PRESCHOOL: Age 4
"Our task, regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible. No one can do more."
~Loris Malaguzzi | Founder of the Reggio Emilia method
At the very core of the Reggio Emilia inspired approach is the concept of wonder. Wonder as an act that begins the process of learning and wonder as an integral quality within all children. Reggio educators view children as natural scientists, driven by curiosity, with tremendous observational skills and an ability to form strong theories about the world around them. They consider a child’s creative expression, as her way of communicating what she understands about the world around her. 1
PRESCHOOL: Age 4
The year before kindergarten can be a uniquely important year for parents. Some parents feel that the PreK year is an essential time to prepare for kindergarten and push for a more academic approach with their children. As academics become prioritized, parents sometimes ask us more about how children in a hands-on, play-based learning environment can learn core subjects such as math, literacy, and science.
The Reggio Emilia inspired approach is an innovative and inspiring method to early childhood education which values the child as strong, capable, and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it. 2
Like other classrooms at Melrose, our 4th year classroom is designed with Discovery Stations to encourage curiosity, exploration, and wonder in children. Inspired by Reggio Emilia, we practice a child-led, teacher initiated approach to learning, which encourages each child to thrive. Teachers facilitate the experience and use a scaffolding technique to advance each child to their next level of learning. Learn more about our approach here.
OUR UNIQUE APPROACH
Many other schools offering PreK support mandatory testing. At Melrose, we do not believe in the concept of “teaching to test.” Instead, we carefully observe each child’s progress and gauge their individual developmental milestones.
Our teachers are trained to engage each child in a wide range of skill-building activities. Each moment in our day is filled with unique opportunities for creative exploring. Our curriculum is designed so that children are highly engaged and learning occurs on deeper levels.
At Melrose, we prioritize a hands-on learning environment that cultivates each child’s genuine enjoyment of school and a thirst for lifelong learning.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF OUR 4 YEAR OLD PRESCHOOLERS
Today we are studying BUGS...
Provocation: Bug books, plastic bugs, magnifying glasses, loose parts for creating a bug habitat. The wonder of discovery!
Morning Meeting: A variety of fiction and non-fiction books about bugs, nature, and habitats; as well as songs, fingerplays, and visuals to touch and explore. “Diary of a Worm” is one of our favorite books.
Science: The Sensory Bin filled with dirt and live worms. Children observe how an animal can move without legs. Teaches respect for living things.
Literacy/Fine Motor Skills: Writing center, for children to journal about what they’ve learned about bugs. A time of connecting the alphabet with the written and spoken word.
Studio: Variety of mediums for creating a favorite bug; real or imaginary. Paint, cardboard, glue, wire, clay, and more. Children are only limited by their own imagination in the studio.
Math: Fingerplays about “5 Little Grasshoppers” or a Cooking Project involving “10 ants on a log." Counting and number concepts.
Music & Movement: “The Ladybug Song” and “The Mosquito” which also teach children body parts.
Outside/Nature Time: Gross motor skills are enhanced with a game of “Ants on a Log” – as children walk the balance beam in the garden.