Early childhood education is what we know best at Tobin Children’s School. Children at this Pre-Kindergarten age learn most effectively in an environment with a balance of fun, exploratory play, combined with an introduction to combined with an introduction to problem solving, critical thinking, phonics and letter-based themes and social skill role-play. Our Pre-K children take these beginning skills and build on them for Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten-readiness.
Pre-Kindergarten Program Hours and Schedule Options:
- Full year program
- Open Monday – Friday, 7 am – 6 pm
- School closings:
- Closed approx. 12 days per year and 1 week during the summer
- Severe weather: we make every attempt to open to accommodate working parents but will, if necessary, open late, close early, or as a last resort close for the whole day.
Scheduling Options for Your Pre-Kindergartener:
- Full Day: 7 am – 6 pm
- Early Pick-Up: 7 am – 3:30 pm
- Learning Letters: As they grow, your child’s simple scribbles turn into the beginning of controlled marks, and then to intentional forms and beginning letters. Tobin uses the highly-respected, multi-sensory Wilson Fundations PreK program with this age group; which offers great preparation for Kindergarten.
- Teaching Method: Our teachers use a variety of manipulatives, sensory play opportunities, and a variety of art and writing materials for fine motor practice and development of a productive pencil grip.
- Pre-K Writing: Your child in Pre-K is working on making the connections between letters and sounds–the basis for future reading. Weekly letter practice focuses not only on how the letter is formed for writing, but also how the letter is formed in your mouth when speaking and trying to make connections to other letters and sounds.
- Daily Routine: Your child’s Pre-K classroom experience at Tobin Children’s School will include: name-writing practice, repeated exposure to print in the classroom, dictating a story to a teacher who will write it out, and expressing thoughts using art and beginning letter forms.
- Daily Read-Alouds: Your child will have daily read-alouds and one-on-one reading with a teacher, as well as access to quality books throughout the day, providing the foundation for a love of reading.
Science & Math
- Exploration: Science and math are all about exploration in our Pre-K class. Your child will have different materials to build with, explore, count, sort, pattern, group, and graph. Teachers use everyday situations to lay the groundwork for STEM concepts: for example, counting fruit slices at snack, pouring water in the sensory table, and constructing an amazing block structure.
- Monthly Learning Themes: Your child will have an organized way to learn about our world, the animals we share it with, and the way things work.
- Animal Science: Your child will explore nature and learn about respect for the animal kingdom through monthly virtual Animal Science lessons with Matthew Coughlin, known to the children as Mr. Matt.
- In our Pre-K classroom, your child will learn American Sign Language (ASL) and Spanish. With daily practice of familiar concepts, manner words, and new vocabulary, your child will enhance brain flexibility by learning that a word or idea can be expressed in numerous ways.
- PreK students are also introduced to cultures both near and far, and are encouraged to share their family traditions. Our groups have learned about Chinese New Year, Diwali, and Holi. These can be a great opportunity to explore other cultures and see how others view the world.
Social Emotional Learning
- Second Step: Tobin children get a well-rounded education that includes learning important social emotional skills to help them succeed in life! Learning to share toys, self-advocate when they have a problem, be flexible when needed, and show respect for themselves and others. We use the research-based Second Step Social Emotional curriculum to role-play, problem-solve, and learn these very important life skills.
- Emotions and Sharing: Your child will learn about their emotions and how to share them in a safe, respectful way. Our teachers introduce self-regulation and executive function skills that will prepare your child for the school years ahead – while having fun in a nurturing, warm environment.
- Music and Art Every Day: Our young learners explore visual arts and music daily in their classroom. Your child will model with clay, create sculptures and 3D structures, paint, draw, glue and make collages. We sing songs as part of our daily routine and share opportunities to dance, play instruments, and move our bodies to rhythms.
Physical Education & Wellness
- Get Moving: Moving is a way of life for PreK children, and we give them ample daily opportunity to run, climb, jump, bounce, dig and play! Come to our early childhood playground, which offers a wide-range of active play, along with large group games, seasonal water and snow play. We also have a large turf field. Your child has two outside opportunities each day, weather permitting, as we understand that young children have to move to learn.
- Yoga: Your child will enjoy monthly yoga story books, which are not only fun, but a great way to practice flexibility and breathing techniques that can support self-regulation.
At Tobin Children’s School we respect each child as an individual, knowing that they learn and develop along their own timeline. As education professionals, our teachers are well-versed in child development and supporting children’s individual learning goals.
- Assessment Tool: We are proud to use Teaching Strategies Gold at Tobin Children’s School. This research and evidence-based assessment tool provides a thorough look at each child’s current development and allows teachers and parents to work together to set goals for future learning.
- Ongoing Observation: Teachers make observations throughout their day using iPads to take photos and notes of children’s progress over time. These daily observations become a digital portfolio of your child’s learning during their time at Tobin. You are invited in for parent-teacher conferences three times a year to set goals and review progress. In addition, we encourage you to talk to us at any time – we want to build an active partnership with you throughout the year.