A special emphasis is placed on learning in our Pre-K Academy classroom. We structure the day through developmentally-appropriate experiences that encourage children to use their critical thinking skills as well as prepare them for Kindergarten.
Emergent literacy is an every day key ingredient. The learning materials include our emphasis on the phonetic approach to reading. Parents are encouraged to be a participant and work with their child at home via computer in Starfall® a systematic phonics approach to reading. Starfall® introduces children to all the alphabet letters along with each letter sound and includes short readers. A handwriting journal coinciding with the characters of the Starfall® program is also part of every learning day. Starfall® is used in many public school systems across the country.
Another family literacy connection is our monthly COA Just Read program. Families visit our web site and click onto the featured book of the month and read with their child at home. Teachers reinforce the story at school through a variety of extended activities. Children are thrilled to sit with mom or dad and have the story read to them, or begin to read the words themselves!
We offer music activities throughout all classrooms, but we introduce Journeys into Early Music in the Pre-K program. This program matches musical ability and pre-reading skills. It teaches Pre-K students notation on a song chart just like words in a book. We are tying in those things we know we want our children to achieve through the ways in which we know they can do them. Journeys into Early Music provides a reading connection through musical notations. Children learn how to use resonator bars that correspond with our song chart notes by letter recognition.
Another feature of our Pre-K program is our Three-Step Tray Tasking. Recent studies show that many children entering Kindergarten show a weakness in their ability to organize their thinking skills. Three-Step Tray Tasking provides a solution through tasks such as identifying and describing sequences of objects or events; following complex instructions; tracing, cutting and assembling; assuming independent responsibilities for completing tasks and indicating a willingness to attempt more difficult tasks. Three-Step Tray Tasking develops organizational, logical and critical thinking skills.