Shooting Stars Handbook


Hi, we would like to extend a friendly welcome to your child and his/her family.  The Shooting Star’s class is a developmentally appropriate classroom for 3 year olds.  Our activities will help to develop your child’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.  Our curriculum will include math concepts, science, music, art, language, geography, problem solving, self-help skills, fine/gross motor skills, self-esteem building, and listening skills.  Each child will have the opportunity to interact with others and also receive individual attention.


Open-door Policy:  We welcome all parents to stop by anytime and join us in our day.


Classroom Setup:  Please label the items you bring in for your child to insure their return.

*Mail slots:  Each child has a mail slot on top of  their lockers.  Please check them daily for notes and crafts that go home.

*Bins: Please be sure to provide a complete extra set of season appropriate clothes for your child (shirts, pants, socks, and underwear).

*Parent Information Board:  This is the area where parents can gather all the information for our classroom.  Our lesson plans, daily schedule, snack, and lunch menus will also be posted.

*Nap time:  Naps are taken between 12:30 and 2:30 daily.  We provide the sheet and cot. Each child will be on his or her cot for naptime 2 hours each day. Each child is ONLY allowed one1 small pillow, one small blanket and one small soft sleeping buddy. All items should fit in a normal size reusable bag. Pillow pets are usually too large to fit and are encouraged to be left at home.

* Please have a reusable bag for your hook, to hold personal items.


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) by 9:00 so we are able to have a lunch count for that day.


Medicine Policy:  When your child requires medication, please sign it in on the medicine form located on the cabinet above our sink.  Please be sure to write the time, dosage, and prescription number.  We do keep all medicines in a locked box on a shelf.  All medicine must go home every Friday.


Reward Program:  Each child will start the day with his or hers worm on the green apple at the top of the tree. If rules are broken repeatedly the worm moves to the yellow apple in the middle of the tree and then to the red apple at the bottom of the tree. If the worm stays on the green apple, the child receives stamps on his or her behavior chart. Once the chart is filled, a prize from the prize box is chosen.


Circle Time:  During this time we will talk about our calendar (days of the week, seasons, months), counting, and the day’s weather.  We will also use this time to introduce the day’s “big idea”.  We’ll read stories, sing songs, and play games that support our unit of study.


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 children in play clothes. Children dress themselves. Therefore, only dress your child in clothes they can manipulate, i.e- no belts, button pants, etc. Girls must wear shorts under their dresses.  Please make sure your child has appropriate footwear, as we take many walks and play outside. Our center does not allow flip flops or slick bottom dress shoes. Closed toe shoes are always preferred.


Summer Program:  In the summer time, the Shooting Stars will be walking to the libraryIllinoisStateMuseum, taking swimming lessons at the YMCA, and different field trips throughout the summer.  This is a great way to have fun and learn in a different environment than the classroom.  Information will be sent out during the month of May.  Consent forms will need to be signed.


Daily Schedule – Shooting Stars

7:30-8:45                     Free choice

8:45-9:00                     Clean up

9:00-9:30                     Breakfast

9:30-9:45                     Circle Time

9:45-10:00                   Book on Carpet / Games

10:00-10:40                 Centers / Art

10:40-11:15                 Playground/ Playroom

11:15-11:30                 Story books on tape or Math game

11:30-12:00                 Lunch

12:00-12:30                 Clean up lunch/Bathroom

12:30-2:30                   Nap

2:30-3:00                     Clean up nap items/ Bathroom/ Table games

3:00-3:30                     Snack

3:30-4:15                     Centers

4:15-4:30                     Worms/ Wrap-up of day

4:30 – 5:15                  Playroom / Playground

5:15 – 5:30                  Table toys – Rainbow Room

Skills-Concepts for the Three’s Room

Children between the ages of 36 to 48 months of age expand his/her cognitive, affective, and physical growth.  During your child’s time in the Three’s room, the listed abilities will emerge as they turn four.  The variety of activities in the Three’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.



Personal Curiosity/Autonomy

  1. Shows curiosity and the need to investigate/explore anything new
  2. Asks questions (Who?, What?, When?, Where?, or Why?)


