Spring-Mar’s curriculum is based upon our “learning through play” philosophy.  Our goals are set to help enhance self-esteem and the cognitive and emotional growth of our children.  Our environment fosters curiosity, language opportunities, creativity and socialization.  Our students discover and learn through first-hand experiences that stress process over product because children learn best through the environment, not through direct instruction.  We prepare our students for successful careers in elementary school and beyond!

Classroom Time

Children are grouped into classes by age and spend a part of their day within the classroom.  Spring-Mar strives to develop a community of friends that learn and play together, sharing and caring for one another.  The children learn to function in a group setting, expressing their ideas, listening to their friends and teacher, and responding appropriately.  During circle time, the teacher has the opportunity to present new concepts targeted to the age and ability of the class.  The children are allowed to choose among several play activities that focus on their emerging skills.

Center Time, a Special Part of Our Day

During this time, children have the opportunity to choose where they would like to play and what games and projects they are developmentally ready to pursue.  Art projects, large motor activities, and tactile exploration (sand, water, etc.) are among activities provided.  Children will gravitate to centers that serve their needs according to their stage of development.

Children learn to make choices, solve problems and gain independence.  They begin to learn time management skills, to take responsibility for their own actions, and to understand the consequences of their decisions.

Learning with Manipulatives (Table Games, Puzzles, etc.)

Through the exploration of various kinds of manipulatives, working either individually or with their peers, children develop fine motor coordination, independent learning, visual and spatial awareness, knowledge of colors and shapes, and social skills.

Learning in Housekeeping

Children progress from solitary to cooperative play and from practice play to symbolic play.  Social skills include pretending, cooperation, role-playing, communication, structuring roles, and actions.  Cognitive skills include memory, matching, motor skills, sequencing, use of symbols, classifying, early writing, problem-solving, and verbal skills.  Motor skills include dressing up and use of props and utensils.  Prop boxes integrate knowledge from field trips and themes.

Learning with Blocks

Math and science concepts include structural organization, sequence, hierarchies, equivalence and balance.  Social and cognitive skills include verbal practice, dramatic and imaginative play, cooperation, classifying and differentiation.

Learning with Art

Learning through art develops motor skills related to writing, and encourages self expression and confidence.  Children are urged to do creative wiring (through dictation) as they describe the stories behind their pictures.
Development proceeds from broad strokes of color to planned representational art.  Children observe the effects of mixing colors, experiment with various textures and explore changes through paint and play-dough.  The process is valued over the product, thereby fostering the childs self-concept and accepting the childs stage of development.

Music

The aim of the Music Program is first to have fun and create a great learning experience.  Beginning with music recognition: Name That Tune, and high-low, and fast-slow the children grow confident in their abilities and are ready to do simple song writing and then lyric changes to accompany classroom themes and holidays.  Simple mini-plays are rehearsed and then acted out.

Easy dances, signs, and motions are introduced throughout the year.

Each class time ends with a guess the instrument segment and includes a demonstration of how the instrument works and what is sounds like.  Each child may help make music on the instrument.  Sometimes homemade instruments and rhythm band instruments are played.  The class is intended to foster a love of music and instruments and lead them to discover more.

Movement

The Movement curriculum is designed to give children the opportunity to develop their motor skills, as well as to express themselves physically.  Generally, the activities follow them and combine a variety of movement skills such as hopping, skipping, galloping, balancing, rolling, throwing, and catching.

Movement concepts such as slow and fast, low and high, forward and backward are also incorporated into each session.  Creative movement, where the children use their imaginations as well as their bodies, involves the use of music, storytelling, and/or props such as scarves and a parachute.  Regardless of the activity or theme, the emphasis is always on participation, cooperation, and of course, having fun!

Field Trips and Visitors

All classes enjoy “in-house” field trips each year.  Examples of programs we have enjoyed in the past include Reptile and Raptor groups, military installations, and firefighters.  Our older classes also have parent-chaperoned field trips to places like the Fire Station, restaurants, animal farms, and the transfer station!

