Our Daily Schedule

CLASS SCHEDULE
There are two sessions a day at Chalkboard Monday thru Friday. The morning session hours are 9:00a.m. – 12:00p.m five days a week and the afternoon session hours are 1:00p.m. – 4:00p.m on Tuesday and Thursday. It is important that parents meet children promptly at the close of each day as a child may be insecure when all his friends are gone and no one has come for him. There are many set up and clean up activities each day for the teachers, so we need your cooperation about arrival and dismissal time.

EXPLORATION TIME (9:00-10:45am / 1:00 – 2:45pm)
-CRAFTS-
Crafts are available at at least two of our three tables with a teacher or aide to instruct and help at each table. Here, the kids learn skills like cutting, gluing, using crayons, markers and paints, and following directions, as well as colors, shapes, and simply using their imaginations. 

A lot of our crafts are done in one day but we also do some crafts where the child does a different step every day that they come to school. For example we’ve made Stegosaurus head dresses, paper mache light up globes, painted fossils with the name of the dinosaur written in alphabet stickers, and spring name plates with clothespins, each with a letter of their name on them to clip to the bottom. They use a number a different skills to make these projects and get a chance to see how they can use all of these skills to create something really special.

*You can find photos of a number of the different crafts we have done on our Facebook page.*

-SCIENCE-
We LOVE science and doing science experiments at Chalkboard and do as many as we can. We’ve made erupting volcanos, seen how flowers turn the color of the water that they are in, made ooblek, fizzy dinosaur eggs, and watched the colors bleed from M&Ms. We’ve learned about seeds, harvested them from our garden, planted them and watched them grow, made terrariums and talked about why they don’t need to be watered, and cracked open buckeyes from our buckeye tree.

We also have a bug collection that includes an enormous dung beetle, cicada, damselfly, bees, ladybugs, lots of moths and butterflies, and about 10 beautiful butterfly wings from different kinds of butterflies. We talk about how important bugs are and that lots of the food we eat rely on bugs. We’ve learned that Cicada Killer wasps only look terrifying and became friends with one who liked to land on my arm (we named him Arthur). One of our little garden plots in front of Chalkboard is specifically for caterpillars and butterflies with the plants that Monarch caterpillars eat (milkweed), plants that swallowtail caterpillars eat (parsely, dill, fennel) and flowers that both attract and feed butterflies. Last year we even got to watch a wild Monarch caterpillar go from a tiny caterpillar, to a big fat one, build his chrysalis, and were there minutes after he enclosed (came out of his chrysalis). We read books about his long trip to Mexico for the winter, watched a video about how he would be welcomed with parades and dancers on Dio de los Muertos.

Science is everywhere and at Chalkboard we like to explore it all!

-OUR THIRD TABLE-
Our third table is our alphabet, writing, puzzle, and small motor skills table. Many of our children are too young to write their name and there is no benefit in forcing it but often this is where we can get them familiar with the the letters and their sounds through games and activities. Our older kids (and those younger kids who are ready) will do a little more advanced play with letters, learning how to write their names and the letters of the alphabet.

We also use our third table for puzzle doing puzzles, Lincoln Logs, Magnatiles, kinetic sand, sorting bears, and up close exploration with microscopes of shells, fossils, plants and seeds, and all sorts of other other activities that kids can do without a teachers help.

-BUILDING AND CREATING NEW WORLDS-
It is very important that preschool age children get time to use, not just their eyes and ears but their hands as well, to explore, and we have a variety of wooden blocks, large intersecting plastic blocks, dress up clothes, our kitchen and market, legos, dollhouses, spaceships, trains and tracks, and people and animals for them to use to do just that. Here they get the chance to really spread out and use their imaginations, creating whole worlds that they can explore, but just as importantly, they learn how to do it with others. This is where they learn to compromise, work together, share, and communicate 

CIRCLE AND CHIT CHAT TIME (10:45 – 11:05am / 2:45 – 3:05pm)
During Circle Time we talk about the day of the week, the month, the weather, what we have done so far today, and the children get a chance to each share something with the class, whether it is what they did that weekend, something they are looking forward to, or just tell a funny story.

This is also when we talk more about our weekly theme and ask the kids questions that put the theme more in the context of their lives like what layer of the rainforest do you think you would hang out in the most? What would you want to have with you in your cave if you were a hibernating bear? Would you rather be a fast swimming dolphin or an octopus with eight legs? This is also when we like to make murals of what we are learning about. When we were doing hibernation we made a mural of how and where animals hibernate (some turtles sleep in the mud by ponds, bats and bears sleep in caves, garden snails find nooks in between rocks or under dead leaves and close up their entrance with mucus to keep them moist during hibernation).

HAND WASHING (11:05 – 11:15am / 3:05 – 3:15pm)
We do a number of fun alphabet games as a way to call the children up to wash their hands and it is a good opportunity for them to learn patience and how to sit still, two very important skills for kindergarten.

They also wash their hands when they arrive, going straight to the sinks before beginning to play and after snack, before they leave.

SNACK TIME! (11:15 11:30am / 3:15 – 3:30pm)
We provide a healthy snack while the kids learn manners, such as please and thank you when they are served, and fun facts about the theme of the week.

Ok, snack isn’t always healthy. We love having the kids try new things and celebrate traditions all over the world so on Fat Tuesday we have paczki, for Diwali we get Indian almond cookies from Mughal Bakery on Devon, for the last week before our winter break we have pandoro from Italy, lebkuchen from Germany, bouche de noel from France, Latkes, sour cream, and apple sauce in celebration of Hanukah, and real hot (warm) cocoa with fresh whipped cream and a stroopwafel (from Belgium). We’ve also had Ube (purple yam) Pie (the Philippines and Hawaii where it’s known as Haupia), Poky and rice crackers (Japan), fresh mango and coconut when we were learning about the rainforest, and many other “snacks” from around the world.

STORY TIME (11:30-12:00am / 3:30 – 4:00pm)
Everyday we read a story. Oftentimes it relates to the theme but sometimes it is just a great book. Other times it will be about something cool that we want to learn more about like the ocean and we will talk about the many animals you can find in the sea, keeping the water clean, and what sand is made of.

This is also when the kids wind down after a morning or afternoon of play and exploration. In the last 5 minutes we pass out coats as we talk and as the parents arrive they each get called up to go home.

Printable Spring 2019 Curriculum PDF, Click to download!

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