The Early Childhood Curriculum

The Early Childhood program at Indian Creek School is child-centered, designed to stimulate students’ innate curiosity and natural inclination to collaborate. We offer young children activities that are developmentally appropriate and multi-sensory. Thematic units provide the means to investigate and assimilate new concepts and expand upon those already acquired. Children immerse themselves in these themes through stories, enriched play opportunities and hands-on learning centers.  

Language arts, mathematics, science and social studies are introduced and woven throughout the thematic units. In addition to participating in these classroom subject areas, children attend specialization classes each week: Motor and Movement, Spanish, Music, Art, Introduction to Research Lab (a unique introductory experience in technology and library skills) and Book Buddies (peer relationships between grade-level classes).

Children are motivated to learn letter sounds through Jolly Phonics. The program associates sounds with hand motions, stories, songs and tactile experiences. Jolly Phonics introduces the 42 sounds in the English language rather than focusing on letter names. This approach enables children to step more easily into blending sounds into words.  Jolly Phonics is a research-based phonics and grammar program that Indian Creek uses on a continuum from three-year-olds through third grade.  

Emerging student writing begins with children’s own attempts at ‘pretend’ writing. As phonetic skills develop, the students begin to dictate their thoughts and use imaginative, phonetic spelling. Informational and fictional writing is progressively encouraged in the Early Childhood program through play, drawing with dictation and journal writing. The Lucy Calkins method of writing is initiated in kindergarten and continues to develop through the Lower School years.

Mathematics is introduced in the three-year-old class through regular class experiences such as daily calendar math, cooking, puzzles, patterns and block building. The preschool curriculum of Core Knowledge provides the structure for this program. The Pre-Kindergarten 4 classes use the Building Blocks curriculum, which is specifically designed for early childhood students. This provides a strong foundation for our kindergarten students who use the Singapore math program, Primary Mathematics.  Both of these curricular resources are also well-researched and documented programs that introduce all concepts first through concrete manipulatives, then through pictures and finally move to the abstract. 

How we play and work together as a school family holds the key to effective learning and growing.  The Conscious Discipline program provides early childhood teachers with the framework and skills to nurture students’ ability to self-regulate and grow as a community of learners.  Each classroom has a Peace Place where children may go to self-soothe using calming techniques taught in class.  This program also works to support children in developing empathy and learning techniques that help them learn conflict resolution.  

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes hold Immersion Days throughout the year for in-depth studies of a variety of themes. 

 

 
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