- Tools of the Mind
- Spanish Immersion
- American Sign Language
Tools of the Mind
We use a constuctivist approach to teaching academics. This means that we teach specific skills to each child and once that child nears mastery, we then stretch their thinking and skills by introducing a higher order skill/concept. Famed child developmental researcher Lev Vygotskly called this the "Zone of Proximal Development". The Zone of Proximal Development is where learning/doing something entirely new occurs. A child will then construct (or build) on prior knowledge and experience. We prefer to think of skill building much like building a house – you have start with a strong foundation all while keeping the big picture in mind! We incorporate this sequential skill building approach daily through our thematic units, circle time, snack math, natural science, and music.
We offer an hour long Spanish class twice weekly. Spanish is taught using immersion and relevant content through our current thematic unit. Our highly qualified Spanish instructors also accompany the Preschoolers on the Daily Hike and use Spanish exclusively when communicating with other staff and the children.
American Sign Language (ASL)
Research has shown that ASL connects to a completely different part of the brain as opposed to just visual or auditory learning. We teach (and use) approxiamately five new ASL signs per thematic unit. We see an increase in comprehension, memory, and fine motor skills by using ASL.
Daily Nature Hikes
Kids also love to play!
Did you know that kids are learning while playing?
But, not all play is equal. When child engages in deep, dramatic play (the kind of play that makes the day fly by…) he is fully engaging his developing brain. At Papoose we foster deep play through our thematic units, natural, kid-powered toys, and through continual modeling and questioning. As a result, Papoose students are curious, self confident, who become socially and environmentally aware. Students are guided to respect individual differences, problem solve, and actively participate in taking care of their classroom and community. All this through Play!