Little Lukers, Pre-Kindergarten, & Junior Kindergarten
At Miss Lee’s we believe that ‘play is the work of the child.’
How do preschool children learn through play?
Play is intuitive. Through play, children learn language, mannerisms and meaning. They learn how to read faces, learn about themselves and their families, learn what makes someone happy or sad, and what place they occupy in the world.
Through play, oral language development flourishes. Play that occurs in a rich language environment at school and at home helps the child make connections to print and leads the child to search for meaning regarding print. This search leads children to books and print and to a desire to master the alphabetic code.
Through play, children begin to apply the basic math principles of numeracy that are intentionally woven into our curriculum. Counting, measuring, and 1:1 correspondence are important early math concepts in Preschool. Our teachers choose real ways to incorporate math objectives into the day so that they are placed in a meaningful context for young children.
Through play, young children begin to learn social and emotional skills. Empathy is modeled through stories, puppets and plays, which encourage negotiation and problem solving in social situations. By giving support when dealing with social-emotional issues, a child learns to be part of a larger community.
Through play, children practice questioning and inquiry. Children wonder, investigate, innovate, and experiment much as adults do in a bio-lab or an ad agency or technology company. In the block area, children are often heard asking other children who have had success at making their bridge stay up, 'How did you do that?' Children at easels who are mixing paints will ask another child to show them how they made that color or created that pattern.
Through play, children are given two weekly opportunities to learn and use a second language - Spanish. Our Spanish teacher uses one session a week to introduce a new concept to a class, and one session as an immersion lesson in which they play in small groups and only speak Spanish.
While play is our focus in the Preschool, children are not left to their own devices, nor is their development left to chance. Teachers skillfully weave in academic goals and objectives and build on what children can do and challenge them to try new things. Using play to reach our academic goals allows us to help our students become lifelong successful learners.
In Little Lukers and Pre-Kindergarten, our youngest students are introduced to school life at GSL. Our focus is social and emotional growth, and learning how to be a friend, how to be part of a group, and how to care for one’s self are central concepts. Our days are filled with meaningful play, giving students opportunities to explore art, music, literacy, math, science, and social studies at their developmental level. Spanish, Fun and Fitness, and trips to the school Library supplement classroom activities.
In Junior Kindergarten, we build on the social development focus implemented in prekindergarten, with an emphasis on cooperation, independence, and responsibility. We also introduce the Open Court Literacy and Handwriting Without Tears curriculum programs to build foundational reading and writing skills. Thematic units that emphasize literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies fill our days with learning. In addition to Spanish, Fun and Fitness, and trips to the school library, JK students also enjoy a supplemental Music class.