Three-year-olds can best be described as sunny, silly, and socially aware. They become eager to please and anxious to interact more with those around them. Play activities become much more sophisticated and creative cooperative play becomes the norm. Three year olds acquire a vocabulary of over 1,500 words before the end of the year. Gross motor skills improve greatly; children can run, jump, and balance easily, and they usually learn to pedal tricycles and go upstairs alternating feet. Imagination and a sense of humor become evident. Friends are important. Art activities are a favorite of threes.
Our program addresses learning in all developmental areas—physical, social, emotional, cultural, language, aesthetic, and intellectual. Children develop an understanding of the world around them because content from all disciplines--language arts, math, science, social sciences, art, music, and physical education--are integrated using themes, projects, play, and other learning experiences.
Structured play during center time, large group activities, small group activities, outdoor play, art, math, and language activities, and enrichments (library, PE, music, and art) provide a wide variety of concrete learning experiences to meet the individual needs of each child.
The language arts program includes the development of both receptive and expressive vocabulary, listening and communication skills, appreciation for literature, comprehension and recall of stories, development of print awareness, introduction to letter recognition, recognizing their own names, sequencing skills, position words, opposites, and synonyms, and auditory and visual discrimination.
The math program includes numeral recognition to the number 10, understanding of number value (the ability to match the quantity with the symbol), one-to-one correspondence, classification and sorting, sequencing, counting, conservation of number, shape recognition, spatial concepts, as well as Handwriting without Tears Tag Bags. The Handwriting Without Tears number books for math are also part of the curriculum.
Gross motor activities focus on developing coordination, strength, endurance, and agility. We focus on skills such as hopping, jumping, balancing, and pedaling that are not only important for creating strong healthy bodies, but that are vital to healthy brain development as well. The children ride tricycles, and bouncy balls, climb stairs and slide and swing.
Fine motor activities include any that help control, strengthen, and coordinate the small muscles in the hand, fingers, and wrist. Our program provides experiences for scissors skills, writing skills, and other manipulative skills such as stringing, painting, drawing, playing with play dough and manipulating small objects, finger plays to develop dexterity, as well as Handwriting Without Tears.
In the science program, children learn by exploring their environment and discovering the world around them. We hatch butterflies from caterpillars. We also explore metamorphosis by observing mealworms and their life cycle. The three year old program encourages observation and provides opportunities for experimenting, problem solving, and exploring cause and effect as we investigate life science, physical science, and environmental science themes such as plants, insects, weather, hygiene, and physical changes during cooking.
The social living program centers on learning appropriate social behavior and social skills. Our children will expand their social circles as they learn to share, care, and become aware of others and their feelings. We have a Big Buddy program in which our three year old students are paired with selected eighth grade students. Weekly visits throughout the year establish a special bond between our three year olds and their Big Buddies. They assist in monthly fire drills, play on playgrounds and sit with the children at school wide programs.
The religion program uses the Southwest Association of Episcopal School (SAES) curriculum and includes weekly age-appropriate chapel services. The service incorporates the use of music, puppetry and storytelling.
We endeavor to nurture and enrich the lives of children by providing an environment that allows children to feel safe enough to explore their world. We hope to enable them to become independent, self-confident and become capable life-long learners.