Focusing on school readiness skills, the Growing Tree North's Pre-Kindergarten program is of the highest quality specifically designed to ensure our preschoolers are not only ready for kindergarten, but also successful in all advancing grade levels. Children attending the Growing Tree North Pre-Kindergarten program enter Kindergarten knowing how “school” works with a full tool kit of advanced language, math, and social skills. Learning is everywhere in our Pre-Kindergarten classrooms. Children work in small groups exploring high interest activity centers such as, reading, block building, or handwriting & art centers. Each classroom has a strong sense of purpose, organization, and excitement as our highly qualified teachers ignite curiosity with high level questions, encourage children’s success and confidence with labeled praise, and scalfald children’s learning through purposeful hands on experiences.
Click here to view a sample Pre-Kindergarten Schedule
Over the course of the school year Pre-Kindergartners study patterns of increasing complexity. Pattern recognition is the ability to recognize order in chaos. In life, patterns are everywhere! Patterns can be found in ideas, words, symbols, numbers, and images. They can also be found in behavior, routines, and even in nature! The ability to recognize, identify, and create patterns not only support mathematical learning, but also contributes to broader social development. By understanding patterns, children will be able to make predictions about what should come next. This predictive ability helps us to understand our world. No doubt, understanding patterns helps all of us maneuver more confidently in our environment!
English Language Arts Instruction
Pre-Kindergarten consists of two strands of English Language Arts instruction, the Listening & Learning strand and the Skills strand. These two strands provide systematic instruction in language, literacy, and content knowledge fundamental to later reading success. The two strands complement each other by building towards the requisite comprehension and decoding skills that fluent readers need.
Individualized Reading Program
Using Reading A-Z, a leveled reading program used in nearly half of the school districts nation wide, our children being the early stages of reading learning fluency, phonological awareness, sight words, and vocabulary.
10-Frame Math Curriculum
To help deepen our understanding of each number, we use a concrete tool called a Ten-Frame. Ten-Frames are a simple two- by five rectangular frame in which children place counters to represent the numbers 1-10. This graphic tool helps children to “see” numbers. As children arrange the counters in different ways, the ten-frame prompts students to form mental images of the numbers represented. Ten Frames help children with simple addition and subtracting, visualizing numbers as greater or smaller, and in understanding “10” as a single unit.
In Pre-Kindergarten the children focus on letter investigations. Each letter's investigation will last approximately one week and will dissect every letter from a multitude of angles. Each letter is introduced using the Handwriting Without Tears order, which is not alphabetical, but instead, focuses on the letter’s level of formation difficulty. The letters will be introduced from the simplest to write, the straight-line letters such as, T, to the curved line letters such as, C, and then to the diagonal lined letters such as, M.
Throughout the school year children are engaged in a variety of letter-focused experiences touching upon every different learning style. The children discover that our language has a written form and that written language is a wonderful way of expression, keeping, and sharing ones thoughts. Every sentence is made up of a word, every word is made up of letters, and every letter has it’s own sound. To be able to read, we must be able to recognize each of the letters and remember their sound.
Pre-Kindergarten children will be involved in a variety of month long author studies! Author studies are a great way to purposefully enjoy literature while highlighting admired children’s authors and illustrators. The children will be enjoying and comparing a multitude of texts written by the same author. During this, we will discuss important text features such as, fiction vs non-fiction, characterization, setting, conflict, illustration features, narration, punctuation, literary themes, and more. Each author study will produce a reflection activity and a related art project!
Learning Number Sense!
In class, children participate in an extensive mathematical investigation of number sense to 100! To accomplish this, children count to the 100th day of school. This is a very extended study covering the concepts of number names, count sequence, skip counting, place value, simple addition, grouping by tens, and even/ odd numbers. Each day we will add one number to our 100-day chart tracking the numbers until we reach 100! On the 100th day, we will rejoice with a big 100th day of school celebration!
MindUP™ is a research-based curriculum program that has been proven to reduce stress, improve academic performance, strengthen abilities for concentration and help children and educators thrive in a setting that becomes a community of learners. MindUP™ program fosters a classroom-learning environment where a child’s ability to academically succeed and personally thrive is maximized and directly linked to their overall state of well-being.
MindUP™ lessons align with all state standards including Common Core and support improved academic performance while enhancing perspective taking, empathy and kindness as well as fostering complex problem solving skills. Students learn to self-regulate behavior and mindfully engage in focused concentration required for academic success.
Weekly Special Events Include...
Foreign Language Classes
Music Classes Using Guitar & Puppets!
Surprising Science Experiments
Making Play Dough FROM SCRATCH
And MUCHMUCH more!
Our Annual Pre-K Thanksgiving Feast!
One of the most exciting holiday traditions at the Growing Tree North is the annual Pre-K Thanksgiving Feast! The children learn about important concepts such as, what means to be thankful and the story of Thanksgiving. The Pre- K children work hard to prepare a wonderful event complete with a variety of foods for families and children to enjoy, homemade decorations, child made costumes, and a Thanksgiving themed sing-a-long show for families and children enjoy together.
At the Growing Tree North we love to help others! Each year, the Pre-Kindergarten Classes walk over to the Sunharbor Manor Nursing Home to put on a special charity show for their residents! Click Here to hear us sing!