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TOWER HILL SCHOOL Lower School Curriculum Guide 2011-2012 Tower Tots In understanding that young children learn best through play, the Tower Tots curriculum provides three-year olds with the opportunity to explore, experiment, discover and learn through purposeful play. In a warm and caring environment students learn to adapt and function successfully in a classroom setting achieving basic skills of trust, motivation and self-control. In order to foster the growth of the whole child, developmentally appropriate learning centers are available to promote positive outcomes for all children. These centers: dramatic play, blocks, art, sand/water table, language, math readiness and motor development provide our most eager learners with the opportunity to reinforce skills, while encouraging personal and social development. In addition to the classroom curriculum, students will receive specialized instruction in music, physical education and Spanish. Character Development Character Education is a fundamental part of the curriculum for our three and four year old students. These young learners are becoming members of a school community and learning to be good citizens in that community. Values such as honesty, kindness, patience, cooperation, perseverance, and self-discipline are just a few of the principles that are intentionally and effectively integrated into our Tower Tots program. Teachers instruct and model these universal values in fun and creative ways. They also encourage and acknowledge students’ efforts with positive praise when they are behaving as a contributing member of the classroom. Literacy

In the TT literacy program, teachers thoughtfully and purposefully interact with children and plan experiences that support emerging literacy. The foundation of literacy learning combines a print-rich environment with explicit teaching of essential concepts. Our literacy program exposes three and four year olds to seven components that preschoolers need to become competent and confident readers and writers. First and foremost, we wish to convey literacy as a source of enjoyment. Throughout the year, our students are exposed to a diverse selection of reading materials; picture books, predictable and rhyming books, fiction and non-fiction are all used to instill a love a reading. The remaining six components are equally important. They are increased vocabulary and language, phonological awareness, knowledge of print, letters and words, comprehension, book and text knowledge. Age appropriate activities include the following: informal conversations, songs, rhymes, fingerplays, movement activities, read-alouds with book discussions, forming names with magnetic letters, and retelling stories with a felt board.

Mathematics

Basic math and number concepts utilized in a preschool classroom set the foundation for learning more advanced math concepts. With this in mind, the Tower Tots are exposed to early math skills (numeral identification, counting, one-to-one correspondence, patterning, sorting and classifying) most often through hands-on, playful activities and exploration. Peg boards, large number die and unifix cubes are just a few of the manipulatives that teachers offer on a daily basis to provide a visual and tangible representation of the otherwise abstract concepts related to numbers, counting, patterning and the like.


Lower School Curriculum Guide – Tower Tots - 2011-2012

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Science

A young child starting school is a natural scientist. All three and four year olds bring a sense of wonder and curiosity that make exploring their world tremendously exciting and fun. Whether observing turtles swimming, rolling cars down a ramp, finding leaves that have fallen, or blowing through a straw to spread paint, children are daily engaged in finding out how the world works. The Tower Tot science curriculum allows young children the freedom to discover and explore their world through play. Teachers provide an environment with varied materials for students to explore, experiment with, and manipulate. Science is integrated throughout our units and just like real scientists our young students practice skills like predicting, observing, classifying, hypothesizing, experimenting and communicating.

Spanish

Spanish units include: Greetings, Let's Count to 10!, What Color Is This?, shapes, holidays, seasons, and various topics corresponding with grade level classroom curriculum.

Music

Music class for Tower Tots includes a range of activities designed to foster a love of music as well as gain an understanding of basic skills. Children experience concepts of music through singing games, listening activities and movement to music and are given the opportunity to play classroom percussion instruments.

Library

Tower Tots come to the library for a read-aloud program. They are introduced to the concepts of choosing books to borrow and check out. The books are displayed, shared, and enjoyed in their classroom until the next library class.

Physical Education For most of the three year olds this is their first exposure to physical education. Our goal is to help the children build a solid foundation to develop age appropriate tasks. Our program is centered on spatial awareness, basic motor skills, crossing the plane, personal involvement and fun. We are introducing and emphasizing the importance of sharing, taking turns and respecting one another.

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