Preschool Academic Curriculum

The Preschool of Performing Arts utilizes research-based curriculum programs that have been carefully selected to help our students grow intellectually and socially, building a solid foundation for future academic success.  Students learn something new every day and are allowed to progress at their own level.  We use differentiated activities to match different students abilities to ensure that they are being challenged at every level.

     Skills are taught through small group instruction, large group instruction and literacy centers in order to teach and reinforce new skills.  Our plans and objectives are created following the 3 P’s rule:

1. Purposeful – Every activity we do has a specific purpose to help cement skills and encourage higher thinking.  Purposeful teaching provides scaffolding for the emerging learner.

2. Planful- Every lesson is planned in such a way that it is coordinated through all learning stations and subjects.  According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, a well-planned preschool program leads to intentional teaching which produces substantial long-term gains.

3. Playful-Research has shown that children are naturally inquisitive and learn best when given a chance to explore and discover through play.  We encourage children to do what they do best – play!  But we create an environment where the playing is combined with a great amount of learning.  

We engage our students in dynamic and challenging lessons in:

*       Science Using Kaplan Learn Every Day Curriculum our students are intellectually engaged and challenged while learning new skills and concepts in life science, physical science and earth science.  Creative experiments and exploration activities are designed to be fun and to also build on children's existing knowledge base. Using the Preschool Of Performing Arts West Science for Me lab projects & worksheets, students do experiments and document their results. Science opens up a whole new world of exploration, problem solving & team work. 

*       Math concepts and numeracy using McGraw-Hill Math Curriculum, we build a strong foundation in mathematics including: Numeracy, Geometry, Measurement, Patterns, Analyzing Data &Comparisons. Using the additional  Math for Me curriculum, students document what they have learned. 

*     Writing skills using the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum which is a play based instruction method using multi-sensory teaching in a developmental order to expose children to writing skills while boosting their confidence in their abilities. Muscle development is a focus as children begin the stepping stones toward penmanship. Students use Writing for Me additional practice pages to support the writing concepts they have learned.

*     Social Studies & Community building activities -  children learn manners, respect for others, how to work together as a group and how to lead the group when necessary. These actions are modeled, taught, and practiced using a variety of different materials and lessons every day, during every activity. 

*     Problem Solving and Creative Thinking -  Having an inquiry based, child centered program allows children to question and engage in authentic exploration and experimentation to solve problems using critical thinking and reasoning skills.  Day logic problems and 'think alouds' encourage children to think outside of the box. We use Little Leaders curriculum guide to encourage emerging leadership skills for girls. 

*     Interactive White board Technology -  We are excited to offer interactive white board technology which is now used in most elementary classrooms.  Interactive smart boards are an excellent tool for changing passive learners into active learners with endless possibilities at our fingertips. Having a smart board in the classroom gives students an opportunity to experience technology in a way that is completely different than what they have at home.

*      Centers -  a place to cement instruction with guided exploration and hands-on experiences with literacy connections.  Our center themes are: Math & Logic, Science & Discovery, Emergent Reading , Writing Exploration, Pretend Play, Building & Engineering, Fine Motor Skills, Creative Art, Speech & Diction

* Literacy - Using both the Kaplan Learn Every Day Curriculum and the Phonemic Awareness in Young Children Curriculum, our literacy program can be broken into categories:

Oral Language - "Oral language is arguably the most crucial area of academic focus during the prekindergarten years.  Oral language is the primary means by which children gain knowledge about the world, and it is the vital foundation for children's literacy development." (Shanker Institute, 2009)

                Our language rich environment enhances learning and encourages discussions.  We encourage authentic conversations with our students. Speaking and listening are valuable skills. Correct speech and diction is also emphasized by our in house speech pathologist to ensure every child reaches her full potential. 

Print Knowledge -  Our students are exposed to a variety of print every single day through out the use of storybook reading, group story creations, labels, word walls, student generated work, smart board activities and our reading nook. Students learn left to right tracking, top to bottom tracking and other important print knowledge concepts.

Phonological Awareness - Learning the individual sounds of the alphabet is taught as the foundation for future success in reading. Fun and educational activities help promote the important awareness of phonetic sounds and includes blending sounds to make words, recognizing and producing rhyming words, alliteration, and sound matching to support emergent reading skills. 

