Our curriculum is based on a “whole child” approach. Our belief is that children learn and experience life with multi-modalities that are intertwined. We focus and utilize each child’s strengths while building upon the skills that they have not yet mastered. Throughout our day we incorporate goals for the following areas of development: cognitive, language, auditory, social and speech.
Units, themes and lessons are carefully crafted by a team of professionals to include these areas of development. Teachers and therapists collaborate to create common goals specific to each child.
Every Wednesday, our teachers, speech-language pathologists and supervisors sit down at a Strivright planning meeting where they pool together their experience, creativity and love for children and generate the most amazing results! This meeting of the minds is the cornerstone to our work here, and we gladly share our concepts with you!
Critical components of each day include 2 daily lessons, fine motor activity, circletime, exercise/gross motor, play and centers. The following curriculum components are incorporated within themes/units.
Listening and speaking are key components of every daily activity. Our students are motivated to listen attentively for enjoyment, to gain information, and follow directions. They are encouraged to initiate and maintain conversations, and express their thoughts and feelings clearly. Our staff works carefully to expand their students’ utterances and produce clear and pleasant sounding speech and language with the correct use of syntax.
The ability to think independently and engage in problem solving is a foundation for learning and preparing for a mainstream environment. The children are encouraged to observe, analyze, compare, and reason throughout the day. They are encouraged to exhibit curiosity and approach activities with creativity and imagination.
Our students gain rich foundation into the world of literacy and reading. We focus on skills such as auditory memory, rhyming and closure. We also tune into phonemic awareness, the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds-phonemes in spoken words. Teachers and therapists work closely to discuss the Literacy Curriculum, and its goals and techniques. Our literacy curriculum includes letter and print knowledge, phonological awareness, and reading and listening comprehension. Through our Literacy Enrichment Program children learn to use their cognitive skills through imagination and prediction.
Our students develop comprehension skills by answering questions about the stories they have read as well as through dramatic role plays of the stories. The children are encouraged to retell the stories both at home and in school. They are exposed to a diverse collection of fiction and non-fiction texts and learn to describe the role of an author and illustrator as well as compare and contrast stories related to the same topic.
Math skills are taught within a group as well as on a 1:1 basis to ensure competence. The teachers will often embed these skills within a thematic unit, such as counting apples in the Fall. The children learn number names, the count sequence, and the relationship between numbers and quantities. They work on comparing groups of numbers. Motivating manipulatives are used to aid in mathematical problems. Children learn to describe objects in the environment using names of shapes and size.
Our science curriculum is taught to broaden our students’ environmental concepts. The children learn to ask questions, make predictions, plan and conduct investigations, and develop explanations for many scientific elements including: earth and space, weather and seasons, plants and animals, and physical properties.
Our goal is for the children to develop a basic awareness of themselves as an individual, within a family, and within the context of a community. They learn to recognize some community works and describe what they do. Our children demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of their own culture and other cultures.
Our preschool students enjoy a weekly creative arts class. The purpose of this class is to give the children a chance to use their imagination and be creative in a relaxed and stimulating environment. The art activities closely mirror the curriculum unit that the classroom are learning, and gives the children opportunities to carry over language and skills into other environments. Children learn techniques such as: primary & secondary colors, string art, painting methods, clay and others. As children work together, they learn to share, request items and complement each other on their artwork. Children will learn to feel good about the choices they make and gain confidence in themselves by completing projects from concept to finish.
We incorporate daily musical activities, such as singing songs, performing finger plays, and listening to music. Each week, children have the opportunity to experiment with various musical instruments within our music room, guided by our Music Therapist.
Our weekly group sessions at both our Early Intervention and preschool programs provide singing, listening, movement and playing musical instruments. A relaxed and encouraging atmosphere is created to provide children a space to explore and experience sounds, and most importantly, to “find their voice”. During the music session, goals of improving impulse control, increasing attention span and building self-esteem are addressed.
Each day our students participate in a variety of dramatic play activities to represent fantasy and real life experiences. They learn how to assume the role of something or someone else and speak in the appropriate manner and tone. Basic props, puppets, and costume pieces are set up within the classrooms.
Our curriculum includes activities to help the students engage in a variety of physical fitness activities. We focus on competence in coordination, awareness of spatial boundaries, and maintaining balance. Fine motor skills, visual-motor skills and eye-hand coordination are integral for a child to learn. Materials such as crayons, paint brushes, scissors, strings, and beads are used to aid in the children’s development of these skills.
Formal and informal lessons about personal care and hygiene are incorporated on a regular basis. The children learn to recognize the importance of good nutrition and healthy habits in order to be healthy. An essential part of our curriculum is the awareness and understanding of safety rules, such as wearing a bike helmet and knowledge of bus safety.
Our school psychologist, teachers, and therapist all work toward developing our students’ self -regulation, positive relationships with adults and their peers, and their ability to solve social problems. Formal social skills lesson goals include expressing feelings, naming emotions, and regulating responses to emotions and events. Our students learn about their own uniqueness in terms of their talents and interests and exhibit self-confidence by attempting new tasks.
Our children learn best when ideas are presented in a multisensory fashion. Hands-on activities, such as sand, rice, and water tables enhance the learning experiences. Individual ‘sensory diets’ are implemented when necessary.