“The Longer They Sit, The Worse It Gets”
Let’s talk about the age-old principle of preschool, or kids ages three to five or three to six. There is this saying and it might as well be a bumper sticker if you’re a preschool teacher or parent of a preschool child: “The longer they sit, the worse it gets.” Pretty much, for a child, you can get them to sit for as long as the age they are plus three or four more minutes. So, transition is a huge word in preschool. We need to have them up, interested, engaged and excited about their day. That is for the teachers or the parents to plan for them. Children can be completely enthralled with a box and some scotch tape. It doesn’t really take a lot of thought but it does take some imagination. That’s why Pinterest and Ms. Heather are best friends!
Why Is Transition So Important?
If we are introducing a concept in math or science through comparisons, it’s powerful when the children can question their observations. What’s bigger, smaller or holds more? Let’s translate that into home living and spread the concept throughout their whole day now. We might get a big suitcase and a little suitcase and bring in a bunch of old towels and clothes. We’ll have them learn to fold those items and pack the suitcases. We would then discuss which suitcase holds more. The genius part about all of this is that the children actually folded the items and were interested in doing the laundry. They used their dexterity, their fine motor skills and gross motor skills to pack those suitcases. So now let’s take a trip! Our trip could be anywhere. It could be to someplace across the world or it could be going to visit grandma. Now the unit is also incorporating their family. What’s a family? Who’s in your family? Where are you from? What does home look like? It’s really good to know about your home before you travel. Children can have a better understanding and be more aware when visiting different places in real life or in the classroom. This is what preschool is. It’s these concepts that the children need to know. They need to know who they are and where they belong. They need to know that preschool is a safe place, that mom and dad love each other or their guardians care for them, that they’re going to have a warm place to sleep and eat and be able to have a house that they can call home. These are some basic needs that we provide here at preschool during the day while parents are out.
The Building Blocks Of Education
A lot of the magic here in preschool happens through transition. Transition is what holds our day together and keeps us moving and interested. It helps us go from one subject to another. At Center Stage, we tend to like to only introduce two subjects per day. A longer unit in math and science gives us a chance to explore these centers in our classroom and create an opportunity to participate in some hands-on activities that get them excited about the concept and mastering them. We like to change our concepts every week and in doing so we are creating this fluid movement through the year that essentially becomes the building blocks of education, getting them ready for their next steps, their next benchmarks, their next challenges in their life, we are also always goal setting and excited for our kids.
Exploring And Discovering Is So Exciting For All Of Us
As we said in the beginning, “the longer they sit, the worse it gets.” That is true throughout the whole of their preschool life. As a preschool director and as a preschool teacher, Ms. Heather knows that that is always at the forefront of her mind. “If we are introducing a concept, there have to be at least two hands-on activities to bring that concept home. Something that the child can discover for themselves.” Here at preschool, at Center Stage, we have what’s called discovery zones and centers. These centers allow the children to choose their activities the way that you get to choose your job. They get to explore and have a good time in their environment while they’re with us. It’s exciting for us to watch and it’s exciting for them to engage in!
Center Stage is making a difference for our children! If you are interested in getting started in Center Stage Preschool or taking a tour, please schedule a time to come in! Also, check out our Facebook page for more amazing pictures!