||Parent Handbook ~ Program & Philosophy » Curriculum
At Creek we have chosen to set up an environment in which different ages groups of children mix throughout the day. We believe that this is a natural situation conducive to learning. Within this environment we find that younger children have the opportunity to learn from older children; that children developing at different rates are allowed to do so, free of peer or adult pressure; that children developing skills can learn to share and help; that all children develop an awareness and respect for the individuality of others.
Within this framework we provide many small group learning situations during the day that are geared to each individual’s developmental level. We have time each day during small group when each age level can engage in activities that are appropriate for their developmental needs.
Art projects are used as a pleasant means of developing such important skills as eye-hand coordination, fine motor coordination, ability to follow vocal and visual directions, etc. These are all-important functions for future learning. Art also serves as a means of creative expression.
We provide an area especially designed for the exploration of books (storybooks, science books, counting books). A rich selection of books is available to children throughout the day. Children are read to in groups several times each day. Children also choose to look at books independently or with their friends or may choose to listen to books on tape.
In addition to books, the environment is set-up to promote literacy. Items are labeled throughout the center, posters, alphabet letters, games, notebooks for writing, and a variety of activities are provided to give children rich exposure to print. Teaching preschoolers to read is not a goal at Creek per se. Rather, we expose children to good reading experiences and help foster a positive attitude for reading.
Counting and other math concepts are taught informally in a variety of ways at Creek through such activities as cooking, sand and water play, block play and table games. Beginning counting and math concepts are taught more formally in the small groups.
Music is used throughout the day in a variety of ways and for a variety of purposes. We use music experiences to teach, to entertain and to relax. We attempt to expose children to different kinds of music, to help them become aware of music and to appreciate it and to develop their own musical abilities.
For self-discovery we provide a dress-up area which offers materials for a wide variety of role playing experiences. Children also have opportunities to participate in puppet plays, acting out stories and creative movement activities.
Science activities are intended to help children become aware of and feel comfortable with some of the basic patterns and principles of the physical world. We explore such topics as plant and animal development, seasons, weather, climate, evaporations, gravity, magnetism, etc. We encourage curiosity about and respect for the world’s physical environment.
Animals may be present in the classrooms from time to time. Children are fascinated as they observe different kinds of life and learn to develop respect and responsibility for the care taking of pets in the classroom. Pets are limited to fish, small animals (mice, hamsters, etc.) or insects. Adults are always present to supervise any contact between children and pets.
Children are given regular opportunities to help prepare and taste different foods. The purpose of doing cooking activities with preschoolers is to help them experience in a concrete way many fundamental concepts that are new to them. Examples are: color, texture, smells, measuring, comparisons, volume, solids, liquids, converting substances from one to another. Social goals include learning to take turns, sharing, listening to the project leader, learning to vocalize about experiences and learning about different cultural foods.
SMALL MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT
This skill, essential to future writing and other school-related activities is encouraged in planned activities throughout the day. The center also provides a large selection of small manipulatives to promote fine- motor skills such as puzzles, legos, peg boards, blocks, etc.
LARGE MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT
Large muscle developed is encouraged indoors through a wide variety of games and movement experiences, and through the use of equipment such as climbers, tumbling mats, large blocks, etc.
A playground is available for outdoor play. We feel particularly fortunate to have a large, pleasant outdoor area that provides an interesting variety of natural materials for play.
We attempt to develop an awareness of and respect for cultural diversity by representing the art, literature, music and food of different cultures in our activities. Our equipment and materials are selected with careful consideration so that they reflect cultural diversity and other individual differences.
Creek Day School has no religious affiliation. Religious concepts are not taught in our program. Families in our program have differing religious beliefs. Holidays and Celebrations are reflected in the program across cultures. We ask for your help in sharing with us any special way that your family has in celebrating special events which occur throughout the year.
Creek Day School
2509 Mcdivitt Rd
Madison, WI 53713