Seniors

 

Approximately age 4 until the start of Kindergarten

 

In preparing children for their first year at school, our Senior Program focuses on the balance between structure and freedom.

 

Developmentally appropriate “learning centers” are offered daily and give your child the opportunity to explore, experiment, and create through a variety of different activities. These centers include math, manipulatives, science, creative art, language, writing, music and movement, computers, dramatic play, blocks, and sand and water play. On a daily basis, the Seniors also spend time developing academic skills in math, literacy, writing, reading, social studies, and science.

 

Small group activities help develop social skills and accommodate different learning levels, while whole class activities work on extending attention spans and create a sense of classroom community. Reading centers, writing journals, and circle time are utilized to encourage a language-rich environment, while creative and imaginative minds are fostered through art and dramatic play. Interactive SMART Boards are incorporated into the classrooms to enhance the language, math, and science curriculums. The teachers introduce activities that prompt the children to think, reason, question, and problem solve. And we continuously work with the children on listening skills, following directions, sharing, taking turns, and being responsible for their actions and behavior.

 

Like their Junior friends, our Seniors continue working with our reading program. The first half of the school year is spent on the letters of the alphabet, both uppercase and lowercase. With each weekly letter of the alphabet, the children work on the corresponding sounds, words that start with that letter and writing the uppercase and lowercase versions of the letter. The second half of the school year focuses on high-frequency sight words. With each weekly word, the children work on pronunciation and use leveled reading books and flash cards to promote fluency. “Traveling Teddy” continues to spend one weekend at home with each child, the adventures of which each child writes about (with help from mom and dad) and then shares with their friends during circle time the following Monday.

 

Our Seniors continue to participate in the weekly cooking projects and science experiments. The cooking projects provide opportunities for the children to help measure, mix and prepare tasty treats, while the science experiments provide opportunities to learn how the world works (i.e. what happens when you drop a roll of Mentos mints into a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke?). Science journals are utilized by the children to practice recording their predictions and observations. They also participate in our Sports and Movement Program, which provides weekly opportunities for the children to learn about new sports and practice the basic skills necessary to play each particular sport. Over the course of the school year, our Sports and Movement Program exposes the children to a wide range of sports and activities and helps build coordination, self-esteem, and a life-long love of sports and fitness. Seniors also participate in biweekly "Competition Days" with their Junior friends. Each week poses a new and exciting challenge, such as an obstacle course, a balance-the-egg-on-the-spoon race, or even a friendly game of soccer. Teamwork between classrooms and between individual students is fostered as they work together to accomplish the day's physical activity. They also participate in our Spanish Program, which provides weekly opportunities for the children to practice simple words and phrases in an emergent language session. We also introduce a Soccer Program for our Seniors, which provides weekly opportunities for the children to practice basic soccer skills while improving their motor skills, coordination, and understanding of teamwork.

 

The student to teacher ratio in our Senior Program is 12:1.

 

 

Activities

 

Cognitive activities include:

  • Recognizing letters, their corresponding sounds, and words that start with them

  • Recognizing high-frequency sight words

  • Following directions that involve three or four steps

 

Language activities include:

  • Reading together and reviewing key components of a book

  • Writing in journals

  • Answering “What if…” questions

 

Fine motor activities include:

  • Drawing shapes and coloring them in

  • Putting together a large floor puzzle

  • Writing on lined paper

 

Gross motor activities include:

  • Riding scooters on the playground

  • Dribbling a ball

  • Group games like relay races and tag

 

Social and emotional activities include:

  • Assuming a class job or role

  • Problem-solving social situations with friends

  • Recognizing the feelings of others and responding appropriately

 

Independence activities include:

  • Following classroom rules and routines independently

  • Adjusting to new situations

  • Dressing self with little or no prompting

 

Art activities include:

  • Making books with illustrations

  • Constructing 3-D objects with clay or wood and glue

  • Creating images of animals and other objects using smaller shapes (i.e. tangrams)

 

Music activities include:

  • Keeping a steady rhythm

  • Playing more instruments, like bells

  • Exploring how different music makes you feel

 

Spanish activities include:

  • Labeling objects

  • Learning about the calendar and weather

  • Exploring different cultures and countries that speak Spanish

 

Technology activities include:

  • Mastering use of the mouse

  • Beginning keyboarding, such as typing their name

  • Conducting research on the theme’s topic (i.e. visiting the North Carolina Zoo’s website during “zoo and jungle animals” week)

 

 

What do you think your child will enjoy learning the most?

Leah is more than ready for Kindergarten, and our time at All Starz is a major contributor to her preparedness. They knocked our socks off, and we couldn't imagine any other start for her.

 

- Parent of a child in the Senior Program