- Video Tour of an RCS Pre-K Classroom
- Daily Routine Descriptions and Pictures
- Areas in a Pre-K Classroom
Rochester Community Schools Pre-K classrooms follow the HighScope Preschool Curriculum. Components of the daily routine are described below.
Children transition into the classroom and typically start their day with Greeting Time. This may include signing their name, finding a book or quiet activity as they wait for the rest of the group to join, and message board. Once everyone has arrived, the whole group gathers for message board to share any announcements for the day. This can include new materials, special visitors, # of home days, group problem solving, and much more!
Large Group Time
The whole group of children and adults gather for playing games, making up and singing songs, learning dances, or playing musical instruments. Large Group Time provides an opportunity for each child to participate in a large group, sharing and demonstrating his or her ideas and trying out and imitating the ideas of others. He or she can sometimes be a leader and sometimes a follower. This provides an opportunity for children to learn the social skills of imitation, turn taking, listening to others, and group effort. Adults assist children during Large Group Time by sitting near them, making sure they understand how they can participate, and encouraging them to share their own ideas with a larger group.
Small Group Time
Each adult meets with 8 or 9 children to work on the activities planned by the team, to provide some of the key experiences of cognitive growth. Adults plan Small Group activities around the interests and abilities of the children, allowing for individual ideas and differences. They use this time to observe children, expose them to new materials, and give them a chance to find new ways of using materials they already know.
Adults and children meet together to talk about what each child wants to do and how the child might go about doing it. Children decide for themselves how they will use their work time and the adult encourages the child to say or demonstrate what he or she would like to do. The adults helps them learn how to identify choices for themselves. Children who plan for themselves see that they can make things happen. They begin to view themselves as people who can decide and who can act on their own decisions.
Work Time is the heart of the preschool day. The children may use the entire classroom to explore, learn new skills, try out ideas, and put together what they know in ways that make sense to them. Adults move among children, observing and helping as needed. During Work Time, a child and adult may work together on various skills such as fine/gross motor activities or identifying numbers, colors, and shapes.
Children put away the toys and materials they have been using. They may also wipe tables, wash paint brushes, jars, or cooking utensils, and sweep or vacuum floors. As they sort, pile, stack, empty, and fit together materials as they clean up, they learn where things go and that similar things to together. This helps them begin to understand the system for finding things hey need. The symbols on the shelves stand for real objects, a realization necessary for reading. Sorting things, putting materials back, and cleaning up also helps children see that cleanup is part of any activity. Adults assist children by encouraging them to clean up throughout Work Time. Adults warn the children toward the end of Work Time that in a few minutes it will be Cleanup Time, giving a clear and consistent signal that Cleanup Time has begun, defining specific individual tasks for children who are having difficulty understanding what constitutes Cleanup Time and assisting in cleaning up.
Recall Time gives children the opportunity to remember and represent what they did during Work Time. By looking back at what they have done, children can start to see the relationship between their plans and their activities and can develop more awareness of their own actions and ideas. In the process of recalling, children attach language to their actions. Talking about, recalling, and representing their actions help children evaluate and learn from their experiences. Recalling in a small group helps them get ideas from each other about things they might like to try.
Outside Time is when children can run, jump, skip, climb, slide, race, hide, and dig. Aside from the obvious advantages to their health and well-being, the main rationale for Outside Time is that it enables children to try out Work Time ideas and discoveries outside of the classroom. Outside Time is less constricted and intense than work time. Some otherwise quiet children can open up, talking and working with other children more freely than they do inside. As they play, adults talk with children about what they're doing and help them solve problems.
Children and adults meet together in their small groups to eat their snack or lunch. Adults always sit with children and converse and support children as they learn self-help and social skills.
Children in attendance for 3 hours have 1 morning snack.
Children in attendance for 4-5 hours have 1 morning snack and lunch.
Children in attendance for 7+ hours have 1 morning snack, lunch, and 1 afternoon snack.
Rest Time* (Full Day Programs only)
As a state licensed program, we are required to have a quiet/rest time in classrooms that operate for more than 5 hours a day. The children are not forced to sleep and those who are awake are given the choice of quiet activities such as books, soft music, stories or fine motor manipulatives.
Thank you for your interest in Rochester Community Schools Pre-K programs! We are excited to show you what a typical Pre-K classroom looks like. Rochester Pre-K provides a quality educational program for a diverse population of children with widely varying levels of development and ability by following the HighScope curriculum. In the HighScope curriculum, adults and children are partners in learning. Through active participatory learning, young children construct their knowledge of the world - finding out how the world works through their own direct experiences with people, objects, materials, events, and ideas.
All RCS Pre-K classrooms are divided into interest areas which include the Art Area, Block Area, Book Area, Math Area, Pretend Play Area, Science Area, and Writing Area. Each area includes open ended materials that are stored and labeled with pictures, words, and actual objects. The labels of the areas and materials support children at different stages in literacy development to understand the words and pictures while practicing reading skills.
Each RCS Pre-K classroom has cubbies for children where they will store their belongings. Each cubby is labeled with the child's "Letter Link" picture which starts with the same initial sound as their name. For example, a child named Lorelei may have a picture of a leaf. "Letter Link" labels throughout the classroom on cubbies, sign in sheets, and more supports children's alphabetic knowledge and sound development.
Each area in the classroom has an area sign, as shown to the left. In the Art Area you will find all kinds of materials for mixing, painting, and making two and three dimensional art! You will typically find crayons, markers, paint, paintbrushes, playdough, paper, glue, scissors, stickers, tissue paper, craft sticks and more. The possibilities for creating are endless!
The Block Area has many types of materials for building and representing. Wooden blocks, cardboard blocks, small cars and trucks, trains, and much more. In many Pre-K classrooms the Block Area also doubles as the Large Group Time meeting space, so it is often one of the largest areas in the classroom.
The Book Area is a quieter area of the classroom where children can get cozy and look at a book by themselves, with friends, and/or an adult. In this area you may find books, audio books, puppets, felt board stories, and other materials that support early reading and storytelling.
The Math Area includes materials for counting, measuring, sorting, putting together and taking apart. You may find Legos, puzzles, measuring tools, magnatiles, 3D numbers, containers for filling and emptying and so much more in the Math Area.
In the Pretend Play Area children will see materials they see at home (such as real kitchen utensils, old cellphones, pots and pans) and other props that lend themselves to dramatic play. Some examples are dress-up clothes, babies, dolls and a doll house, and much more!
The Science Area has materials that children can observe, predict, and experiment with. In this area you will find rocks, sticks, shells, animals, books, magnets, and flashlights. You will often see natural materials that are brought in from outside.
The Writing Area is an area where children can practice fine motor skills, alphabetic knowledge, and writing! You can typically find paper of different colors and sizes, notepads, clipboards, cards and envelopes, 3D letters, old keyboards and a variety of writing utensils.