make your drop off’s shorter. We find that with new children, if the parent extends their stay, the child has too much time to build up anxiety knowing that their parent will be leaving soon. Once he / she is more comfortable it will not make any difference if you stay longer.
There might be some tears but please be reassured that children do adjust to new surroundings and new people. With time, before you know it they will be running into the room without saying good-bye and sharing many stories of their new adventures with you each night.
Parents can help us out by having spare clothing, diapers, wipes and appropriate outdoor wear in your child’s cubby each day. As new materials are needed we will post it in your child’s communication book. Please look for these notes.
We also ask that you bring in a water cup for your child to use during the day and to bring outside with us on hot afternoons.
Our daily schedule consists of free play time, educator guided activities, outdoor play, meal times and a nap time. Each parent receives a daily schedule when they begin in the Pre-School Room.
Each day we will be outside for two hours per day, weather permitting. Please dress your child accordingly.
Our nap time follows lunch and will be from approximately 12:30 – 2:30. The gym is available for early risers between 2:00 and 3:30 pm. Quiet activities will be set up for children who remain in the room.
PARENT / TEACHER COMMUNICATION:
Each day the teachers will fill out a a daily calendar letting you know how your child ate and slept that day. The teachers also post “What we did Today” documenting what the children’s daily activities and learning outcomes. We encourage all parents to read these so that they can open the lines of communication with their child, giving him / her the opportunity to discuss their experiences at school as well as to bridge the gap between home and school.
We look forward to welcoming you and your child to the Pre-School Room and working together to give him / her the best learning opportunities we can. It is a joint effort between parents and teachers.