Category Archives: classroom

Small Class Sizes at Square Roots Preschool

Our small class-size is just one of the many reasons to choose Square Roots for your preschooler. Did you know that a typical preschool classroom has sixty conflicts per hour, according to an article we found on Conscious Discipline. That’s one per minute! The main reason for this is larger class sizes of same-aged children who have the same needs and skills.

square roots classroom   Small Class size classroom1

Here are some of the other reasons we think you should choose Square Roots Preschool…

Our curriculum identifies goals in all areas of development:
Social: to help children feel comfortable in school, trust their new environment, make friends, and feel that they are part of the group.
Emotional: to help children experience pride and self-confidence, develop independence and self-control, and have a positive attitude toward life.
Cognitive: to help children become confident learners by letting them try out their own ideas and experience success, and by helping them acquire learning skills such as the ability to solve problems, make decisions, ask questions, and use words to describe their ideas, observations, and feelings.
Physical: to help children increase their large and small muscle skills and feel confident about what their bodies can do.

Why Choose Square Roots Preschool?

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Our curriculum identifies goals in all areas of development:
Social: to help children feel comfortable in school, trust their new environment, make friends, and feel that they are part of the group.
Emotional: to help children experience pride and self-confidence, develop independence and self-control, and have a positive attitude toward life.
Cognitive: to help children become confident learners by letting them try out their own ideas and experience success, and by helping them acquire learning skills such as the ability to solve problems, make decisions, ask questions, and use words to describe their ideas, observations, and feelings.
Physical: to help children increase their large and small muscle skills and feel confident about what their bodies can do.

Back to School!

Back in session

Square Roots Preschool is back in session!  We were so excited for school to start again…but I know that isn’t always the case for the children.  Starting preschool or going back to preschool can have a lot of emotions, including anxiety, excitement, nervousness.  What is my teacher going to be like?  What will the other kids be like?  Will I have fun?  Will the other kids want to play with me?  Will I miss my Mommy and Daddy?  What am I going to do all day?  Will I get to paint?  There are a million questions going through their little heads!

At Square Roots Preschool, we make this transition to preschool or back to preschool as easy as possible.

  • We offer tours of the preschool!  This is a great opportunity for your child to see the preschool in action and meet me.  He will actually get to see what the kids get to do everyday and get the chance to interact with his classmates.  This makes his first day so much easier because he has now met the other children and might even remember their names.  We will typically schedule your tour during our Invitation to Play time, which is the first part of our day everyday.  This is the time when the children can explore the classroom and everything it has to offer.  During every Invitation to Play, there are activities out in each of the following areas:  Art, Math, Science, Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Dramatic Play and Sensory.
  • Every day is structured!  We follow the same routine every day so she will know what to expect.  Every day when she arrives, she will play during Invitation to Play time, then we always clean up the classroom but don’t worry; there is lots of singing and fun when we clean up.  Next we always have a healthy snack and Ms. Taryn’s favorite part is everyone chatting.  This is where we really get to know each other; we talk about our weekends, what we like to play, all of our favorite things.  After our snack, we have circle time.  Circle time is so much fun!  We learn letters and numbers, months and weekdays, colors and shapes, Spanish and sign language.  We sing lots of songs and sometimes even get to play the teacher!  After circle time, we read books or sing and dance.  We really like to shake our sillies out!  Then we go outside.  There are many things to do outside like play in our playhouse or ride scooters or chase bubbles.  When we come back inside, we end our day with a group project.  This could any number of fun activities that Ms. Taryn likes to plan but always involves something to do with phonetics, science, cooking or gardening!  And you know what?  Preschool children can’t tell time…most anyway!  But they are really good at predicting routines.  If she is having a sad day, she knows that Mommy or Daddy always come to pick her up right after group project!
  • We play and have fun!  Our curriculum is play-based so everything we are doing is interacting with each other in a relaxed environment.  He is learning social skills such as making friends and mastering basic skills of interaction in a small, safe environment so when he goes to kindergarten he can feel confident with a few kids or a lot.
  • Our environment is home-y and loving!  If she really needs to bring her blankie to help her feel safe, she can.  If she hasn’t quite mastered going on the potty, that is okay.  If she has a conflict with a friend, all of us will work through the situation with gentleness and understanding.