Curriculum Guidelines by Class

Explorers – 2-Year-Olds:

 

Social Emotional Skills

The child should be able to:

  • learn to share
  • learn to take turns
  • sit in a circle appropriately
  • sit at a snack table appropriately
  • use please and thank you appropriately
  • stay with the group
  • help clean up
  • play in groups of 2,3, or 4
  • play constructively alone
  • respect toys; treat them nicely
  • respect others work and project
  • separate from Mom and Dad
  • separate from Mom and Dad while they are co-oping
  • separate from the teacher
  • control anger
  • be compassionate towards others
  • become aware of different feelings:  happy, sad, angry
  • become aware of other people’s feelings
  • begin working out small differences or conflicts

Language Skills

The child should be able to:

  • verbalize his or her needs or wants
  • ask for things in a nice manner
  • verbalize thoughts to adults
  • verbalize thoughts to other children
  • begin communicating original thoughts
  • listen to group story time
  • help retell a favorite story or rhyme

Academic Skills

The child should be able to:

  • listen appropriately
  • participate appropriately
  • follow simple 1 and 2 step directions
  • become aware of the different colors
  • count to 5
  • identify pictures
  • begin to categorize different objects
  • explore different methods of creative expression
  • use his or her senses to explore

Self-Help Skills

The child should be able to:

  • put coat on and off with minimal assistance
  • improve his or her eating skills
  • toilet skills are individualized at this age

Fine and Gross Motor Skills

The child should be able to:

  • run, jump, and climb
  • learn social awareness
  • begin to button, snap, and zip
  • hold crayon, marker, paint brush appropriately

Pioneers – 3-Year-Olds:

Social Emotional Skills

The child should be able to:

  • share & take turns
  • sit in a circle without fidgeting excessively or disturbing others
  • sit at the snack table appropriately
  • use please and thank you consistently
  • stay with the group
  • help clean up
  • play in groups or play constructively alone
  • respect the environment (i.e. treat classroom materials with care)
  • respect others work and projects
  • separate from Mom and Dad
  • separate from Mom and Dad while they are co-oping
  • separate from the teacher
  • control anger
  • be compassionate towards others
  • become aware of different emotions
  • become aware of other people’s feelings
  • begin working out small differences or conflicts
  • listen appropriately
  • follow simple 2 and 3 step directions

Language Skills

The child should be able to:

  • verbalize his or her needs or wants
  • ask for things in a nice manner
  • verbalize thoughts to adults
  • verbalize thoughts to other children
  • begin communicating original thoughts
  • listen at story time
  • help retell a favorite story or rhyme
  • begin to verbalize real life stories
  • ask for help when needed

Academic Skills

The child should be able to:

  • identify different colors
  • count to 10
  • classify objects by general categories
  • explore different methods of creative expression
  • use his or her senses to explore
  • identify simple geometric shapes
  • begin to understand the concept of the calendar
  • begin to under the concept of the weather

Self-Help Skills

The child should be able to:

  • put coat on and off with minimal assistance
  • eat independently using good manners
  • serve him/herself at snack with minimal assistance
  • begin toileting with assistance

Fine and Gross Motor Skills

The child should be able to:

  • run, jump, and climb
  • go up the stairs with alternating feet
  • demonstrate social awareness
  • being to button, snap, and zip
  • hold crayon, marker, paint brush, and scissors appropriately
  • manipulate coins, buttons, and other small objects
  • manipulate tweezers, eye droppers and sprayers appropriately
  • tear and crumple paper

Navigators – 3 and 4-Year-Olds:

Social-Emotional Skills

The child should be able to:

  • begin to share and take turns appropriately
  • sit in a circle appropriately
  • sit at snack table appropriately
  • use appropriate table manners
  • stay with the group
  • help clean up
  • interact with other children i.e.:  groups of 3 or 4
  • play constructively alone
  • respect toys; treat them nicely
  • separate from Mom and Dad
  • separate from Mom and Dad while they are co-oping
  • separate from the teacher
  • control anger
  • be compassionate towards others
  • express different feelings:  happy, sad, angry
  • be aware of other people’s feelings
  • begin working out small differences or conflicts
  • be able to make choices during center time or in class
  • develop social cue awareness:  facial expression, gestures, tone of voice

Language Skills

The child should be able to:

  • ask for things using words
  • verbalize thoughts to adults and other children in complete sentences
  • communicate original thoughts
  • listen to group story time
  • retell a favorite story or rhyme
  • begin to verbalize real life stories
  • verbalize real life experiences
  • communicate with other children appropriately during play
  • increase receptive and expressive language through the use of books

Academic Skills

The child should be able to:

  • listen appropriately
  • participate appropriately
  • explore different methods of creative expression
  • use his or her senses to explore
  • follow simple 3 and 4 step directions
  • count to 15
  • manipulate puzzles
  • match, sort, and name colors and shapes
  • classify objects by general categories
  • sequence objects by size
  • identify positions such as in, out, on, under
  • begin to understand the concept of the calendar
  • learn the days of the week and the months of the year
  • understand the concept of weather
  • complete simple 1 and/or 2 step patterns

