Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


By Brenda Lysak

Preschoolers exhibit high interest and curiosity for language development. They enjoy the sounds of language in terms of stories, rhyme, singing, and developing pre-reading skills. Landmark preschool uses all of the above to encourage growth and development in phonemic awareness. 

Curriculum has been developed with language as a focus. Children are introduced to the names of the ABC’s as well as the sounds they make. We encourage participation by drawing imaginary letter s in the air and reluctant learners are able to focus when the letter is written on their back.  Note: Introducing every letter is not important as we feel that it is more productive to ‘finish’ letters and the words they create. Small groups create an art project or craft exploring the above information in yet another way.  Fine motor and early reading skills build self confidence. 

Curiosity is encouraged and developed with high interest learning centers. We have a magnet, ABC, play dough, cutting, literacy, sorting various materials, train, counting, paint, magnifying glasses to explore natural material, building, and sewing stations. These are rotated according to interest, need, and or theme.  The various stations are designed to encourage imagination, creativity, and independence.
Colors, shapes, and counting skills are included in the moment. During morning rituals, kids count concrete objects in a holistic fashion.  This provides staff with an opportunity to assess counting development. Puzzling is often included in the day’s activities.   Staff helps children choose puzzles with appropriate challenge. Birthdays are celebrated by singing to BD child and counting candles together. Expected outcome is growth of self esteem, fine motor and social skills. 

Free play is respected at Landmark Preschool by utilizing sensitive transitions from one activity to another. We do not hold to a rigid schedule although we do have a schedule. For example when large motor activities is scheduled we observe play to see if children are ready for a change and initiate transition when they are ready. For example: if they have had 45 minutes of free play, and demonstrate an interest or need for large motor play.  

Social skills are developed in the moment as well as outside of the moment. During circle time children are encouraged to respect each other’s space, and share attention.  They share attention by listening to each other and by learning to raise their hands instead of all talking at one time. During play time they are coached through conflict in terms of looking out for each other. For example if someone has grabbed a toy or hit someone the offender is encouraged to say they are sorry and look after the offended child by asking if they are ok. If a child tattles we try not to fix, instead empathize thereby encouraging independent conflict resolution and healthy boundary development.

Outside of the moment, we sing a sharing song during circle time and talk about what to do if someone has upset you or if you have upset someone else. This is done through questions, “what should you do if you hurt someone?”  We practice saying together, “I’m sorry” and “are you ok?” Children’s sense of safety after this conflict coaching increases resulting in more friendship and bonding. Landmark Preschool endeavors to provide a learning environment that is appropriately challenging and pleasurable preventing misbehavior while encouraging healthy relationships. 

Questions/concerns: At the beginning of the year we have a “greet the teacher” Day where children and parents meet the teacher and board members. Also once a month we have a newsletter that communicates learning activities, outings, and birthdates of children. There is a picture from the previous month included. 

There are 2 bulletin boards in entrance with various postings. At the sign in table handouts such as scholastic or newsletters may be found. Children’s names are found on table by each child upon arrival and taken to the classroom.  At Christmas we have a short play the children do for their parents and we all celebrate after with treats at tables. We love volunteers and need you to have an optimal learning environment. Teachers are available at the beginning and end of each day and at events for questions and concerns as well as by phone or email.

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