Pre-Kindergarten is a time for learning in a secure environment with teachers who will help your child develop a love for learning to last a lifetime. At Providence Academy Pre-Kindergarten, we provide your child with the best possible first educational experience with this goal in mind. Our students learn through direct teacher instruction with developmentally appropriate learning activities. In an atmosphere of consistency and security, our students thrive.
Providence Academy is a Catholic school and you can be assured that your Christian values will be reflected in your child’s education from the start. Our faith-based mission allows our professional staff of teachers to focus on the development of the whole child in the truest sense: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual.
The day is balanced between structured learning and learning through free play. Our Pre-K students enter Kindergarten with early literacy skills, many times as emergent readers, and with a strong foundation in early number skills. At Providence, Pre-K students discover that there is much to learn and that learning is fun.
The advantages of Providence Academy Pre-Kindergarten include:
- A positive approach to intellectual and social/behavioral development
- Superior educational foundation aligned with the rigorous curriculum of a college prep school
- Reading program – phonics instruction builds strong emergent reading skills
- Math program – number sense. Singapore methodology
- Enrichment classes in Spanish, Music, and Physical Education taught by specialist teachers in these areas
- Small class size
- Professional teachers
- Development of self-confidence, group, and social skills
- Parents have full access to teachers, coordinator, director
- 1/2 day, afternoon enrichment (full day), after school, early morning
- Onsite licensed school nurse
All parents want the best for their children. The best in Pre-K education is available in the excellent foundation provided by Providence Academy Pre-Kindergarten.
Among the important skills that children develop in Providence Pre-Kindergarten are those that help children become students. The ability to listen attentively and the ability to follow directions are important foundational skills for success in school (and elsewhere). Recognizing the rights of others and respecting others’ property, sharing and taking turns, and observing classroom rules are also much-needed skills. Additionally, Providence Pre-K students learn to participate positively in groups, both large and small. They develop important skills in helping others, in problem solving, and in working as part of a team in cooperative learning projects.
Basic manners are an essential life skill and we emphasize these as well. The children learn that “Please” and “thank you”, “I’m sorry” and “Excuse me, please” are a few of the phrases that help build positive relationships. Kind words, too, go a good distance toward peaceful relations. Kindness and generosity are virtues that are emphasized in the Pre-K classroom.
As a Catholic school, development of inter-personal skills at Providence is enlivened by faith. God plays a major role in our students’ everyday world. The children learn that Jesus loves everyone, especially little children and that includes them. They learn that just as Jesus loves us, he asks us to love one another. This is the “ultimate” social skill: love of neighbor. This is the foundation upon which we build.
Academic Knowledge and Intellectual Skills
In addition to guiding student development in social and motor skills areas, the Providence Academy curriculum has a strong focus on intellectual skill building beginning at the Pre-Kindergarten level. Pre-K students are innately curious and enjoy learning new information about the world. Our Pre-K teachers present their young students with important information in an inviting environment that balances creative exploration and activity with structured learning. The balanced approach encourages students to develop thinking and memory skills, along with problem solving skills, The Core Knowledge Sequence for Pre-Kindergarten, which provides the outline for much of the content that is taught, promotes learning across subject areas. These curricular connections allow students to make intellectual connections between related topics and feed students’growth in knowledge.
At the Pre-Kindergarten level, Language Arts encompasses a number of key content areas.
Emergent Literacy (Reading and Writing)
As the year begins, students learn to read their own names and those of classmates. As the year progresses, emphasis is placed on mastery of beginning word sounds and the letter/sound (phonemes) relationship as the necessary prerequisite to reading fluency. In the spring, students begin to phonetically “decode” simple words as they gain pre-reading and actual reading skills. Writing skills develop through the year as students become comfortable with holding a writing utensil, develop motor skills in writing, and grow in understanding of the use of written symbols. As students learn to read their names, they learn to write them also. Many students are able to write a variety of words independently by the time late spring arrives.
