What do we do at Emmanuel?
Children learn through play. A variety of materials are available throughout the day which children may construct, design and adapt to their own purposes. These materials are presented by the teacher with the developmental characteristics of two, three, four and five year olds in mind. Selection of activities and play throughout the day is a matter of individual choice. The educator carefully observes these choices and watches for those moments when leading and guiding may enrich the play content.
The visitor may be surprised by the intense interest of children in what they can do with blocks, or dress-up clothes, or water and sand, or paint and clay. Sometimes alone, sometimes with others, children go about the business of learning and growing.
Fine Motor Skills
Many activities are available that promote and enhance fine motor skills such as manipulatives, puzzles, peg boards, beadwork, play dough scissors, tools etc. Fine motor skills also open new doors to exploration, learning, and creative expression which fosters independence.
Gross Motor Skills
Playtime in our gym and playgrounds is an important part of a child's day. Running, jumping and climbing are activities that develop coordination as well as cognitive abilities.
"This is my picture." These are words that often greet a parent at the end of a day. Through this type of activity the child realizes a sense of accomplishment and positive self-worth. The child is encouraged to experiment with materials and various mediums. These materials include drawing with paint, chalk, crayons and finger painting. Art shelves are filled with loose parts (i.e. pom poms, sequins, collage material) natural items (i.e. pinecones, stones, bark) and recyclable items (i.e. Kleenex boxes, buttons, tubes, scrapes of material) that encourage a child to use their imagination and creativity. Giving children the freedom to explore empowers them to create 3D structures, maps, collages, drawings, write and illustrate their own stories. The opportunities are limitless!
Music offers excellent opportunities for sound discrimination as well as body movement and emotional satisfaction. For the young child, who is consistently engaged in finding out about the world, music is a way to try on movement and roles. Musical instruments are part of both our indoor and outdoor programs. Drum-fit — a unique program that combines music and exercise using drumsticks on exercise balls — is provided for the children once a month. Many different styles of songs are used as well as chants and stories. While experiencing “fun” the children are building brain gym, hand-eye co-ordination, balance, flexibility and rhythm.
Math is a part of our every day program. The classroom environment is set up to allow children to experiment and discover the world of mathematics including numbers, measuring, money, spatial relationships, seriating, matching, sequencing, time and problem solving.
This gives the child the opportunity to act out roles by imitating behaviours which she or he has observed. This type of play allows the child the opportunity for clarifying concepts in a real way. Dramatic play areas such as doctor's office, a puppet theatre or a donut shop give the child the opportunity to take on roles and experiments with ideas and props. Language is promoted by the opportunity to interact in an imaginative and often intense manner with other children. Problem solving strategies are often experimented with and thereby become part of the child's repertoire of interaction.
This is an important part of our program and its format changes from room to room. Both large and small group activities happen throughout the day, some planned and some spontaneously. Group activities include songs, stories, games, discussions, sharing times, science experiments, cooking, building projects and art projects. On Spirit Days, the entire Centre comes together to celebrate a special event or occasion as a community. Examples of a Spirit Day are: Cananda Day, Octoberfest, performances by music groups, Teddy Picnic, Barbeque, Olympics.
Reading and Writing Centres
Pre-reading and writing activities are part of our child development Centre's curriculum. We present a print rich environment. Activities include classification, sorting, matching and sequencing events. Books are an important part of the curriculum. Each month, the children are exposed to many different story telling techniques, as well as authors and illustrators through our Feature Author program. An emphasis is placed on exposing children to Canadian Authors. Children are encouraged to experiment writing and illustrating their own stories. The younger children are encouraged to experiment with storytelling through pictures and dictate their story to an educator.
Snack and Lunch Time
Children enjoy a variety of familiar and unfamiliar foods. The relaxation that comes from eating and the opportunities for socialization are inherent to meal time. A free-flow snack is provide in the classroom during free-play time. Lunch is provided in a separate lunch room. Nutrition education is provided by the cooks to the pre-school and kindergarten classes. They discuss Canada’s Food Guide, healthy vs. unhealthy eating choices, seek ideas from the children in planning menus, and bake nutritious snacks with the children.
After lunch and a busy morning of exercise and activity, the children rest on cots for approximately 1 to 2 hours. Children may bring a special animal, toy or blanket for sleep time if they wish. The children listen to quiet music as they fall asleep. After 1 hour of rest children who are awake are given a book to look at on their bed.
All activities build on cognitive development. Running, listening, talking, sharing, manipulating materials, are all activities which stimulate a child's curiosity and provide the opportunity for the mastery of skills. The program provides opportunities for children to see letters and words in the context of their learning environment. Basic understanding of math are part of the day to day curriculum as well. Educators are aware of each child's stage of development and provide for the challenges of new experiences and new goals. Our emergent curriculum encourages a lifelong love of learning.
The freedom of physical challenges and investigating possibilities make a generous amount of time for outdoor play desirable. Nature to the preschool child is fascinating and has many benefits to child development and their physical and emotional well-being. Learn more about our Natural Playspaces.
Sensory activities include water, sand, clay, dough and finger paint, to name but a few. These materials are soothing and provide for the release of feelings. They also allow the child to experience the descriptive words that go with each of these experiences, thus aiding language and concept development. Sensory materials also enhance the development of fine motor skills, encourages the use of all 5 senses and provides many opportunities for socializing with their peers.
18 months to 2.6 year olds
Sprouts and Seedlings Rooms
15 children in each room
3 educators (ratio 1:5)
2.6 to 4 year olds
Birch and Maple Rooms
24 children in each room
Tree Tops Room
20 children in the room
3 educators (ratio 1:8)
4 to 5 year olds
2 educators (ratio 1:13)
Meals are prepared on the premises and are planned according to Canada's Food Guide. Our Centre aims to be a peanut free environment. Substitute meals must be provided by parents for children with severe food allergies or special diets.
Weekly menus run on a seven week rotation and are posted on bulletin boards outside each classroom and the lunch room.
Menus are emailed to each family prior to each rotation.
A nutritious snack is served in the morning and in the afternoon.
Lunchtime is a happy, social event. Parents may eat with their children with one day's notice.