The Children’s Cooperative Playschool is a family-oriented early learning experience for children one to five years of age. We strive to provide a safe, nurturing and accepting environment in which children are encouraged to develop social, emotional, cognitive and motor skills through play. The Playschool is respectful of individual differences in all children and therefore strives to be flexible within a defined framework. The Playschool welcomes all families equally.
Developmentally Appropriate Practice
A. Integrated Learning Approach
We use the device of weekly themes to offer children knowledge about the world via stories, songs, art projects, movement activities, puzzles and games, exploration of real objects, and printed and oral language which all relate to a central idea. This gives the children repeated exposure to new ideas, an essential component of young children's learning style, but in a slightly different form each time, to stimulate creative thinking on their part. In addition, we make sure that the themes are relevant to the multicultural group of children who attend the Co-op.
We encourage children to develop their cognitive, social, emotional, and motor skills throughout the day with a balance between teacher-directed and child-directed activities. Teacher-directed activities include circle time (group story time, game or movement activity, opportunities for children to tell their stories to the group), art (the teacher sets up the materials and suggests one way to use them), and good morning/song time. Child-directed activities occur on the playground and during free play time in the classroom. The children choose from an array of activities, play areas, and playmates during these large blocks of uninterrupted time.
The importance of play in early childhood development is often overlooked. However, studies show that children learn most effectively through a concrete, play-oriented approach to early childhood education (National Association for the Education of Young Children, Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Early Childhood Programs, 2001).
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