4’s Class

 
The 4’s class is designed for children who are 4 by September 1. The large, bright classroom is divided into smaller interest centers equipped with open-ended materials designed to support children in their investigations and discoveries. A mini art studio in the classroom provides a wide variety of art materials for children to use in their work. Plants, fish, and an ever-growing collection of natural materials gathered by the children contribute to the home-like environment of the classroom. A typical day includes a morning meeting where educators and children discuss and plan, an extended time for children to work on projects, snack, stories, and an indoor or outdoor time for active play. Educators carefully plan activities designed to help the children develop the literacy, math, and motor skills so necessary for later school success. Learning to problem-solve, negotiate, collaborate, and plan together are important goal for the 4’s.

Read more below about the daily schedule and learning objectives for this class.


Daily Schedule

 

Arrival
School begins at 9:00.  Children are brought directly to the classroom.  The children wash their hands upon arrival and are free to explore open centers working independently or with others. The centers are prepared with a rich variety of materials based on the children’s interests and designed to provoke investigation and exploration.  This is also a time for families and educators to visit and informally share information.  Children may use this time to continue work on uncompleted projects or work with an educator to complete classroom jobs such as the calendar, attendance, taking care of plants, etc. Educators circulate throughout the room supporting the children’s activities and documenting the children’s work through photos and written notes.

Meeting Time
Children and educators begin their day by gathering together to share news, review the calendar, and discuss plans for the day.  Together they may collaborate on finding solutions to classroom problems or making plans for upcoming events.

Snack
Healthy snacks of fruit, cereals, milk, and vegetables are brought by parents on a rotating basis.  On Friday a special Shabbat snack of challah and grape juice is served.  Candles and sometimes flowers decorate our tables, and blessings for the challah and juice are said.  When they are finished eating, the children clean up their snack and find a quiet activity until everyone is finished.

Small Group Work
Following snack, we begin an extended period of time in which children work in groups either independently, or with an educator, as they explore an area or materials, participate in a planned activity, or work on an on-going project. Cooking activities, discovery walks outside, art and science investigations, and games designed to reinforce math and literacy skills often take place during small group work.

Active Play
At some time in the morning the entire class goes outside to the playground or to the social hall where bikes, scooters, balls, and obstacle courses offer opportunities for loud, active, play, group games, and skill-building activities.

Ending the Day
The class gathers with both educators for music, stories, and a sharing time of the morning’s activities. Taking time to reflect on that day’s work and looking forward to the activities of the next day gives recognition to individual and group accomplishments as well as helping the children see the continuity of one day to the next. On Friday all classes gather for a Shabbat celebration of lighting the candles, saying the blessings over the challah and juice, and singing songs together.  Parents are always invited to join the children for Shabbat.

Dismissal
Children gather coats and backpacks and wait with educators at the entrance door for pick-up at 12:00.


Learning Objectives

 

Personal and Social Development

  • Separates easily from parent/caretaker
  • Follows classroom rules and routines
  • Manages transitions and changes in routines
  • Demonstrates initiative and self-direction
  • Demonstrates a curiosity about new and unfamiliar materials and events
  • Is comfortable participating in a variety of activities both alone and with others
  • Attempts challenging tasks with self-confidence and persistence
  • Shows respect and cooperation with peers both individually and in group activities
  • Shows respect and cooperation with adults
  • Displays self-control
  • Uses appropriate means to solve conflicts
  • Takes responsibility for self-care
  • Develops friendships with peers and demonstrates empathy for others
  • Demonstrates responsibility for the care of materials and for personal behavior

Language and Literacy

  • Speaks clearly using age-appropriate vocabulary
  • Participates in conversations and group discussions, using language to convey ideas
  • Listens attentively to stories read to a group and participates in follow-up discussions
  • Retells information from stories and verbally shares experiences
  • Shows an independent interest in reading books
  • Understands and follows directions involving multiple steps
  • Compares objects by identifying similarities and differences
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between spoken and written words
  • Identifies a number of sight words such as names of classmates, classroom signs
  • Demonstrates growing competency in identifying both upper and lower case letters
  • Demonstrates increasing understanding of letter-sound associations
  • Demonstrates growing competency in copying or independently writing both upper and lower case letters
  • Incorporates developing writing skills in dramatic play and classroom activities

Mathematical Thinking

  • Sorts and classifies objects in a variety of ways, e.g., by color, shape, category
  • Orders objects and events by one attribute
  • Demonstrates growing competency in rote counting
  • Demonstrates growing competency in identifying numerals
  • Demonstrates growing competency in copying or writing numbers independently
  • Demonstrates growing competency in identifying basic shapes and using their properties in a variety of activities
  • Shows interest and developing skill in using numbers in dramatic play, classroom activities, and in problem-solving
  • Demonstrates an understanding of patterning by extending patterns or creating own pattern
  • Demonstrates ability to use estimation and non-standard units for measuring
  • Demonstrates understanding of using graphing, counting, and measuring as ways to record data
  • Uses math skills to solve simple word problems

Scientific Thinking

  • Uses observation and experiences to ask questions
  • Proposes hypotheses and plans investigations to answer questions
  • Gathers information using different methods of recording data
  • Communicates discoveries and results of investigations through art forms, written words, pictures, music, and other media
  • Demonstrates a curiosity and appreciation for the beauty and wonder of the natural world

Social Studies

  • Demonstrates a growing awareness of the similarities and differences among families
  • Shows a growing understanding of our physical environment and our place in it – cities, countries, our world and universe
  • Expresses interest in other cultures, their food, traditions, and literature
  • Expresses interest in our history and past events

Artistic Expression and Appreciation

  • Uses a variety of art materials to express ideas and feelings
  • Enjoys dramatic play both as an organizer and as a group participant
  • Participates in group singing and creative movement activities

Physical Development

  • Demonstrates increasing skill in cutting with scissors
  • Has age-appropriate eye-hand coordination
  • Demonstrates consistent hand preference
  • Draws and writes with pencil using correct grip
  • Enjoys physical activity – shows age-appropriate coordination in running, jumping, climbing
  • Shows age-appropriate skill in throwing and catching
  • Demonstrates confidence in attempting new skills, shows persistence in mastering difficult skills