Emerging literacy stands at the center of the PreK program, with the girls guided to see the connections between speaking, reading, and writing. Daily activities with language, books, poetry, rhymes and listening skills help foster a love of stories and reading. Alphabet-related activities foster familiarity with letters and sounds. The girls begin to identify simple words in the print rich environment.
Concepts and skills are introduced by using counting and numbers in both play and real-life situations, such as quantities, times, dates and age. Patterns, designs, graphing, and problem solving activities with concrete objects build knowledge of mathematical concepts and language. The girls begin to recognize and write numbers, to count and to recognize shapes.
With an emphasis on the natural world, the girls engage in weekly activities that encourage exploration of the outdoors, observation of plants, trees, birds and animals, documentation of changes in weather, and discoveries about the properties of water, sand and soil.
The girls have opportunities to learn about themselves, their families, the AIS community and the neighborhood around the school. The girls visit a farm, garden and nature center and meet various community helpers in the classroom setting. Library, physical education and music experiences are part of the daily schedule.
The Spanish program at this age level is based on listening comprehension and oral production, book reading, songs, rhymes, movement, and echoing of words. Throughout the year, the girls learn to express feelings and emotions, and to understand and interpret spoken Spanish on a variety of topics: basic greetings, polite words, colors, basic numbers, days, months, basic clothing, basic body parts, animals and foods. Students also experience learning about holidays celebrated in the United States and Spanish-speaking countries. The goal of the program is to be aware of the existence of a different language and the diversity in our community.
With an emphasis on fostering listening comprehension and a love of books, the PreK girls attend library once a week. During this time they hear stories and have an opportunity to check out books for reading at home.
Developmental skills such as running, skipping, hopping, jumping, and eye-hand coordination are practiced within the context of games during the physical education class. This class, which meets three times a week, provides girls with an opportunity to strengthen their gross motor skills and take healthy risks by attempting new skills in a fun, non-threatening environment.
The Lower School music program is based on the philosophy and musical methods of Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly. This method espouses introducing skills based on the developmental levels of a child’s ability. In the PreK curriculum, folksongs, listening, singing and movement are used to teach rhythm, tone and eventually notation.