Curriculum

Curriculum is what happens in the classroom… what is learned, how it is taught, and the role of the teacher. Our early childhood curriculum is developmentally appropriate and child-centered, based on the knowledge of the typical development of children while recognizing individual temperaments, learning styles, intelligences and rate of growth.

Girls with artworkIn our program, children spend most of their day working individually or in small groups where they make choices that encourage self-esteem and independence. Attention is paid to each child’s social-emotional development and each child’s interests. We believe in forming strong relationships with our children and their families, which helps us to discover the special thread for each child that forms the basis of our curriculum.

The preschool curriculum encourages the children to make their own choices about activities and to interact with others in meaningful learning experiences. The classrooms are divided into centers of activity where the children can explore through an integrated-curriculum — infused with block building, dramatic play, math, science, art, sand and water play, and literacy.

Doobim chasing bubbles outsidePlay is the work of the child. The daily schedule provides a balance of activities, including time indoors and outdoors, where the children are able to explore their environment and where connections are made with the land and people of their community. We know that children learn best through movement. Our program supports this through dance, music, and outdoor activities.

Our goal is to stimulate the child’s desire to learn and construct their knowledge of the world. Our emphasis is on the process, rather than the product. Our program is current in evidence-based research and our teachers are always available to share this research with our families. During parent-teacher conferences, our teachers share their assessments and observations to help our families understand their child’s growth. Through portfolios, we are able to highlight your child’s development and how it aligns with the New Mexico Early Learning Guidelines.

Literacy

Calder and Asher reading togetherOur literacy program recognizes the importance of establishing a connection between reading and writing. Our children are allowed to discover and explore literacy at their own pace. We nurture love of literature through meaningful experiences in our curriculum.

Language Skills

Our curriculum is delivered in English, but we infuse Hebrew and Spanish throughout our program. We are fortunate to have teachers who enjoy sharing their knowledge and skills in these languages.

Rest/Quiet Time (Menucha)

Young children need quiet time each day. The State of New Mexico requires a rest/quiet period for all children under six years of age in childcare for over five hours. Most children nap; those who do not nap, look at books quietly or do other small quiet activities. Children will rest on their mats, on a cot, or on the carpet. We ask that you bring in a small, thick folding mat, a small blanket, and a small pillow for your child’s rest time.

Judaic Content

Star of DavidWe welcome all families to participate in our celebration of Jewish culture and tradition. The Preschool curriculum integrates teachings about Jewish life and values. The Jewish religion is cyclical and attuned to nature, thereby providing a seasonal rhythm to life. Through story, song, art, and food, we celebrate the major Jewish holidays in a gentle way that makes sense to young children.

  • We celebrate Shabbat every Friday by reciting the blessings in Hebrew over the candles, juice, and Challah (braided egg bread). The Director and Rabbi leads us as we sing Shabbat songs and tell Shabbat stories.
  • A major component of Reform Judaism is Tikkun Olam, the repair of the world. We integrate this value into our daily lives at the preschool by talking about good deeds and doing them by being good to each other (mitzvot).
  • Also important to Judaism is our caretaking relationship to the world, Bal Tashchit. We study nature throughout the year, learning about our natural environment and helping to take care of it through gardening and recycling.

We respect every family’s background, heritage and language. We invite you to share this information with the director of the Preschool and the teaching staff to enhance our awareness and respect for your family and child.

Start of walking field tripField Trips

Field trips are an important part of our program. We are lucky to have many places of interest close by. We often walk to the Children’s Museum or around the neighborhood to observe nature or to a local park.

When we drive the children, the distance is short. For example, we may attend a children’s play or visit one of the great local museums.

We are now required to have parents sign permission forms for each walking field trip in addition to the form signed at registration. We give out permission forms for all driving trips each time. No child is allowed to go on a field trip without a signed permission form.

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