The Young Preschool Class is for children age 2.5 to 3 years and is designed to be a supportive transition from the toddler years to the preschool years. The classroom will have a maximum of 16 children with 2 co-teachers and an assistant.
The class focuses on supporting this age group’s tendency to ask “why” as they dig deep into their fascination with asking questions and trying to find the answers. Each day, children have the opportunity to engage in playful and hands-on experiences that support a child’s sense curiosity as they engage in sensory and art experiences, listen to stories, sing and dance, and explore the classroom environment. Through these daily experiences, the children build their fine motor skills, their cognition, and their self-concept. Every day, the children also visit our large, indoor playground where they are invited to climb, run, slide, swing, and build the gross motor skills that are central to their larger development.
We understand the importance of helping these young preschoolers develop a positive self-concept by increasing their ability to participate in self-help skills. Children in the Young Preschool class are given age-appropriate responsibilities such as beginning to take ownership over toilet mastery and restroom use, helping keep the classroom clean by putting away materials when they are finished using them, and serving themselves snack.
The young preschool program at Creative Scholars is designed to support the growth of the curiosity about their world that will help them become inquiring, empathetic, and confident individuals.
Snacks, an organic lunch, and diapers and/or pull-ups are included in the cost of tuition.
My name is Doniqua Jackson and I am an assistant teacher at Creative Scholars. I have been teaching for two and a half years. I started out as a prek teacher and moved on to becoming a toddler teacher. I graduated with my associate’s degree from Harold Washington College. I now attend DePaul University, so that I can further my education in Early Childhood Education, where I will be obtaining my bachelors degree. I love working with children and watching them grow, learn, experiment and explore. I believe that working with children that are young in age helps me understand and communicate with them better. In my free time, I like to study the Japanese language, read fantasy novels and Manga, listen to music, watch movies, attend conventions and fence.
The Young Preschool Classroom features a large art area. The materials on the art shelf are readily accessible to children and evolve as the school year progresses. A goal in this class is to provide the children with many opportunities to make their own choices and the teachers support this goal by selecting art materials that the children can use independently. At the beginning of the school year, the art area may only be stocked with a few, familiar art materials such as crayons, paper, and play dough. As the school year progress and the children become more familiar with the classroom and more confident in their use of materials, a wider variety of materials becomes available for the children to explore. We hope that by providing the young preschool age group a wide variety of art mediums to explore that they will develop a relationship with art materials and develop the skills to use the materials for self expression as they continue to grow.
The dramatic play area is a popular destination within the classroom. This space provides the children with the opportunities to make sense of their interpretations of the larger world around them. Here you will find children engaged in conversations as they problem solve who will get to play the cat and who will have to be the caretaker or discuss how they will set up a bakery and what roles might be needed when one plays bakery shop. Dramatic play is a natural way to help children at this age develop their language and communication skills. Because of the popularity of this type of play among the young preschooler, you will often see many children playing together in this area as the children begin to move from parallel to interactive play.
The young preschooler is a curious child and the Young Preschool Classroom supports this curiosity by providing rich science and sensory invitations. Children can often be found in the science area observing live plants, tadpoles and other interesting creatures, artifacts from the field museum, and more. This exploration continues within the sensory table where children are invited to investigate the way cocoa powder and conditioner feel when mixed together or what happens when you pour water from a larger container into a smaller container. The young preschooler is always asking why; at Creative Scholars they are given opportunities to discover the answers behind their “whys”.
Just as children learn to babble and coo before they speak words and sentences, children must scribble and make marks before they write letters and shapes. The Young Preschool Classroom supports a child’s interest in mark making by providing the children with a purposefully stocked writing center where the children can begin recognizing the names of themselves and their friends and using the varied materials to make marks, often using their colored papers as gifts for friends which they place in the mailboxes. The purpose of writing in the young preschool room is to provide a lot of time for children to explore materials as they strengthen their fine motor skills and to provide exposure of why people write; that they write to communicate with each other.