Self-Help Skills

The child should be able to:

  • put coat on and off:  button, snap, zip, velcro with assistance
  • use toilet independently
  • improve his or her eating skills
  • ask other teachers and adults for help when needed

Fine and Gross Motor Skills

The child should be able to:

  • improve skills such as running, jumping, climbing, catching a ball, and pedaling a bike
  • go up the stairs with alternating feet
  • hold crayon, marker, paint brush, and scissors appropriately
  • manipulate tweezers, eye dropper and sprayers appropriately
  • lace and string beads
  • tear and crumple paper

Inventors – Pre-Kindergarteners:

Social Emotional Skills

The child should be able to:

  • share and take turns appropriately most of the time
  • sit in a circle appropriately
  • sit at a snack table appropriately
  • use appropriate table manners
  • stay with the group
  • help clean up their share of toys and return to proper places
  • interact with other children i.e.: groups of 3 or more
  • play constructively alone
  • respect toys; treat them gently
  • respect others work and projects
  • separate from Mom and Dad
  • separate from Mom and Dad while they are co-oping
  • separate from the teacher
  • control anger
  • be compassionate towards others
  • express different feelings:  happy, sad, angry
  • be aware of other people’s feelings
  • begin working out small differences or conflicts
  • make proper choices during center time and in class
  • develop social cue awareness:  facial expression, gestures, tone of voice
  • understand other points of view
  • have independence in judgment and taking care of physical needs
  • have a sense of membership in and value to the class
  • have an understanding of rights and fairness
  • understand that there is often more than one way to solve a problem or answer a question
  • have a desire to participate and share ideas, thoughts, and feelings
  • make and sustain friendships
  • have a curiosity, excitement and enthusiasm for learning
  • manage frustration and conflict constructively
  • have optimism and self-confidence in social, physical, and intellectual competence
  • cooperate with others and follow reasonable rules
  • use successful strategies for meeting needs and solving problems
  • use leadership skills:  speaking outs, defending others, inspiring others, helping others who need it

Language and Academic Skills

The child should be able to:

  • ask for things using words
  • verbalize thoughts to adults and other children in complete sentences
  • communicate original thoughts
  • listen to group story time
  • retell a favorite story or rhyme
  • verbalize real life stories and experiences
  • communicate with other children appropriately during play
  • increase receptive and expressive language through the use of books
  • have an awareness of other uses of print in the environment
  • develop a love of stories, books, poems, and songs
  • understand that books contain knowledge
  • understand the relationship between the spoken word and the word in print
  • sequence events, pictures, and patterns in a logical order
  • recognize and match a variety of shapes and patterns
  • understand simple preposition
  • understand the concept of opposites
  • identify and produce rhyming words
  • recognize most of the letters
  • read and write their own name
  • recognize their classmatesnames
  • count to 20 or more
  • sort objects by two or more criteria such as color, shape, number, size
  • identify and verbalize measurement of weight, length, height
  • comprehend part/whole relationships
  • understand number concepts and 1 to 1 correspondence
  • be aware that numbers are fun and are used in board games, cards games, and cooking
  • understand that mathematical information can be represented by charts, graphs, and pictures
  • have a basic understanding of various sciences such as:
  • chemistry: color mixing, solids, and liquids
  • biology: body parts, how it works
  • botany: parts of a plant, its functions and changes
  • astronomy: earth and planets
  • meteorology: season changes and weather
  • participate in simple science experiments to make predictions, analyze, and reach conclusions
  • be aware and curious of their environment and its changes and how it works
  • begin to understand concept of time-calendar and daily routines
  • understand the make up of families
  • understand the workings of a community

Self-Help Skills

The child should be able to:

  • know where their belongings are
  • put coat on and take off:  button, snap, zip, velcro
  • use toilet independently
  • improve his or her eating skills
  • ask other teachers and adults for help when needed
  • try to resolve a disagreement with another child before seeking adult advice

Fine and Gross Motor Skills

The child should be able to:

  • run, jump, climb, catch a ball, and pedal a bike
  • go up and down the stairs with alternating feet, walk on balance beam, and hop on one foot
  • hold and use crayons, markers, paint brushes, and scissors appropriately
  • manipulate coins, buttons, stickers and other small objects
  • manipulate tweezers, eye droppers and sprayers appropriately
  • lace and string beads
  • tear and crumple paper
  • trace shapes
  • cut out on simple lines and shapes