WELCOME to the RAINBOW CLASSROOM!!
Welcome to the Children’s House Pre-Kindergarten. The goal of our Pre-K program is to provide complete care for your child while he/she is here. We have designed a program which includes not only daily care and supervision of your child but also offers a variety of experiences to promote learning, growth and development. Our goal is to offer a broad range of learning and complete entering goals for kindergarten.
Our classroom curriculum is based on developmentally appropriate practices, the Illinois Early Learning Standards and research and knowledge of child development. We implement the Creative Curriculum to serve as a guide to create an environment to support individual growth and learning. Throughout the year we will focus on the seven knowledge areas (literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, technology and process skills) while integrating Christian living and Bible studies. We will also focus on the four major areas of development (Social/emotional, physical, language and cognitive), as we prepare for “life in Kindergarten”.
While this packet covers a vast part of classroom information, it does not cover all activities and classroom information. We would like this packet to serve as a guide into our classroom. Notes pertaining to monthly information, activities, and etc. are sent home throughout the year. If you have any questions or thoughts to share with us, we’d appreciate your input.
Classroom Setup: Please label all items brought to school to insure their return.
- Lockers: Each child has a labeled locker for their belongings. Their locker space provides a bin for a complete set of season appropriate clothes (1 shirt, 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of socks, and 2 pair of underwear). A hook is also provided for their coat and book bag. A mail box slot is located on the top of each locker. * Please check your child’s mail box everyday for notes and crafts.
- Parent Information Board: This wall display allows parents to obtain information about our classroom (lesson plans, schedules, party sign ups, notes, menus, etc…). Please check this often for new information.
- Interest Areas: The classroom is divided into interest areas to promote learning and exploring in all areas of development. Areas are changed on a regular basis and will often correspond with a theme or letter. More information about interest areas can be found in this packet.
- Breakfast/Lunch/snack: We will eat all meals in our classroom in family style. Family style meals promotes learning adaptive behavior skills, use of manners, and conversation. All serving utensils and pitchers are child size to allow the children to serve their own food. They also are responsible for lunch set up and clean up. Good mealtime experiences allow children to develop positive attitudes toward food & nutrition.
Open-door Policy: We welcome all parents to stop by anytime and join us in our day. In the life of a young child Home and School are two important worlds. These two worlds must connect every day. In the area of child development it is nice to be able to be bridge these worlds together. We work closely with each family and help adapt each child to the classroom setting. It’s essential for the teacher and families to form a working relationship.
Nap Time: Naps are taken between 12:30 and 2:30 daily. We provide the sheet and cot. Your child may bring a blanket, small pillow, and one small soft toy to sleep with if desired. Please bring in one reusable bag for nap time belongings. All items must be small enough to fit in the bag. These items will be sent home every Friday to be washed.
Policies and Guidelines:
- Absences: If you know your child will not be attending a day of school or will be coming in late, please call the Children’s House Office (523-0122). Please call by 9:00 so we are able to have a lunch count for the day.
- Medicine Policy: When your child requires medication, please sign it on the medicine form located in the cabinet next to the teacher’s closet. Please write your child’s first and last name, time of medication to be given, and dosage and prescription number. All medicines are kept in a lockbox located in the same cabinet as the medicine form.
- Birthday Parties: We encourage all children to celebrate their special day with their friends. Due to DCFS regulations, all treats must be store bought. Please check with teachers about allergies in the classroom. We are a peanut free center!
- Dress Code: Please dress your child in play clothes. Girls must wear shorts under their dresses. No flip flops or clothing with drawstrings. Please dress your child I “kid friendly” clothing and shoes. Your child should be able to dress and undress independently. This will be helpful as we work on adaptive behavior skills
- Toys: Please leave toys at home. Children may bring a toy on their show n’tell day. Show n’ tell will be weekly, and begin in October. A list of assigned dates will be sent home.
Classroom Activities and Displays:
- Calendar: We will study the following concepts each day: days of the week, counting, weather wheel, months of the year, seasons, color, shapes, songs, finger plays and stories. This time also promotes adaptive behavior and social-emotional behavior.
- Summer Program: During the summer, the Rainbow’s schedule will change. We take field trips and plan many events. A note of summer events will be handed out in May.
- Field Trips: Throughout the regular school year, we will engage into many field trips. The trips are based on classroom themes and letter based concepts. We encourage all parents to join us.
