Bunny Class Preschool
Students in the Bunny class are learning how to live as a separate person from those to who they are closest. Separation anxiety, which can be an issue until the students learn the routine of the day, quickly subsides as the students learn to trust the classroom teacher as one who will provide love and support away from home.
Bunny Class students are learning to play with a friend. The teacher is a model as to how to share and take turns at all times. Fine motor skills are developing. In this classroom, students have fun stringing beads, working puzzles and peg boards, painting at the easel, playing in the sensory table, and working at the art table with a teacher. Outside play allows students to practice running and pedaling a bike.
Formal and informal opportunities for music occur throughout the school day. Self-help skills such as putting on a jacket, eating with a spoon and fork, and learning to use the toilet are encouraged but never demanded. Bunny class students still need to rest and learn to nap on a mat at preschool.
Communication is very important to the two year old. They enjoy listening to simple stories and have frequent opportunities for listening and speaking both informally during playtime and during short group times.
Teachers: Brenda Prater, Betsy Brown
Fish Class Preschool
Three year old students at Saint Mary attend the Fish Class. Fish class students are busy observing and imitating. They learn best by doing and are given many occasions in the classroom to create their own learning through exploration.
To help the students process abstract information such as colors, numbers, shapes and the alphabet, many of the learning opportunities involve touching, tasting, smelling, looking and hearing.
Students continue to develop skills assembling puzzles, using blocks, peg boards and other manipulatives. Large motor/muscle skills are getting stronger—the students enjoy being involved in music and movement in the classroom and playing outdoors on the playground. Many learn to pedal a tricycle.
Self-help skills are becoming more evident. Under the caring direction of a teacher, students learn to take care of bathroom needs, eat lunch, and put on jackets mostly unaided.
Three year olds are beginning to be more aware of themselves and are beginning to notice differences in others. Activities in the Fish classroom are designed to promote empathy and respect for the rights of others. The classroom teachers are strong models of love and compassion and help each student to feel loved and valued as a child of God.
Teachers: Debbie Williams, Lauren Allen
Frog Class Preschool
The “Frog Class” students are busy getting ready for Kindergarten. Their growth and development is evident. To teach and promote self-discipline and a positive attitude towards learning, the classroom day is more equally divided between teacher directed and self-directed learning.
Activities such as show and tell are planned to promote and foster language opportunities in the classroom. Daily jobs for each of the Frog students help develop social skills, such as cooperating, helping and negotiating. Four and five year olds are better able to classify, sort, and understand spatial relationships. Classroom math and science projects help the students to explore and learn. Art activities are offered and encouraged both to continue to develop fine motor skills and also to promote creativity. Music is offered both formally and informally in the Frog Class. Alphabet letter sounds and formal writing instruction is introduced.
Outdoor play continues to be an important part of the school day as Frog class students run, dig, climb, ride tricycles, and begin to learn to play organized games.
Children of this age are beginning to understand more fully the concept of God and His son, Jesus. Stories from the Old and New Testament are read and discussed and simple Catholic doctrine is introduced. The teacher continues to be the strong link between the home, the school and the world.
Teacher: Camille Denis, Vanessa Griffin, Sarah Frucci (Fridays)
Before School Care: Sarah Frucci, Leslie Bennett
Playground: Emma Bethel