Our PK3 class is led by a full time teacher and full time teaching assistant. The classroom provides a positive and nurturing Christian environment where students feel secure to grow and to develop. Our program focuses on developing a sense of pride and self-confidence in each child as we begin to prepare them to become lifelong learners.
● Classes are Monday through Friday, 8:00AM-2:30PM
● 1:7 teacher to student ratio
● School uniform is required
● Daily outdoor recess and indoor free choice
● Daily rest time
● Peabody Early Experiences Kit Curriculum
● Weekly newsletters
● All children entering the PK3 program must be toilet trained
A Typical Day in PK3
8:30 Morning Meeting: calendar, oral language activities & song
9:00 Centers: teacher directed activities that focus on reading readiness and thematic activities
9:30 Recess: outdoor play in a secure fenced area
10:00 Snack and bathroom break
10:30 Centers: teacher directed activities that focus on math, science, and social studies
11:00 Free Choice: learning and developing the whole child through play
11:45 Lunch: lunch may be brought from home or purchased at school
12:30 Rest Time
2:00 Small Group Activities
2:30 Dismissal: children are picked up at the traffic circle or at our
“Extended School Day”
Art, Christian Education, Library, Music, PE
Field Trip and Outdoor Learning Experiences
PK3 students use our school grounds to explore their natural environment.
Units of Study Overview
Our PK3 program teaches across the curriculum and with the use of our materials, our desire is to have the children become confident, independent and happy learners. Reading readiness is an important segment of our PK3 program. Formal reading instruction begins in PK4. All reading readiness activities in our PK3 program encourage the young learner to use their five senses as they are introduced to all the letters of the alphabet. Throughout the school year the children
will cover reading readiness segments. The following reading topics will be introduced to the St. James PK3 children.
PK3 children are introduced to the letter formation writing technique called D’Nealian. They will be able to spell and write their first name by the end of the PK3 school year. PK3 children will understand that writing is viewed in books, on charts, on graphs, on papers, in stores, on signs or on buildings. The children will learn that anywhere there are letters and words, it is a way to represent ideas, share stories and information.
Our PK3 children will be able to listen to and follow direction by the end of the school year.
We encourage the children to speak clearly and ‘use their words’ to explain their needs in place of shouting, taking or pushing their desires upon another child. Listening to others speak and waiting their turn to share information, are important segments of our PK3 classroom.
PK3 children enjoy showing their knowledge of their environment by naming things in their school and classroom. They enjoy orally labeling items during their free choice time, as well. It is important to have items in our classroom with picture labels as well as word labels on the
materials and tubs. Most science and social studies units provide excellent opportunities to label stages, names, parts or segments of the unit being taught.
*Print awareness in books will be introduced to the PK3 children.
*Learning how the alphabet works is shown to the PK3 children.
*PK3 children will be able to comprehend and respond to stories read to them.
*PK3 children will be introduced to making predictions as they are read to stories.
*Folk and Fairy Tales will be read to the PK3 children.
*Fiction and Non-fiction stories will be read to the PK3 children.
*Nursery rhymes and poetry are shared with the PK3 children.
THE COMPLETE LETTER BOOK (Multisensory Activities for Teaching Sounds and Letters) by Michele Borba and Dan Ungaro provides an easily adapted week long program for the entire PK3 school year. All the senses are included as each letter is learned.
We also use segments of the JOLLY PHONICS approach to show the children that each letter has a sound and an action to help them with their letter recall.
PIGGY BACK SONGS by Jean Warren is an easily adapted and enjoyed segment of our PK3 program. Children love to sing and dance and movement is very important in our PK3 classroom. The use of ‘song’ is an excellent technique for the children to find success in all areas of our curriculum. Singing and spelling the color words, singing Native American rhythm tunes, singing about the letters of the week, singing a cleanup song and a going out to recess song all provide an additional lesson on being a classroom family and working together to learn in our classroom at St. James.
Each week, as we use flannel boards,the calendar, ipads, books, journals, big books, paints, crayons, scissors, glue ,songs, play-doh, wallpaper and numerous collected materials and always the preparing and cooking of foods, the children further develop their understanding of each new letter.
Additionally, our PK3 classroom language arts lessons include lessons from PEEK. (Peabody Early Experiences Kit) language program which contains 250 lessons which take less than 20 minutes each time for the three year old child. These lessons promote language and cognitive development with a main focus on teaching children to think more effectively and then express their thoughts more clearly with their friends.
Our PK3 classroom allows for free exploration of numerous manipulative math items as well as real live items such as shells, rocks, toy cars, beads, beans, pompoms, straws, sticks, etc. Throughout the school year the children are allowed to create and explore with all items. As the year progresses we soon discover where our PK3 children are in their math understanding and build on what they know. COUNT ON MATH (activities for small hands and lively minds, for ages 3-7) by Pam Schiller and Lynn Petersen, provides our PK3 program with a hands-on and concrete manual of lessons/experiences which build on each other to further develop the mathematics understanding of our students. It provides a developmental sequence which is appropriate for our age level. We are able to select from numerous activities in each segment to
better meet the needs of each student. Our PK3 classroom is rich with pre-bought manipulatives, also. We have unifix cubes, pattern blocks, number lines, bears and boats, jewels, foam dice, counters, lacing strings, beans, number rubbings, color and shape lines, plastic money, sequence story cards, bingo games and number games. These manipulatives enable the PK3 child to experience the fundamentals of math in a fun and concrete manner.