- Rainbow of the Week: This display area is devoted to one Rainbow each week. Each child will be given a week to highlight themselves to the class. The child should bring photos of themselves and their families. A note will be sent home when it is your child’s turn.
- Cook of the Week: Cook of the week show cases a Rainbow chief every Friday, beginning in January. More information will be sent home in January.
- Reading Bag: Families may check out the reading bag overnight. The reading bag has weekly themed books to be shared in your home with your child. A sign up sheet is posted by the reading bag.
- Journal Writing: Each Rainbow owns a journal, which they can write in every day.
- Alphie the Alphabet Worm: This colorful worm grows every time we learn a new letter. Be sure to watch Alphie as he grows in the Calendar area. Once Alphie has fully grown we will have an “Alphabet” party.
- Number Chart: Each day of school, we will add a new number to the chart. Once we reach 100, we will have a “100th day of school” party.
- Letter Bag: Rainbows can bring in items from their home beginning with the weekly letter and place them in the bag.
Rainbows Daily Schedu
7:30 – Table top games/outside
8:45 – Clean-up/bathroom
9:00 – Calendar/breakfast (Daily concepts)
9:30 – Small groups (Art & Math)
Free choice time
10:30 – Clean-up/bathroom
Playroom/playground (Music & Movement)
11:15 – Bathroom
Circle time (Language)
11:30 – Lunch/clean-up/bathroom
12:30 – Nap
2:30 – Clean-up
3:00 – Snack
Free choice time (Phonics/ Pre writing skills)
3:45 – Clean-up
Good-bye time (Science/Social Studies)
4:30 – Bathroom break
Playground/playroom (Gross Motor)
5:00 – Table top games (Fine Motor)
Curriculum: The Rainbow classroom implements the Creative Curriculum format. This curriculum is based on research and general knowledge of child development. It provides children the opportunity to learn and practice newly acquired skills. Teachers will implement developmentally appropriate practice in the classroom and create an environment for exploring and learning. Lessons are taught using a variety of methods and styles to accompany how children learn and develop. Activities are hands on and challenge the child to discover and explore. This promotes the student to acquire new skills and build positive self-esteem. Creative Curriculum allows teachers time with small groups of students and more one on one time. Teachers are able to closely track each student’s development and direct them in learning.
Environment: Our classroom is a loving and nurturing place, where each child can feel they belong. Each child will feel safe and comfortable. Materials are displayed at their level for easy access. The arrangement of materials and furniture not only promotes learning but also in caring for our classroom.
Routines: We have a defined classroom schedule we follow daily. Children will know what to expect and what is expected of them.
Interest Areas: Our classroom is organized into 9 interest areas – Blocks, Dramatic Play, Toys & Games, Library, Art Area, Science/Discovery Table, Computers and Wood Working Area. These areas give opportunities for children to explore, grow and discover. Each area has furniture and materials targeted for children: it promotes the caring of the classroom and a learning environment that meets a child’s developmental needs.
- Blocks: Through different sizes and shapes of blocks, children can construct, create and represent their ideas: Airports, roads and many more adventures are created here. Each area of development is met here through construction.
*Social/Emotional Development: Children learn how to share, negotiate, and care for materials. Children also exchange ideas and learn to respect other’s view points.
*Physical Development: Large blocks build strength in large
muscles, while they develop small muscles with smaller
blocks. They also improve eye-hand coordination.
*Cognitive Development: Children can recreate their
experiences from the world around them in concrete form.
Blocks promote learning sizes, shapes, colors, patterns,
length, weight and order.
*Language Development: Children enjoy talking about their constructions and expressing their ideas.
- Dramatic Play: Children are able to pretend to be somewhere else or someone else. They can show their understanding of the world through play.
*Social/Emotional Development: They recreate life
experiences and learn how to cope with different situations.
*Physical Development: As children zip and button dress-up clothes, they develop small muscle skills.
*Cognitive Development: Children practice abstract thinking as they imagine situations.
*Language Development: As children enjoy in play with others they use language to explain what they are doing.
- Toys & Games: Materials such as manipulatives, games, and collectables allow children a quiet activity at a table with a friend.
*Social/Emotional Development: As children successfully complete a task, such as sorting boards they gain confidence. Also as they play board games they learn to take turns.
*Physical Development: Children practice eye–hand coordination as they use the vast variety of manipulatives.