Our goal at Square Roots Preschool is that your child develops a love of learning so that when he or she goes off to kindergarten he or she is read to learn.

p.s.  I found the Magic Confetti letter on Pinterest with no source.  So…if this is yours, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due:)

 

Learning About the Letter “H”

At Square Roots Preschool, we believe in tackling a concept from a variety of angles. When this approach is used, the concept becomes more concrete in the mind of a preschooler.

We typically focus on studying one letter each week, and we try to make the theme of most of our activities that week about that letter. This past week, we studied the letter “H.” It is our goal that the students can recognize the letter and it’s sound, as well as identify words and objects that begin with the letter of focus. All children are given the opportunity to write the letter, as well. Some of the activities we worked on this week are described, below.

1. “H Hearts.” The students were given a traced outline of the capital H and were asked to decorate the outline with heart stickers. They can focus on the letter and the sound, as well as identify an object (heart) that begins with that letter. In peeling each sticker, they have the opportunity to work on their small motor skills. Preschoolers love decorating with stickers, so this activity was fun for our students.

2. “Writing the Letter H.” During circle time, our students have the opportunity to write our letter of focus on their white boards. The older students can typically write the letter independently, while the younger students may need a bit of assistance or may opt to draw a picture of something that begins with the letter we are working on. We couple this activity with working as a team to create a long list of things that begin with the letter “H.”

3. “Hula Hoop Fun.” During outdoor exploration time, we brought out the hula hoops! The sound of the letter “H” is reinforced in this activity, and the students had a chance to work on gross motor skills while burning off some energy. They had the opportunity to use the hula hoop in the traditional way or jump in and out of a circle on the ground, depending on their physical development.

4. “Hurricanes.” Our science study was all about hurricanes. We discussed hurricanes, watched a video about hurricanes, and got to create our own hurricanes. While reinforcing our letter of focus, we got to learn about something new, work on our pre-writing and writing skills, and work on our gluing skills. The students made predictions and learned about cause and effect.

LetterH

These four activities are just a sample of the letter learning we did this week. By incorporating a variety of skills, subjects, and concepts centered around a single letter, we are able to reinforce letter recognition and letter sounds which are vital to reading and writing. The students are able to work as a team and individually in all sorts of ways, ensuring that we touch on each student’s learning style. In doing so, we build confidence and work on skills that need further development, all while having fun!

Sound Bytes: Out of the Mouths of Our Students

We can’t lie. One of the greatest things about working with preschool-aged children is the fact that we get to listen to the surprisingly insightful and inspiring things they say. But sometimes, they just say some downright funny stuff! Here are a few sound bytes from our students (names have been changed in the interest of privacy).

“Ms. Taryn, what are we going to do with the mango bird?” –Daisy, referring to a flamingo.

Ms. Taryn asked the students  to turn on their listening ears for circle time. “Mine automatically turn on!” –Aaron

While reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, we read the part where the author describes him as a big, fat caterpillar. “That is not nice to say!” –Daisy

The class was discussing Aaron’s upcoming birthday. Ms Taryn let everyone know that the next morning when Aaron woke up, he would be four. “Well then Aaron’s going to need bigger pajamas!” –David

During snack time, Aaron was telling us about the trash truck that comes and how the big arm grabs the trash can and lifts it up and dumps it into the truck. David asked Aaron if the arm reached out to grab him. “No. I wasn’t in the trash can.” –Aaron

We had a doctor’s office set up in our dramatic play area. David was playing “doctor,” and Ms. Kristen brought in a baby doll as a patient. Ms. Kristen asked David what was wrong with the baby. David replied, “How am I supposed to know? You brought her in.”

When Ms. Taryn had her baby, Ms. Kristen asked the class if they knew what she was doing that day. “She is having a baby come out of her belly button!” –Cash

While we were gearing up for circle time, Peter said “Let’s do rectangle time instead.”

Cash brought a new water bottle to school. Ms. Taryn asked where he got it. “From my backpack,” he explained.

When we announced that we were going to have a halloween party, Cammy said “but then we won’t learn anything!”