A Day at the Center

Students begin arriving at 7:30 and may join a student worker for breakfast or begin to explore centers set up around the room. Parents sign their children in and check the parent bulletin board where they can see the lunch menu for the week, newsnotes, and important announcements. Children are immediately engaged in activities designed to be fun while developing skills. Students work with puzzles and blocks to increase spatial awareness and logical reasoning skills. They visit a reading center to read books as accurately or imaginatively as their development allows. Housekeeping/dress-up is one of the most popular centers where children love to create situations and role-play. Other activities are located at tables where student workers encourage play and problem solving. 

Around 9:00 children participate in "circle time". This large group gathering is a time for review of skills, math through the calendar, and pledge to the flag. Circle time also includes multicultural activities, allowing the students to experience stories, participate in celebrations, and enhance their understanding of the various cultures that comprise the world around them.

Circle time is followed by playtime. The children go outside and enjoy the diverse range of activities on our playground. They are free to choose where they would like to play, but are always under the close supervision of staff and college student workers (who can often be found playing alongside the children!). Students are encouraged to try various physical activities to develop gross motor skills. Whether climbing ladders, jumping rope, digging in the sand, or riding wheeled toys, the children are having a great time while enhancing coordination and motor skills.

One of the most important learning times of the day is "table time" from about 10:30 to 11:45. The teacher, assistant teacher, and student workers each guide a table activity through which many skills are taught and reinforced. Students create artwork related to the theme of the week, work on math skills such as counting, sorting, matching, and number recognition, focus on science at one table and language arts at another. The table time activities are heavily hands-on and as children work they are encouraged to verbalize their problem solving and thought processes. 

After table time, children return to outside play while lunch is prepared. Berry College Foodservice prepares and delivers our meals, which are child-friendly while meeting strict state standards for nutritional value. Lunch is served family style with an adult eating at each table to encourage good manners and teach nutrition. 

Afternoon quiet time is for napping from 1:15 to 2:45. Children rest on cots scattered throughout the cottages, each child in his own familiar space with a blanket or stuffed toy brought from home. Student workers sit with children to help them settle down to rest from the busy morning.

After naptime a snack is offered, again complying with strict nutritional guidelines. Following snack, children return to carpet time for a story, songs, and a recap of the learning accomplished during the day.

The remainder of the day is free play and centers until parents arrive to pick up their children.

Our creative curriculum is designed to meet the varying developmental needs of each of our students. Age 3-5 is a crucial time in setting the foundation for further learning. In addition to teaching the students the basic skills they will need when they begin "big school," we encourage a love for learning that will last a lifetime.