*Cognitive Development: Counting, matching, patterning and classification.
- Library: The library is an inviting quiet area for children to relax and enjoy stories. Soft child sized furniture provide a great place to read or tackle a puzzle.
*Social/Emotional Development: Children develop social skills as they share books with friends. As children read and explore they develop empathy and relate to the books characters.
*Physical Development: Eye muscles are developed as they follow the words and pictures in a book. Small hand muscles
are also used.
*Cognitive Development: As the child reads they make predictions about the story and think about cause and effect. Children will often connect the things they already know with things from the story. Basic skill such as sequence, ordering, number recognition, colors and shapes are enhanced through books.
*Language Development: A child’s comprehension grows as they learn new stories and words. Phonological awareness
- Art Area: Here children can create their ideas in a visual form of the use of vast art materials. Sensory discovery is a major focus in this area.
*Social/Emotional Development: By choosing certain materials children reflect their thoughts and emotions. For example if a child is cheerful they may choose a brighter color.
*Physical Development: As children cut, paste and trace they are using their fine motor skills.
*Cognitive Development: Children practice and use thinking skills as they plan and express their ideas. Their ideas and
feelings are translated through their art work.
*Language Development: Children engage into language as they describe their creations to other children and teachers.
- Science Table and Discovery Table: Both of these areas allow children to use their five senses to explore the world around them. Here the curious child can find answers to their questions about nature and their environment.
*Social/Emotional Development: As children problem solve and make discoveries they work together.
*Physical Development: Eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills are developed as they explore using materials such as tweezers, eyedroppers and measuring tape.
*Cognitive Development: Through exploring children make predictions, classify, compare, measure, count and graph
- Computers: Computers are used by children to solve problems, explore and investigate questions.
*Social/Emotional Development: Here children demonstrate self-direction and independence.
*Physical Development: Using the keyboard, putting in a CD and using the mouse help refine motor skills. As they move
the cursor by the use of the mouse, they develop eye-hand coordination.
*Cognitive Development: Computers foster problem solving skills, cause & effect and discover solutions.
*Language Development: Text on the screen is spoken and printed; therefore they make connections between speech and print.
- Wood Working Bench: A bench where children can build and create with real tools.
*Social/Emotional Development: Through the choice of materials and creation a child’s mood is reflected.
*Physical Development: Children use hand-eye coordination as they hammer nails. Small muscle skills are developed as
*Cognitive Development: Children are required to choose shapes and sizes of wood.
*Language Development: A child’s vocabulary expands as they describe the tools they are using.
Skills-Concepts for Four Year Olds
A child who is 48 to 60 months of age typically demonstrates a large increase in vocabulary and physical abilities. The following abilities will emerge as the child approaches age five. The variety of activities in the four’s classroom is designed to help every child to meet these goals. The following is a list of the concepts and goals for a child turning four.
- Shows an increasing curiosity and sense of adventure
- Asks an increasing number of questions
- Takes initiative in learning
- Shows an interest in the printed word
- Pays attention and concentrates on a task
- Demonstrates accurate sense of touch (thick or thin) and smell
- Describes foods by taste (sweet, sour, and salty)
- Reproduces a simple pattern of different items from memory
- Ranks sounds (loud, louder, loudest; soft, softer, softest)
10. Observes objects and pictures closely
11. Recalls information previously taught
12. Interprets the main idea of a story
13. Orders pictures by time sequence to tell a story
14. Makes a simple comparison of two objects in terms of difference (“How are a cat and dog different?”) and sameness (“How are a cat and dog alike?”)
