Learning Through Play for 70 Years

Pre-K Classes

Our Pre-K classes are recognized in the area for preparing students for kindergarten. Most of the children in our classes have been in a preschool environment before; this allows for a relatively short adjustment period and plenty of excitement to play and learn. Even if a child is new to a classroom environment at this stage, peer-to-peer learning is a great way to acclimate!

Students in our Pre-K class will either go four or five days a week, depending on the class chosen (or which class had the most immediate opening). Both classes follow the same curriculum and themes and are perfectly suited to this highly social and extremely independent age!

All of our classes meet from 9am to 12:15 pm on their assigned days.

 

1. Free Play: Just like in our 2-year-old and 3-year-old classes, Free Play is how the day begins in our Pre-K rooms. Several activity centers are available, including an ever-changing craft that can mix a child’s creativity with glue, recycled materials, paint, and whatever our wonderful teachers have up their sleeves. Each craft gives the student an opportunity to work on writing, as they are responsible for labeling their work with their names. Other areas include large blocks, role playing, sensory tables, a reading nook, and, of course, homemade playdough.

2. Circle Time: Preschool days are often a wave of ups and downs, and circle time takes it literally. After moving about the room during independent Free Play, Circle Time is a calm way to engage the class as a collective group. Powered by the weeks theme, our teachers engage the students with books, activities, and music. Without breaking a sweat, the Pre-K students learn pre-reading skills, social norms, classroom behavior, and about each other.

3. Snack Time: “Please pass the grapes!” In our Pre-K program, we encourage family-style snacks and beverages. Children polish up on their polite manners, pouring their own water from the pitcher, clearing their plates, and having delightful, joke-filled conversations over the snack tables.

4. Activity Room: The Activity Room is another great place to get wiggles out, use the nearby bathroom, and master pedaling skills as the kids navigate the hallways. Just like in the classroom, the Activity Room has a rotating theme; sometimes it’s a post office, sometimes it’s filled with boxes to build large-scale towers, sometimes it’s a maze of tunnels. In the Pre-K classes, half the class will play in the Activity Room while the other half works on their journals and enjoy much-loved attention from their teachers.

5. Playground Time: Nothing but fun here! Our Annandale Coop playground has swings, tricycles, slides, monkeybars, and a huge sandbox. We also have a big, climbworthy firetruck and a play-worthy boat, all set to drive away and set sail with Pre-K imaginations.

6. Story Time: Another opportunity for circle time, Story Time involves a story that fits with the week’s theme and is often read by the co-oping parent. Children learn to sit quietly with their peers (a tough skill, but a good one!) as they learn more about the world and the people and creatures in it.

7. Sharing Time: At sharing time, the day’s “Special Helper” (the co-oper’s child) gets a chance to share something special with the class. The sharer learns how to speak in front of a group, and the other children practice taking turns, raising their hands to speak, and ask appropriate questions. Usually near the end of the class, Sharing Time is one of the most popular events of the school day (particularly for the one who gets to do it).

 

Physical Development

Gross Motor • very active; • walks down steps with alternating feet • hops • skips* jumps* walks on toes • jumps from a step • pedals a tricycle • begins to throw, catch and kick a ball

Fine Motor • begins to move from fist grip to tripod grip • begins to draw recognizable figures and pictures • writes his/her name and may begin to sound spell environmental words • uses scissors • dresses self, learns to button, snap and zip • builds structures with the blocks • uses utensils when eating

Language

• Expanding vocabulary • uses sentences of increasing length/complexity • begins to ask  questions to understand situations and get needs met • begins to tell stories with details • speech becomes increasingly more understandable to others •

Social/Emotional

• Collaborative/cooperative play and big group play • Blossoming of friendships, shows affection to friends as well as family members * love play dates outside of school • Beginning to solve problems with peers: it’s easier when guided by an adult in turn-taking • Imaginative/fantasy/role-acting play is popular • imaginary friends • fear of imaginary things like monsters

Cognitive

• able to follow multiple step directions • able to remember rhymes and songs • can understand and follow daily routines • begins to acquire facts on topics of interest • knows colors and shapes • begins to recognize letters and letter sounds and numbers • developing one to one correspondence and sense of number * developing sense of humor; loves to laugh with peers and tell jokes.

Meet Mrs. Amy Quigley

TEACHER OF MONDAY-FRIDAY FOUR- AND FIVE-YEAR-OLDS

Amy Quigley, teacher of four- and five-year-olds, has a degree in Elementary Education from East Tennessee State University. Mrs. Quigley taught preschool in Connecticut and Tennessee for over twelve years, seven of which were at a NAEYC accredited preschool. She has been a member of Annandale Cooperative Preschool since 2007, as a substitute teacher in the twos’, threes’, and fours’ classrooms, Personnel Director, President, and Membership Director. Mrs. Quigley has four children, three of whom are ACPS graduates.

Meet Mrs. Sue Ann Craig

TEACHER OF MONDAY-THURSDAY FOUR- AND FIVE-YEAR-OLDS

Sue Ann Craig, teacher of four-year-olds, has a degree in Early Childhood Education from James Madison University. Mrs. Craig taught first grade for eight years in Loudon and Warren Counties, and she was a Teacher’s Assistant for Immanuel Christian School for second and third grades. She has a Virginia Teaching Certificate and has recently returned to teaching after spending time raising her four teenage children. Mrs. Craig received an Achievement Award from the Virginia Cooperative Preschool Council in 2014.