Alphabet Knowledge - Learning the letters of the alphabet, matching lower case to upper case, and using this knowledge to begin decoding new words and support emergent writing skills.

Phonics Leveled Reading -  We use an extensive variety of leveled readers to help our emergent readers build phonological, alphabetical and comprehension skills. Through the use of systematic, leveled instruction, we provide scaffolding for the early reader and differentiation for individual needs. This provides ample opportunities for each child to excel above and beyond the normal expectations. Dr. Maggie's Phonics Readers, Zoo Books early readers, Building Block Books Leveled Readers, Reading for Me, Houghton Mifflin leveled reading text books and many more are available to our students so that your child's individual reading journey is tailored for her specific emergent reading needs. 

    Our program is unique in the constant and purposeful way we have students challenging both hemispheres of their brain.  Both the use of the smart board and also the dance program encourage mid-line crossing which stimulates both sides of the brain. Having these activities intermingle with our academic time boosts our student’s brain activity increasing the ever growing web of neurological connections.

     Here at The Preschool of Performing Arts we provide above and beyond a basic pre-k education.  We stimulate curiosity and creative thinking while promoting a sense of community and empowerment in our students.  Our students enjoy learning and embrace education with enthusiasm, laying a strong foundation for future academic success.

Ballet   - Our Ballet  classes are taught in all age groups. They begin with a warm up & real ballet barre technique followed by technique across the floor & a ballet performance routine. After ballet class, all students get to dance on our stage to a fun fairy princess theme. The technique is real. The atmosphere is fun & positive. No experience necessary. Correct attire is required. Hair must be up. Students age 3 & up perform Ballet in recital. (Note that 3 year olds do not perform Jazz.) Age 4 classes perform Ballet & Jazz in recital. Age 5 & up perform Ballet & Jazz. Ballet  builds a strong foundation for dance. Strength, flexibility, balance, extension, turn out & control are improved with technique at the barre, center floor & movements across the floor. coordination. Our goal is to help you reach your goals. Starting dance while you are young will give you a strong foundation & the technique you need to succeed in the future. ATTIRE - On Ballet day students wear a leotard & light pink tights. Bring your play clothes to change into after class. Age 2 & 3 will wear a pink leotard. Age 4 & up will wear a black leotard.  

Jazz & Yoga -  Jazz & Yoga classes consists of a fun, upbeat, thorough warm up that improves strength & flexibility, followed by jazz technique across the floor, center floor & jazz combinations. Based on a foundation of the Martha Graham method, our Jazz technique is leveled. Students grow stronger & better each year.  Age Kinder bridge II & up perform Jazz  in recital. Our Jazz classes utilize the science of proper stretching to increase flexibility & strength. Routines consist of fun family friendly, age appropriate music,  choreography & costuming. Our kid friendly Yoga increases flexibility, balance & control. It's the perfect cool down after our Jazz technique. Getting limber and strong while you are young really sets a student up for success in the future. Flexibility also improves confidence & self image. ATTIRE - On Jazz & Yoga day students wear any color fitted T-shirt & any color fitted, stretchy leggings or fitted yoga pants. No dresses. No shorts. 

Art technique - Our art projects begin with Art technique & creative exploration of color. Students develop drawing techniques and color awareness through the exploration of many different art mediums including various child safe paints, chalks, pencils, clays and much more. Dress to get messy on art day! Creative minds are rarely tidy during the creative process! Most art projects require more than one week to complete. Some will be sent home when they are dry. Others will be saved for Parent nights and sent home after our Kinder Art Expo. (Note that it is best to wear your hair pulled back away from your face on art day.) ATTIRE - On Art day students must wear something they can get paint on.

Class Day Schedule

Mondays - Ballet day - Wear your black or pink leotard, light pink tights and bring play clothes to change into after dance.

Tuesday - Ballet & Jazz day - Wear any color fitted T-shirt, black stretchy leggings and bare feet (No need to change clothes on Jazz day.) On this day our dance time is split between the two subjects.

Wednesday - Art Day - Wear play clothes that you can get paint on

Thursday - Dance & Art Day - Wear play clothes that you can get paint on ( We will also rehearse our dances on stage so wear something you can move in. We will not be changing clothes on Thursdays.)

Friday - Gymnastics - Wear your Preschool Of Performing Arts T-shirt, any color stretchy leggings and bare feet ( No need to change clothes on Friday.)

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