Topics of math taught to our PK3 children:
*Measurement, time, fractions, money and calendar activities
There are a number of themes and units that can be appropriately enjoyed and learned about in our PK3 classroom under the title of Social Studies. Social Studies and Science are very closely related in our PK3 classroom. Many of the units of study in science are intertwined with the units of study in social studies. For example, when the children learn about themselves in
All About Me in Social Studies, the lessons flow naturally into the units of the Five Senses in
A wise PK3 teacher follows the interests of the children and realizes how long to remain on lessons. It seems that when there is confusion amongst the children or inattentiveness on their part, it might be because the lessons are beyond their comprehension. Therefore, introduce the science and social studies units, and always watch for the levels of interest by the students. If
the children are not attending then be flexible with the lessons in science and social studies. The following Social Studies mini-units are taught in our PK3 classroom:
*All About Me
*Abe Lincoln and George Washington
*St. Patrick’s Day
*Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
Science units in the PK3 classroom create an excellent opportunity to be introduced to the techniques of sequence, stages, parts of and segments. This also is a perfect opportunity to add new vocabulary to each child. All science units are created and developed with the PK3 child
in mind and the material is leveled to the specific needs of each individual group of children and their abilities. Each year the teacher must decide how much or how little material is introduced to the new class. Many teacher magazines such as MAILBOX provide boundless examples of
units appropriate to the age PK3 age level. It is to the advantage of the teacher to use the internet to view units already created by many other experiences teachers. These internet units provide examples of songs, dance and movement, fine motor, gross motor, some paper and pencil, foods to create and compliment the theme, and even home activities for the family to participate and be included in.
Mini-units in science are easily adapted to the PK3 program are such as:
iPads are available to our PK3 students one day per week for 45 minutes. There are apps downloaded onto 11 computers that are appropriate to the PK3 ability which concentrate on letters, colors, shapes, patterns, numbers, classification, fine motor control, listening activities, following directions, sing-a-long, beginning sight word recognition, drawing and creating designs and a variety of characters that spark a three year old child’s interests and desire to learn and grow using the newest technology of today
Monthly Lessons Outline
During the month of August the children are taught about the organization of our PK3 classroom and safety rules of our school and school grounds. Because this may be the first experience
away from home, the children need to learn to trust and feel safe with all school staff members. After they feel comfortable with us and know they can trust us to be there for them and keep them safe, then the learning and fun may begin. In our classroom, each new math and reading and art center is slowly introduced, all the bulletin boards showcasing their work and creativity, each new free choice play area that needs to be taught, each new ‘specials’ teacher needs to
be viewed as a safe and caring friend, the boundaries of the classroom and school need to be explained, the needs of everyone should be taught, the excitement of ‘learning’ needs to be shared, the ability to wait for a turn, be patient, be a friend, make friends, keeps friends.....are experiences that must happen and are introduced in August and then continue to be very
important learned behaviors throughout the school year.
lessons: Color: RED Shape: SQUARE Letters: A,B,C,D Numbers: 0-3
Units of Study: Apples and Johnny Appleseed, Fall, All About Me
Math: Spatial Relationships/free exploration of materials- pages 37-55 in COUNT ON MATH
Color: ORANGE Shape: CIRCLE Letters: E, F,G, H Numbers: 0-6
Units of Study: Pumpkins, Fall Activities, Columbus Day, Fire Safety
Math: Classifying - pages 57-85 in COUNT ON MATH
Color: YELLOW Shape: TRIANGLE Letters: I,J,K,L Numbers: 0-8
Units of Study: Thankful for Grandparents, Thanksgiving, Native Americans, Pilgrims, Turkey
Math: Patterns - pages 87-113 COUNT ON MATH
Letters: review of all letters A-L Numbers: 0-10
Units of Study: Christmas gift making activities, ornaments, decorations, gingerbread house making activities, Santa activities, Five Senses
Math: One-To-One Correspondence - pages 116-133 COUNT ON MATH
Shape: STAR Letters: M,N,O Numbers: 0-15
Units of Study: Penguins, Name and Number writing activities, Martin Luther King, Jr. activities
Math: Ordering - pages 134-155 COUNT ON MATH
Color: PURPLE Shape: HEART Letters: P, Q, R Numbers: 0-20
Units of Study: Groundhog Day, Lincoln, Washington, Valentine’s Day, continue Name and
Number writing activities, build on Five Senses unit
Math: Numeration - pages 158-184 COUNT ON MATH
Color: BLACK Shape: DIAMOND Letters: S, T, U Numbers: 0-30
Units of Study: St. Patrick’s Day, Lion and Lamb activities, Seeds, Name and Number writing
Math: Shapes - 185-204 COUNT ON MATH
Color: WHITE, PINK
Shape: review of square, circle, triangle, rectangle, star, heart, diamond
Letters: V, W, X Numbers: 0-40
Units of Study: Easter activities, PK3 Circus activities introduced, name and writing numbers activities
Math: Numeration 6-10 - pages 205-220 COUNT ON MATH
Shape: continue review of all shapes
Letters: Y, Z
Numbers: review and counting practice to 50 and beyond to 100 introduced
Units of Study: Sunflowers, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, safety on our bikes, streets
Math: Fractions, Measuring, Time, Money - pages 221-250 COUNT ON MATH
It is important to remember that throughout the school year, our PK3 children need and must have a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. We must provide riding toys, balls, chalk, climbing toys and, quiet areas for their freedom of expression on the playground.. Inside the classroom there must be dramatic play areas, fine motor areas, manipulative materials, books, beans, areas for rest, dance, stories and eating. Always encourage sharing ideas, allow the lessons to be part of your learning expectations, help them discover the classroom boundaries,always praise them for jobs well done, watch for the sensitivity in children, show and allow them to learn by doing, model actions and language and praise them when they attempt to mimic, allow them to be curious, give them plenty of time to complete activities, allow them to be curious and explore and always find time to laugh with them.