Classroom structure is specifically organized to allow for a balance of active and quiet times. This balance allows children to have the focus and energy they need to participate fully at all times. Throughout the day, children have the chance to take part in large-group, small-group and individual activities as well as our Special Classes. These Specialist activities include:
Children learn about the natural world through their interaction with objects, people and other living things. The science activities include cooking, water and air experiments, creating and building inventions, feeding class pets and planting. Children make predictions, explore possibilities and document the results of their experiments. We often incorporate our rooftop garden in these experiments.
Children learn about themselves and their world through physical exploration, discovery and interaction with their surroundings. Our music program focuses on students’ understanding of space, time, rhythm and force. Through the practice of singing, listening and moving, each child begins to develop an understanding of how to make their voices and bodies move together. This not only deepens the connection between their minds and bodies, but it marks the first step towards a creative process that includes self, other and group. With an emphasis on developmental milestones of 2, 3, 4 and 5-year olds, our program finds new ways for students to investigate rhythm, patterns and sound in an open and creative environment.
Each week, all classes attend a Movement class that incorporate creative movement, yoga and physical education. These classes allow students ways to explore their bodies through the practice of apparatus work (gymnastics), rhythmic activities (creative movement) and object handling (balls, hula hoops, ribbons, etc). Students will begin to cultivate the tools necessary to practice various fine and gross motor skills, such as running, galloping and sliding. Additionally, our tricycle track provides another outlet for the development of many of these gross motor skills.
Our students also build strength and flexibility by practicing fundamental yoga to begin basic motor planning coordination. After warming up, music is incorporated into these movements. Often involving repetition, they encourage children to keep a steady beat while singing and moving in unison!
Art & Reggio Emilia Influence
The early childhood program found in Reggio Emilia, Italy incorporates an emphasis on the learning environment, process vs. product, developmentally appropriate practice, and the importance of the community of learners. In order to allow children unique space where they can work on prolonged art investigations, we renovated a dilapidated room on the 6th floor to create a dedicated art room. Art also extends our Movement Program. Our classroom teachers communicate with our specialist who creates yoga or movement activities to expand the classroom work into the physical realm.
The Pottery School at Greenwich House, Inc. integrates pottery into our students curriculum. Pottery Dave provides hands-on experiences with clay, pottery tools and paints and children are encouraged to learn new skills that allow them to conceive, construct, realize and share artistic ideas with others as they advance at their own pace.
The American Ballet Theatre conducts workshops for our 3s/4s and 4s/5s classes each Winter. The program culminates with a field trip for our students and their families to visit the American Ballet Theatre.
A daily schedule, structure and routine are extremely important for young children. This structure allows them to feel safe and secure when they can predict the sequence of the day. For a sample class schedule, click here.