SEHS - Lowry Center for Early Childhood Education
Pawley Hall
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(map)
Lowry Banner - Preschool

Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten

The Lowry Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten Programs serve children from three years to five years eleven months.  The Preschool Programs start at three years and go up until five years eleven months.  The Pre-Kindergarten Program starts at four years and goes up until five years eleven months.

 The Lowry Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Programs are based on the philosophy that children grow and develop to their fullest capacity if given the opportunity to explore, create and problem solve with materials which are appropriate to their developmental age. The programs foster emergent reading, writing, art, music, movement and social skills. Hands-on experiences promote understanding of math and science concepts. Children develop emotionally and socially if given the opportunity to have good adult and child interaction in both individual and group settings.

 Children are not taught in a formal fashion. However, we like to think of ourselves as facilitators of learning. This does not mean we do not plan curriculum. On the contrary, much time is spent planning experiences that will meet the needs of all children. Curriculum goals and educational concepts are integrated into children’s hands-on involvement, and through both spontaneous play and project work.

 Project work provides children with the opportunity to truly use their minds and understand various learning goals through a means of application. Project work takes the process of systematic instruction to a more hands-on, investigative and exploratory level. It provides children with the opportunity to predict, test out and evaluate their ideas, questions and interests. Within the project approach, learning becomes intrinsically motivating for the children. As children are involved in more project experiences, they become familiar and competent in the process of framework of planning, exploring, further developing and concluding a piece of work that is interesting and worthwhile to them. Their hands-on involvement in the process allows them to relate new skills and concepts to past experiences and synthesize the new and old experiences.

 The curriculum is based on the foundation of developmentally appropriate practices, as outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the curriculum goals defined by the Michigan Department of Education. The program planning and assessment takes an eclectic stance, which insures a wide range of activities and experiences for children.

 The children are involved in large and small group activities as well as individualized and pairing experiences. The majority of their day will be spent in small group learning experiences. Small groups provide the opportunity for individual children’s skills and abilities to be integrated into the process of learning and discovery. Small groups also allow children to contribute and participate in ways that are significant and educational for them.

 Ongoing assessment by the classroom teachers is based on classroom observations, anecdotal notes, interviews, and collections of children’s work.

Preschool key experiences (Children ages 2 ½ - 6 years old)

 The Preschool Key Experiences, developed by the HighScope Educational Research Foundation are a set of guidelines that frame the content of early learning and development of children ages 2 ½ - 6 years old.

 Children in the preschool and pre-kindergarten classes are exposed to experiences and activities which promote the following:

 Creative Representation

  • Recognizing objects by sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell
  • Imitating actions and sounds
  • Relating models, pictures, and photographs to real places and things
  • Pretending and role playing
  • Making models out of clay, blocks, and other materials
  • Drawing and painting

 Language and Literacy

  • Talking with others about personally meaningful experiences
  • Describing objects, events, and relations
  • Having fun with language: listening to stories and poems, making up stories and rhymes
  • Writing in various ways: drawing, scribbling, letterlike forms, invented spelling, conventional forms
  • Reading in various ways: reading storybooks, signs and symbols, one’s own writing
  • Dictating stories

 Initiative and Social Relations

  • Making and expressing choices, plans and decisions
  • Solving problems encountered in play
  • Taking care of one’s own needs
  • Expressing feelings in words
  • Participating in group routines
  • Being sensitive to the feelings, interests, and needs of others
  • Building relationships with children and adults
  • Creating and experiencing collaborative play
  • Dealing with social conflict

 Movement

  • Moving in nonlocomotor ways (anchored movement: bending, twisting, rocking, swinging, etc.)
  • Moving in locomotor ways (nonanchored movement: running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, climbing)
  • Moving with objects
  • Expressing creativity in movement
  • Describing movement
  • Acting upon movement directions
  • Feeling and expressing steady beat
  • Moving in sequences to a common beat

 Music

  • Moving to music
  • Exploring and identifying sounds
  • Exploring one’s singing voice
  • Developing melody
  • Singing songs
  • Playing simple musical instruments

 Classification

  • Exploring and describing similarities, differences, and the attributes of things
  • Distinguishing and describing shapes
  • Sorting and matching
  • Using and describing something in several ways
  • Holding more than one attribute in mind at a time
  • Distinguishing between “some” and “all”
  • Describing characteristics something does not possess or what class it does not belong to

 Seriation

  • Comparing attributes (longer/shorter, bigger/smaller)
  • Arranging several things one after another in a series or pattern and describing the relationships (big/bigger/biggest, red/blue/red/blue)
  • Fitting one ordered set of objects to another through trial and error (small cup – small saucer - medium cup – medium saucer - big cup – big saucer)

Number

  • Comparing the numbers of things in two sets to determine “more”, “fewer”, “same number”
  • Arranging two sets of objects in one-to-one correspondence
  • Counting objects

Space

  • Filling and emptying
  • Fitting things together and taking them apart
  • Changing the shape and arrangement of objects (wrapping, twisting, stretching, stacking, enclosing)
  • Observing people, places, and things from different spatial viewpoints
  • Experiencing and describing positions, directions, and distances in the play space, building, and neighborhood
  • Interpreting spatial relations in drawings, pictures and photographs

Time

  • Starting and stopping an action on signal
  • Experiencing and describing rates of movement
  • Experiencing and comparing time intervals
  • Anticipating, remembering, and describing sequences of events
Hohmann M. & Weikart, D. P. (2000) Educating Young Children. High/Scope Press: Ypsilanti, MI