Annette's Preschool is a  5 STAR program

Infant/Toddler Program

(Nursery: 6 weeks - 12 months)

The routine of the Nursery here at Annette's Preschool is largely driven by the infants themselves, as well as the personal lifestyle and goals of mommy and daddy. We nap and feed on demand, and we give ample opportunity for exploration of the classroom, manipulatives, and of themselves. One of the goals of our curriculum is to provide as much security and comfort to the infants as possible. A nurtured baby is one that is more receptive to learning and developing new skills. We fill our classroom with rocking chairs, stuffed animals, bright colors, a variety of manipulatives designed to stimulate sensory perception, blankies, baby books, and bouncy chairs. There are large portions of the infants' day dedicated to playing on the floor (including “tummy time”), in which they explore their classrooms and learn about and strengthen their bodies. In addition, our Nursery teacher is fluent in “baby signs” as a form of communication as well as a variety of other skills, approaches, and philosophies of infant education and care. The children leave the nursery as happy, confident toddlers!

THE LEMUR CLASSROOM (Mobile Infants: 12 - 24 months)

As the children hit their first one-year developmental landmarks, our staff members keep the little ones busy with lots of play-based, hands-on, explorational learning. Our age-appropriate curriculum components focus on fine and large motor skills (painting with a paintbrush, coloring with a crayon, turning pages, tumbling, tossing a ball, etc…), sensory stimulation (flour, sand, rice, water play, etc..), and self-autonomy/life skills (feeding ourselves, using sippy cups, expanding our vocabulary to better communicate with our teachers and friends, and sharing). Once these skills are mastered through repetition, modeling, and play our little friends move on up to the Big Toddler room with a new set of goals and lots more to explore!!

THE TIGER CLASSROOM (Toddlers: 2 - 3 years)

When children reach the age of two, they are entering into an important period of growth and self-discovery. With the increasing independence and willfulness of children at this stage, they are often referred to as the “terrible twos,” a title we would love to put to rest for good! We feel that two is the magical age of imagination and pretend play, of developing empathy, building trust, and forming interactive and reciprocal peer relationships.

Our class has a very hands-on, play-based approach to learning. We aren't afraid to get dirty, as we love to explore sensory and art on a daily basis! Our classroom is filled with age-appropriate toys, dramatic play clothes and materials, as well as lots of books and manipulatives! We also value the children's art work and projects, and fill our walls with examples of their colorful imaginations!! The majority of our themes are based upon the interests of the children as seen through observations. We also use play as a teaching time. Play promotes children's development in many areas. For example, play promotes problem solving skills, social skills, builds attention span, develops large and fine motor skills, and enhances creativity. As the Vermont Early Learning Standards state, “Through play, children enhance the learning of skills, knowledge, and dispositions that guarantees success in later schooling” (2003).

We have a variety of assessment tools at our disposal, which we implement throughout the year. Our primary means of assessment and representation of growth are our student portfolios. Represented in each portfolio are written observations, photo documentation, art work, conversations, and notes. We also use a scaled formal assessment which covers knowledge of colors, alphabet, numbers/counting, shapes, social skills, language skills, and self-help skills. These are completed twice a year, and are also included in their portfolios.

Aside from formal assessments, there are also many other milestones to be reached during their year in the Older Toddler room. Developing language and communication skills is very important. When children have a hard time finding words to express their feelings, wants, or needs it is our job to provide them with both the appropriate words, as well as model conversations and communications for them to emulate. We also see children move from side-by-side play to more social interactive and group play. Another very important milestone for children and their parents is potty training! We work with and encourage children to use the potty as they begin to show interest and signs of being ready to potty train. This is a very exciting and rewarding time! We believe strongly in parent communication on a daily basis to discuss growth, answer questions, establish goals, and share a smile!

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