St. John Lutheran Preschool uses The Creative Curriculum as a guide for discovery play, room arrangement, and developmental interest areas. We use Teaching Strategies GOLD as way to assess our students.
Children learn best through play. They will be involved in creative and imaginative play through experiences in block building, dramatic play, puppets, painting, cutting, drawing/coloring, and using play dough. Large and small muscle development is promoted through finger plays, writing, cutting with scissors, creative movement, circle games, and throwing and catching balls and bean bags.
Interest areas, such as discovery, art, library, blocks, dramatic play, table toys and puzzles, sand and water, music and movement, cooking, and computers will vary with the theme and activities that enhance it. Such experiences offer the child a choice of learning styles and activities. Such choices allow the child to be a decision maker and an active learner around his or her own unique interest.
Play contributes to the optimal development of children, including the building of gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, sensory, social/emotional and language skills. A majority of our schedule (Open Choice Time) is set aside to allow children to immerse themselves in their play. As a visitor or parent volunteer in our classroom you will quickly notice that teachers are ‘on the floor’ and engaged with children as they play in small groups, solo or in pairs. Teachers help facilitate play scenarios and conflict resolution allowing children to spend more time in play.
Play allows children a chance to practice what they are learning especially in the area of social/emotional development. Self-regulation skills are learned as children take turns and wait for turns with materials and in play scenarios. Our program is enhanced by a stimulating environment both indoors and outdoors which invites children through self-directed play to think, wonder, question, problem solve and learn through their playful interactions with their environment.