Geared toward the developmental milestones and curiosities of younger preschoolers, BrightPath’s preschool program provides a variety of learning experiences based on our current theme of study and an array of play-based activities. Throughout your preschooler’s day, they will receive two nutritious snacks and a lunch in a family style manner. Our teachers sit down at the table with our students, encourage self-serving, good table manners, and polite table conversations.
Our younger preschoolers engage in at least two large group times each day. During these times, children:
- Greet each other
- Sing fun songs
- Listen to stories
- Share experiences
- Play games
- Discuss the theme-related experiences that are available to them in the classroom that day
Our classroom environment encourages young preschoolers to be independent, allowing them to make choices regarding the learning areas in which they would like to explore and play.
Our preschool classrooms are much larger than typical schools. This allows us to include many interest areas, including:
- Dramatic play (where children can dress up and take on family and community helper roles)
- Blocks and building
- Manipulatives and math
- Art and creative expression
- Cozy corner (a soft and calming area where children can go to relax and have time alone if they choose)
- Music and movement area
Children play and learn outside twice a day (weather permitting), and our teachers bring fun games and experiences from the curriculum into the great outdoors. Our playgrounds include materials such as climbers, trikes, swings, and other equipment that promote physical development. After lunch time, our children transition into nap or quiet time where they have the chance to rest their bodies before our fun filled afternoon begins.
Our preschool curriculum is based on what our children already know about each study topic and what they wonder or would like to learn. Our teachers adapt the available classroom experiences based on their students’ interests in order to scaffold and engage them in learning in ways that are meaningful to them. Our themes and studies range from learning about the different seasons to learning about how living things change and adapt to their environments. Our teachers bring these themes to life by changing the learning centers within the classroom by adding thematic toys, tools, and props. In this way, our themes are incorporated into each learning center.
We also bring hands-on learning experiences into our centers. For instance, in the spring we watch caterpillars change into butterflies in a classroom butterfly habitat. We also watch fertilized chicken eggs as they hatch into baby chicks in our classroom incubator.
In addition, our preschool families can enroll their children in our literacy program, BP read with Me. The program is designed to promote emergent reading and writing comprehension. We offer a variety of fun and stimulating activities to help children identify letters, comprehend sounds and words, and develop best practices to support early writing habits. Each lesson takes place in a teacher-led, small group setting with the intention of enhancing the emergent literacy skills that children are already learning as part of our EPiC preschool curriculum.
Some of the skills that your child will be working on in our younger preschool program include:
• Problem solving
• Creatively expressing themselves through art materials and dance
• Conflict resolution
• Making predictions
• Becoming independent through the development of self-help skills
Our preschoolers also learn and use Sign Language with their teachers and peers throughout their day. BrightPath has 20 basic core signs that our teachers use with our age groups daily to help communicate wants and needs. Our preschoolers also learn signs that pertain to their current study. They practice these signs during group time and are encouraged to use them during interactive play experiences with their teachers and friends. The benefits of using American Sign Language include enabling children to be able to communicate more effectively, hastening speech development, reinforcing the learning of educational concepts such as ABC’s, animals, and other specific themes, and helping children to remember words due to the muscle memory involved.
Our curriculum experiences are based on the new Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards, which align with the national Common Core learning objectives. The main developmental areas reflected in the CTELDS are science, mathematics, social studies, the creative arts, language & early literacy, and social, emotional, and physical development. During each theme of study, our teachers observe their student’s development as they focus on a few goals at a time. We offer parent/teacher conferences three times each year to encourage families to discuss their child's progress and to determine ways to encourage further development. In this way, we work with families to help our students grow.