During this time, teachers are at the classroom door, welcoming all families. Children put their belongings in their cubbies and transition to classroom activities.
During open time, students choose from a variety of toys and materials that can be used individually or in a group. These activities and materials are easily accessible, open-ended and regularly changed to appeal to a variety of interests and developmental levels. This time is important because it allows children opportunities to make independent decisions about what they want to do. This allows them to experiment and take turns, which in turn builds confidence in children’s ability to make choices in the future!
An important time of the day, circle time provides an opportunity to develop a sense of community. It is also where children begin to learn how to share their ideas and listen to their classmate’s ideas.
Gross Motor: Roof/Gym/Track
Children play on the roof, gym or track with a wide variety of age appropriate equipment, games and materials. In addition to outdoor equipment, the children also play with balls, hoops, mats, balance beams, games, tricycles, basketball, tee ball, etc.
Our rooftop playground features a jungle gym, play house and garden. Not only can students build and refine their gross motor skills while enjoying fresh air, but they can learn how to grow plants and vegetables!
Depending on the day of the week, “specials” rotate and can include pottery, movement, gym, science, or a workshop with the American Ballet Theatre.
A variety of snacks are distributed such as fresh fruit, crackers, cheese and veggies. Occasionally, snacks are prepared by the children as a math or science activity.
Center time provides a balanced time between child-initiated play and teacher-directed activities. Our teachers create individualized projects and activities based upon their class. Some activities are outlined below.
- Block Area develops shape and size discrimination, spatial relationships, cause and effect, balance and cooperation.
- Dramatic Play helps children develop language in a variety of situations. Through role playing, they learn social skills appropriate to group behavior and explore different celebrations and customs. While engaging in creative dramatic activities children discover cause and effect, explore interaction of materials and learn to think symbolically.
- Art Area develops fine-motor skills, creative expression, risk-taking, understanding of color, shape and size relationships, self-esteem, visual perception and experience working in different media.
- Math and Science Area develops patterning, sequencing, one-to-one correspondence, observation, exploration, investigation, predicting, experimenting and classification.
- Puzzles and Games develop hand-eye coordination, classification, visual perception, problem-solving, social skills and critical thinking skills.
- Sand/Water Table develops mathematical concepts such as measuring, as well as language (e.g., empty/full) and social skills.
- Library develops appreciation of literature, communication, sequencing and comprehension skills.
- Writing Center develops fine-motor skills, letter recognition, sequencing and creativity.
Story Time and Literacy Activities
Story time is a wonderful time for children to learn to participate as a group and share new ideas! They learn that books provide a wealth of information, but are also a source of imagination and a way to learn language. At Barrow Street, a wide variety of books, poems and flannel board series are selected for group story-telling according to the projects and interests of the children.
Before the day ends, we take time to talk about what the children learned, what next steps to anticipate and things they can explore in their community to expand knowledge.