15. Completes a statement of parallel relationships
16. Predicts what will happen next in a story or situation
17. Predicts realistic outcomes of events (“What will happen if we go on a picnic?”)
18. Responds well to nondirective questions (“How many ways can you think of to move across the room?”)
19. Proposes alternative ways of doing art experiences, movement activities, and story endings
20. Represents thoughts in pictures
21. Draws a human figure with major body parts
22. Participates verbally or nonverbally in imaginative play or puppetry
23. Acts out a familiar story or nursery rhymes as the teacher recites
24. Speaks in six, eight, ten, or more words
25. Makes relevant verbal contributions in small group discussion
26. Shows understanding of past, present, and future tenses by using proper verb form
27. Verbalizes songs and finger plays
28. Dictates own experience stories
29. Describes a simple object using color, size, shape, composition, and use
30. Describes a picture with three statements
31. Listens to directions for games and activities
32. Listens to stories of at least ten minutes in length
33. Retells five-sentence short story in sequence using own words
34. Understands prepositions
35. Labels common everyday items such as clothing, animals, and furniture
36. Orally labels pictures and drawings (“That’s a dog.”)
37. Verbally identifies letters in first name (and subsequently in last name)
38. Identifies many letters of the alphabet
39. Distinguishes words that begin with the same sound (book/boy)
40. Names two words that rhyme in a group of three (tie, road, pie)
41. Supplies a rhyming word to rhyme with a word given by the teacher
42. Associates a letter with its sound in spoken words
43. Touches, names, and tells function of parts of the body (head, eyes, hands, arms, feet, legs, nose, mouth, ears, neck, trunk, ankle, knee, shoulder, wrist, elbow, and heel)
44. Verbalizes full name, address, age birthday, and telephone number
45. Identifies expressions of feelings
46. Feels good about self and abilities
47. Shows empathy toward other children
48. Works cooperatively with adults
49. Works and plays cooperatively with other children
50. Begins to understand that problems can be solved by talking and not fighting
51. Understands that we wear appropriate clothing to protect us from extremes of weather
52. Understands that families share responsibilities of work and recreation
53. Begins to understand the importance of keeping the school surroundings clean and free from litter
54. Counts from 1 to ___
55. Understands ordinal positions first through fifth
56. Recognizes and orders the cardinal numerals in sequence
57. Solves simple verbal problems using numerals (“If you have two pieces of candy and I give you one more, how many will you have?”)
58. Classifies objects by color, size, shape, and texture
59. Orders and compares size differences (big, bigger, biggest; small, smaller, smallest; short, shorter, shortest; long, longer, longest)
60. Points to and names: triangle, circle, square, rectangle, and diamond
61. Distinguishes between concepts of “some”, “most”, and “all”
62. Compares objects as to weight (“Which is heavier?” “Which is lighter?”)
63. Understands concepts of “full”, “half full”, and “empty”
64. Understands fractions ( ½, ¼, whole)
65. Identifies a set as a collection of objects having a common property
66. Establishes a one-to-one correspondence through matching members of equivalent sets (matching six cowboys to six cowboy hats)
67. Distinguishes between equivalent and non-equivalent sets through matching
68. Understands that each number is one more than the proceeding number (“What is one more than two?”)
69. Identifies an empty set as one having no members
70. Understands that each animal needs its own kind of food and shelter
71. Understands that plants need water, light, warmth, and air to live
72. Understands that many foods we eat come from seeds and plants
73. Understands that some things float in water and some things sink in water
74. Understands the balance of nature-that is, animals need to eat plants, vegetables, and insects in order to live
75. Understands that plant life, animal life, and other aspects of the environment must be respected
76. Points to and names colors
77. Catches a ball away from body with hands only (large ball/small ball)
78. Throws a ball or beanbag with direction
79. Throws a ball into the air and catches it by self
80. Bounces and catches a ball
81. Walks forward and backward on a line ten feet long without stepping off
82. Walks a line heel-to-toe eight feet long without stepping off
83. Balances on foot for five seconds
84. Stops movement activity upon teacher’s direction
85. Moves body creatively upon teacher’s direction
86. Claps with music
87. Claps and marches in time with music
88. Responds to rhythms with appropriate body movements
89. Produces the following motions: walks backwards, runs smoothly, marches, skips, gallops, hops four times on each foot, walks heel-to-toe, and walks and runs on tiptoe
Finger Strength and Dexterity
90. Folds and creases paper two time
91. Folds paper into halves, quarters, and diagonals
92. Strings ten small beads
93. Follows a sequence of holes when lacing
94. Works a puzzle of ten or more pieces
95. Uses crayon or pencil with control within a defined area
96. Connects a dotted outline to make a shape
97. Follows a series of dot-to-dot numerals, 1-10, to form an object
98. Reproduces shapes (circle, square, triangle, and rectangle)
99. Controls brush and paint
100. Uses scissors with control to cut along a straight line and a curved line
*The Skills/Concept exert is taken from “Year ‘Round Activities for Four-Year-Old Children”, written by Anthony J. Coletta, Ph.D. & Kathleen Coletta.