So much of preschool is about socialization and play. Because of that, it’s really hard to imagine teaching this age over Zoom. Although it’s not what we ever would have imagined, we have some great ideas, plans and strategies about doing exactly that.
This program is perfect for families who are not yet ready to have their children on campus and in a classroom with other children, but would like their children to continue being a part of the TSONS community and would like to give their child’s day some of the same structure school brings.
Our Class Meeting
Our Zoom class will start with the children coming together, just as we do at rugtime at school. In this way we are able to:
- Greet each child (helping each other be aware of and learn one another's names)
- Build our community
- Get to know each child
- Give parents a predictable routine (and a time when their child will eventually be independently engaged)
The Zoom may include:
- our morning song (every zoom call will begin in the same way to give a child’s school experience predictability and structure)
- an active activity (dancing, music, movement game) (for gross motor development and to get their bodies moving)
- child participation
- book, story or flannel board (for language acquisition, sequencing of stories, rugtime stamina)
- counting or number activity (for one to one correspondence, number exposure)
- group activities or projects following the themed unit that we are working on
- color bags (for homework and responsibility, opportunity to share with classmates)
ELEMENTS OF OUR VIRTUAL CLASSROOM
While our early weeks may be about social exposure, as children get to know one another they will have an outlet for socialization. We have noticed that children are watching and learning from one another, even virtually, and we have developed games and activities to help them continue this way.
Helping children through separation is a cornerstone of our TSONS program. While this program is virtual, we still want to help with ideas to give your child practice at being independent within their own home. We will begin by having a parent or another adult right next to their child. As the children become comfortable with the routine, rhythm and expectations the adult will be able to step away. Eventually, the goal is for children to be engaged and attentive on their own.
During these uncertain times, where so much as changed in everyone’s lives, separation anxiety may be even more heightened these days in some children. Schedules have altered, some parents may be working from home, older siblings may be around more than they used to be giving younger children a greater need for connection. Some children may not be affected by these changes, others are feeling it deeply. While we will not have a traditional separation for your child, even virtually we can help them to grow and feel proud about their growing independence.
The early nursery school years are vital in language acquisition and the development of oral language. There is a massive language explosion around age 3 as children’s expressive language (the words and thoughts they are able to say) begin to catch up with their receptive language (what they are able to understand). Through this virtual class, we will give them opportunities of varied language exposure (through stories, songs and conversations). It is through exposure to a rich and diverse vocabulary along with a wide array of themes and ideas that a child’s language grows in complexity and depth.
While this program is solely an off- campus, virtual program, we know that our community relationships are important elements for all of us at TSONS. With these small class sizes, teachers hope to have the opportunity to understand even better what is important for each individual child to be working on and towards. Parents and teachers will be a team more than ever before, strategizing how to give them the parts of school that we can while we are not actually within the school walls. While nothing can be an exact replacement for our classroom conversations, we will work to build the bonds between teachers and families in our new, virtual way, until the time that we can all be back together in person.
FINE MOTOR AND GROSS MOTOR ACTIVITIES
Preschool is an important time of growth in so many ways. Both fine motor and gross motor development are critical during these early years. These activities will be balanced throughout the weeks on our Zooms or as ideas for activities you can do at home to encourage growth in these areas.
We have all been home for a very long time. With the beginning of school again, we hope to lend a hand in creating the routines and rhythms, even while you are still at home.
Self esteem is not gained by being told how wonderful you are ,self esteem is gained by realizing accomplishments and mastery of new skills and tasks. Over the course of our year ,teachers will be able to address ways that your child can grow in his or her independence even while at home. There may even be “homework” to pour your water at lunchtime today, or show your parents how you can get dressed all by yourself. Some of our rugtimes may focus on stories of children trying to do new (sometimes difficult) tasks, and then discussions of what tasks we are learning to do at home. Teachers and parents can partner together in this new format in giving children new opportunities to begin to master early preschool skills.Virtual Nursery School PDF