  1. Demonstrates accurate sense of touch, smell, and taste
  2. Identifies common sounds
  3. Places objects on their outlines
  4. Observes objects closely


  1. Recalls three objects that are visually presented
  2. Identifies what’s missing from a picture
  3. Acts out simple everyday activities

Logical Thinking

  1. Places three pictured events from a familiar story in sequence and expresses each picture sequence in three thoughts


  1. Pairs related objects and pictures, such as shoe and sock
  2. Recognizes which doesn’t belong in a group of three items

(examples:  banana, chair, and apple)


  1. Draws a face with facial parts and stick arms and legs
  2. Dramatizes a simple story
  3. Uses animistic thinking (stuffed animals have human characteristics)
  4. Plays using symbols (objects stand for real objects)


Sentence Structure

  1. Speaks in four to six word sentences
  2. Uses I, you, me he, and she correctly
  3. Engages in simple conversation
  4. Memorizes and repeats simple rhymes, songs, or finger plays of 4 lines
  5. Understands sentences and questions as indicated by a relevant response
  6. Names plural form to refer to more than one
  7. Describes action in pictures


  1. Listens to short stories and simple poems
  2. Follows two directions
  3. Understands opposites (up/down, open/closed, stop/go, happy/sad, etc.)
  4. Understands prepositions (in, out, over, under, on, off, top, bottom, in front of, in back of)


  1. Names concrete objects in environment
  2. Recognizes and names articles of clothing worn
  3. Recognizes and names pieces of furniture


  1. Points to and names body parts (head, hands, arms, knees, legs, chin, feet, and face parts)
  2. Tells own full name, sex, and age
  3. Feels good about self and abilities

Social Studies/Interpersonal

  1. Enjoys being with other children
  2. Begins learning the give and take of play
  3. Begins participation in a group


  1. Begins to understand that self and others change
  2. Understands that parental figures care for home and family
  3. Understand that people are alike and different in how they look and feel

(3 ½ to 4 years of age)


  1. Rote counts to ten
  2. Understands number concepts (when presented with a given number of objects, child can tell how many there are up to six)


  1. Sorts objects into two given categories (by size, shape, or color)

Size Differences

  1. Understands concepts of full and empty
  2. Understands big/little, tall/short


  1. Points to and labels shapes
  2. Matches shapes (circle, square, triangle, and rectangle)


  1. Matches sets containing up to five objects
  2. Constructs sets of blocks when given a model




  1. Understands that there are many kinds of animals
  2. Understands that animals move in different ways
  3. Understands that most plants make seeds for new plants
  4. Understands that seeds grow into plants with roots, stems, leaves, and flowers
  5. Understands that air is everywhere
  6. Understands that water has weight


  1. Matches colors
  2. Points to appropriate color upon command
  3. Names three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue)

Gross Motor

Arm-Eye Coordination

  1. Catches a large ball from 5 to 8 foot distance
  2. Throws a ball overhand with accuracy from 4 to 6 foot distance
  3. Rolls a large ball to a target
  4. Throws a bean bag at a target 5 feet away

Body Coordination

  1. Walks forward/backward on and 8 foot line
  2. Jumps three jumps with both feet
  3. Hops on one foot two or more times
  4. Moves body in response to simple teacher commands
  5. Walks on tiptoe
  6. Rides a tricycle
  7. Claps with music

Fine Motor

Finger Strength and Dexterity

  1. Makes balls and snakes with clay
  2. Pastes with index finger

Eye-Hand Coordination

  1. Strings at least four half inch beads
  2. Puts pegs into pegboard
  3. Screws and unscrews nuts, bolt, and lids of various sizes
  4. Holds crayon with finger rather than fist
  5. Paints with a large brush on large piece of paper
  6. Copies horizontal lines, vertical lines, circles, crosses, diagonal lines
  7. Uses scissors but does not necessarily follow lines
  8. Puts together a 6 or 7 piece puzzle
  9. Laces following a sequence of holes


*The Skills/Concept exert is taken from “Year ‘Round Activities for Three-Year-Old Children”, written by Anthony J. Coletta, Ph.D. & Kathleen Coletta.

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