Pre-K students learn about themselves and about the world around them through stories, songs, and experiential learning. In storytelling, students learn how to sequence a story, and to use expressive language. The students also learn new vocabulary through the study of a variety of thematic units throughout the year.
Nursery rhymes, poems, and classic children’s stories are all part of the Providence Pre-Kindergarten student’s introduction to the world of literature. The students listen to stories, “read” picture stories, learn to re-tell those stories, and are encouraged to create stories of their own. Students are also introduced to non-fiction as they learn about events, peoples, places, and science topics.
Providence Academy Pre-K students are presented with math concepts daily. Our Pre-K staff has received training in Singapore Math methods to help students begin to develop a strong early foundation in number sense.
The math curriculum begins with counting, sorting by different attributes, classification of shapes, recognizing patterns, and proceeds through creation of patterns, classification by size and function, more advanced sorting skills, and various methods of measurement. In the spring semester, students recognize and work with numbers through 30, and make more complex comparisons involving size, mass, and temperature. Pre-K students develop basic skills in addition, subtraction, graphing, and telling time.
Pre-K students at Providence explore the physical and natural world. The year begins with the study of self: human characteristics, needs, and development. Students are excited to know more about how their bodies “work”. The five senses, muscles and bones, how we grow, the need for good nutrition and sleep, are all areas of fascination for the Pre-K student. Animals, plants, the seasons, and the physical elements of water, air, and light are among other topics for Pre-K scientific studies.
In these areas, Providence Pre-Kindergarten students learn about time and space. These include topics near to the students’ lives and experiences (Our School) and those more distant (Space Flight). Pre-K students are introduced to calendar time and ways to measure time, concepts of past and present, as well as spatial directions and relationships (high, low, between, above). Students create grid designs and patterns and develop an understanding of sequencing in time (before and after). These studies lead to concepts of actual and represented space and simple map skills.
Special events and celebrations are springboards to learning about people and places. At Thanksgiving time, students are introduced to topics related to America’s structure and heritage. This includes an introduction to the fifty states and the U.S. Flag and concepts such as Freedom and Equality. Christmas presents an opportunity to find the country of Israel and the city of Bethlehem on a map. The study of the Earth includes landforms and oceans.
Visual Arts and Music
Pre-K students are introduced to the works and styles of famous artists , such as Matisse (“The Snail”) and Picasso (“The 3 Musicians”). Art appreciation (“learning to look”) helps students to develop attention to visual detail. The students also have daily opportunities to develop their own artistic skills as they print and paint, draw and sculpt, creating their own “masterpieces”.
In the area of Music, Pre-K students learn about sounds and about differences in sounds. Singing is part of every day. Listening, singing, and movement are all part of the Pre-K musical experience. Students participate in music class with a Providence Academy Lower School music teacher one time per week.
While they are growing socially, intellectually, and spiritually, young children need to develop physical strength and coordination. Providence Pre-K students have many opportunities to run, climb, and participate in physical play during recess time on the Providence play ground. Pre-Kindergarten students also participate in a weekly class led by a Providence Academy Physical Education teacher in one of our spacious gyms. The goal of Physical Education is to help the children to develop large muscle strength and motor skills. Additionally, social skill development is supported as students learn to play safely and cooperatively, to take turns, and to respect the needs and rights of others while in an active environment.
Lower School eBulletin
Lower School parents are invited to join their children and their teachers at 2:40 p.m. on Friday, December 21, in the Great Room as we wish one another a joyous Christmas in our annual Christmas carol sing-along.read more
Thank you to all who donated so generously by providing mittens, hats, and toys to the children staying at Sharing and Caring Hands shelter for families in Minneapolis. You and your children have helped to ensure that this Christmas will be warmer and brighter for many.read more
Gift contributions will continue to be accepted in the Lower School Library and beneath the Great Room Christmas tree through Friday, December 14.read more