Curriculum


Curriculum at Little Treasures focuses on the whole child. Cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development are all included in our planning. At LTS we will build a learning foundation out of playful experiences. Children will broaden their horizons with different topics and activities such as: music, art, dance, literature, science, cooking, language arts, math, poetry, rhymes, nature, sand, water, dramatic play, and personal growth (i.e. respect, responsibilities, and manners). Our curriculum also focuses on families, cultures, the environment, and much more. The foundation of our curriculum is based on the frameworks as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Education as found on www.eec.state.ma.us – “Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences”; “Early Childhood Program Standards”, “Kindergarten Learning Experiences”.

Early Literacy

In order to facilitate a smooth transition to the Public Schools, our Pre-K and Kindergarten Transition classrooms use the Wilson Reading & Writing Program ® which is used in the Reading Public Schools (RPS). Letter recognition and Phonics is taught with the same terminology and tools which are used in RPS and our writing centers are equipped with the early writing tools which use the same icons and lettering style as used in RPS. This is part of our commitment to working with our community to ease transition to public school. All our classes encourage pre-reading skills through the use of labels around the classroom.

Writing workshop goals include: fine motor skills, use of pencil, crayon, scissors, pincer grasp, tracing shapes/letters, independent drawing, recognition of first name in print; letter recognition, recognizing print elsewhere (in the world) and its function, recognition and ability to produce rhyming words, and have phonemic awareness.

Early Literacy goals include

  • ability to listen and comprehend stories
  • make predictions of what may happen next
  • follow a short sequence of instructions

Science

At Little Treasures, we place great emphasis on the value of science in our curriculum. We have developed a unique and comprehensive science program. We have a science teacher who plan lessons and visit each classroom on a rotating schedule (typically twice a month). These lessons focus on making the abstract concepts of science tangible to the children. Hands on experiments are the central focus of each lesson. The curriculum builds on prior experiences and develops an understanding of science as relevant in their own world.

Our science programs nurtures children’s love of learning by encouraging exploration of their world, and empowering them with the vocabulary of science. Both boys and girls approach science with such enthusiasm. Children are encouraged to make “best guesses” or predictions and to test their predictions against what actually happened. We encourage mistakes as they are the only way scientists learn new things about the world. Children receive a positive foundation for understanding many abstract concepts of our world. They learn to see themselves as careful observers of their world.

Our goals for the science program include

  • ability to make thoughtful observations and contributions to classroom discussions
  • developing ability to brainstorm and problem solve
  • curiosity about the world around them
  • knowledge of body parts
  • ability to maintain interest in activities
  • incorporate new vocabulary into language

Early Math

Math skills are reinforced throughout the day through calendar activities, choice time games, sorting exercises and block building. Children are exposed to various opportunities to build their understanding of: numbers, number names, their relationship to object quantities and symbols, measurement (using standard and non-standard units of measure), patterns, shapes (two and three dimensional), size, time and schedules. Exposure to these concepts and growth in their understanding must be consistent and carefully observed by teaching staff.

Math Program goals

  • children create and recognize patterns
  • understand concepts of measurement (standard and non-standard)
  • shape recognition (independently and within the environment)
  • color recognition
  • rote counting, 1 to 1 correspondence
  • understanding and use of math vocabulary such as “more than, less than, small, medium, large, tallest, smallest)
  • understanding of position orientation words such as “top, bottom, front, back”
  • ability to categorize based on different attributes (shape, color, size)

Creative Expression: Music, Art, Dance

Music is a vital part of our school environment. It is a part of our day in the classroom environment as well as a helpful tool to ease transitions (clean up songs). We also incorporate music into circle, quiet times, and often as background during quiet work times. In addition to its use throughout the day, we also have a dedicated music teacher who visits each classroom on a schedule (typically three times a month.) The children sing, dance and are exposed to instruments. Children are exposed to various genres and are learning the basics of music education while having great fun.

We take great pride in our School Shows which involve our preschool and TAS After school program. We host two productions a year. One occurs in December and the other is a spring concert along with our graduation ceremony. Both of these productions center on a musical theme. These take place at a Reading Memorial High School auditorium, during a weeknight evening. The children enjoy showing off their singing voices and performing for their families. A big highlight of our spring production is always the distribution of diplomas!!

Dance is another fun way to allow the children opportunities to express themselves. Dance can be incorporated into the day during class time or outside time. Children should be exposed to dance representative of other cultures, especially cultures represented within the class or school population.

Art is an extremely valuable teaching and expressive tool for children. Children are given ample opportunity to create open-ended art projects, to creatively express themselves in all curriculum areas, art, drama, music, and dance. Creative Expression is a wonderful place for children to explore the diversity in the world.

Goals for our Creative Expression Curriculum

  • demonstrating feeling through movement and music
  • recognition of different musical beats
  • participation in group singing and dance
  • enjoyment of musical instruments/activities
  • exploration of art using different materials/media
  • use of dramatic play materials

Additional Content Areas

Other content areas which are included in classroom curriculum are personal growth (social/emotional), health/safety, gross motor skills self-reliance skills and social studies.

LTS goals for Social & Emotional growth include: showing respect for classmates, teachers class rules and materials, transitioning skills, playing and sharing cooperatively, a healthy and happy self image, appropriate control over emotions, understand of emotions (of self and others), verbally expressive, has an answer s/he can articulate once they’ve raised their hand, responds with complete ideas, problem solving skills and negotiation skills and ability to work independently.

Health/safety goals include: knowing their personal information such as first, last name, address, age and phone number; knowledge of what to do in an emergency, proper hand washing, dressing skills, understanding of basic health and nutrition.

Gross Motor goals include

  • alternating feet on stairs
  • balances on each foot
  • jumping in place
  • kicking a ball, throwing a ball
  • working on galloping and skipping

Enrichment

We are dedicated to providing enriching experiences to compliment our curriculum. Children participate in field trips (Smolak Farms, Stone Zoo, nursing home visits) as well as enjoying special visitors to our school such as the fire dept., police department, dental hygienists, storytellers, puppeteers, animals, etc. Children also participate in unique Little Treasures’ experiences such as our homemade Thanksgiving feast for which each class participates in the meal preparation.

Enrichment activities provide for a great way to measure growth in social studies skills such as: showing respect and understanding of individual differences, has an interest in learning about people and the world about them, has respect for the earth. These areas can also be assessed in circle and many other activities throughout the day.

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