Engaging Your Preschooler in Purposeful Play
Our Day Early Learning preschool program provides hands-on learning activities that will spark your child’s interest and curiosity. Within our classrooms and with the support of teachers, your child will develop and practice the social skills important for future success.
All Day Early Learning preschool classrooms utilize The Creative Curriculum, a research-based early child care and education curriculum. The learning objectives of this curriculum are aligned with Indiana’s Early Learning Foundations and include child-focused activities that address language & literacy, math, science, social-emotional, and physical development.
Your child’s classroom will have an individualized lesson plan posted every week. Each activity on the lesson plan is purposeful and intentionally planned based on the teachers’ observations of each child in the classroom.
To support language and literacy skills, teachers:
- Help children listen to and follow simple multi-step directions.
- Model and teach children how to ask questions.
- Teach children how to hold a book and turn the pages from left to right.
- Read together in library area and during group time.
- Sing songs with rhyming and repetition that builds vocabulary and encourage phonological awareness.
- Describe things and have conversations that help increase communication skills and vocabulary.
To encourage mathematical exploration, teachers:
- Sing songs, finger-plays and nursery rhymes that include numbers.
- Use mathematical language, such as large/small, under/over, up/down to describe position and location.
- Provide toys that engage children in exploring size and shape, such as blocks.
- Provide tools that allow them to measure objects such as scales, rulers, measuring tapes, clocks, timers, and measuring cups.
- Count with children and touch each object as they count.
To promote scientific learning, teachers:
- Provide magnifying glasses to explore objects.
- Plant seeds and water plants with children.
- Ask children to compare different types of leaves and objects found in nature.
- Read non-fiction books about pets, plants, bodies, water, etc.
To help children develop and practice social-emotional skills, teachers:
- Provide children with opportunities to lead and gain a sense of independence through classroom jobs and making choices throughout their day.
- Read books that are related to helping children describe and understand their feelings.
- Model appropriate interactions and help children develop the language to express their emotions.
- Play games that encourage children to stop and go, thereby controlling their actions. For example, games like Simon Says and Red Light/Green Light, which require children to think before they can act.
To promote healthy physical development, teachers:
- Provide balls, bean bags and materials for children to roll, throw, bounce, and catch.
- Encourage children to collect, dump and fill small objects, whether they are natural materials like leaves, seeds, shells, and rocks or they are toys to bring outdoors.
- Teach children how to garden and plant seeds or care for plants.
In the preschool classroom, you will see learning centers stocked with materials that are intentionally placed to encourage purposeful and engaging play. Dramatic play, library, blocks, creative arts, science, math and sensory experiences are all offered to children daily.
Your Child's Teacher
The foundation to a child’s lifelong love of learning begins with a nurturing relationship with their teachers. Infant teachers are trained in responsive caregiving and focus on building a trusting relationship with each child, providing individualized care and developing partnerships with families.
Day Early Learning teachers are education professionals with either an associate or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field or a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Because lifelong learning is central to our work, teachers continue their education through regular trainings. Additionally, Day Early Learning Quality Coaches work with each teacher to enhance their teaching skills. All teachers undergo a screening and background check prior to employment.
At Day Early Learning, we believe in the importance of regularly assessing each child’s growth and development in order to tailor our lessons and activities to the needs of each individual child. All Day Early Learning centers use several methods to assess each child’s growth and development including:
Each week, you will receive written observations of your child’s development on LifeCubby. These observations are used to help teachers create meaningful lesson plans that will ignite curiosity in your child and help us monitor your child’s growth and learning on a daily basis.
When parents enroll in our program and each time your child transitions to a new classroom, teachers and parents complete the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). This tool allows us to help you track your child’s progress in language, problem solving, fine and gross motor, and social-emotional development. It also helps us ensure the right materials and supports are being used to help your child reach the next stage of their development.
In addition to measuring children’s growth, our learning environments and teaching staff are regularly assessed using classroom observation tools to ensure the highest level of teacher-child interactions. This is important because high-quality environments and teacher-child interactions encourage and promote children’s language, math, vocabulary and social skills.