The Sunbeam class is designed specifically for ages 4 and 5 with the intention that children will progress on to Kindergarten. It is the final step in the three year adventure at A Child Becomes… from Caterpillars, Butterflies to Sunbeams. Our literacy and theme based program incorporates strategies and lessons so that each child is ready for the literacy demands of kindergarten. Also incorporated are weekly lessons in French, Fine Arts, and Music.
Our literacy program has been developed over the years using a combination of successfully researched and comprehensive programs: Literacy Beginnings and Holder Fastie Alphabet Curriculum. We believe that a strong literacy component, benefits the emotional and cognitive development of young child enormously.
Our literacy rich classroom is play-based with seven learning areas. Each offers opportunities for reading and writing with labels placed generously throughout the school to prepare children for a literacy rich world in which they live. Children often make their own labels, add new words to their Snap Word Wall and create stories in their journals to share back with the class.
We teach literacy in fun and engaging ways that are age appropriate. Children learn to:
- Write and/or draw in journals daily.
- Use known letters or approximations of letters to represent the written language, especially meaningful words like – to, from, love, mom, dad, etc.
- Find opportunities to experiment with writing – using markers, pencils, staples, stamps and more to make or write their own stories.
- Participate in rhyming, phoneme games, matching, and syllable play.
- Identify letters and sounds matches.
- Enjoy listening, discussing and acting out stories.
- Fall in love with books!
We support fun and interactive learning that uses hands on experiences to engage multiple senses in the learning process. We incorporate experiences like field trips, guest speakers, math and cooking projects, drama, music, and fine arts with themes drawn from the social, physical and natural sciences. Example of our fall themes:
- Deciduous trees and leaves.
- Arachnids, bats, raptors.
- Health and nutrition, bones and muscles.
- Northwest Coast Native Americans.
- A celebration of holidays from different cultures.
Children share their learning at home and involve their families! We promote wonder, experimentation, and deduction. We encourage questions and work together as a class to draw conclusions.
BASIC LIFE SKILLS
Parents can also feel confident that their child will be equipped with the following life skills developed from “Mind in the Making” philosophy:
- Focus and attention/self control.
- Compassion and empathy.
- Perceptive talking.
- Taking on challenges.
- Critical thinking.
- Self directed and engaged learning.