The 3’s class is for children ages three years to four years of age and meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. An optional Lunch Bunch from 12:00-1:00 extends the day one hour. While play based, this class offers an intentional curriculum that blends kindergarten readiness skills with creative exploration. By maintaining a small class size of an average of ten children, the teachers are able to give focused attention to their students on an individual and small group level throughout the day. The teachers work throughout the year to adjust each child’s curriculum to meet individual levels and needs.
The 3’s begin the first hour of their day in free play at their choice of year-round learning stations—creative art, play dough/clay, and a math/cognitive center. The teachers rotate other learning centers throughout the week to include building blocks, small manipulatives, dramatic play, writing, science, and light table exploration. Curriculum emerges and follows the child’s interest. Following a cooperative clean up time, the children gather for Circle Time to actively participate in music and games, which incorporates our Zoo-Phonics and Handwriting Without Tears programs as well as the calendar, weather, and our “Who’s Here” board. We offer a community snack afterwards of a fruit or vegetable and a cracker, and oftentimes offer something special from the school garden or the morning’s cooking activity as well.
After snack, the children enjoy outside encouraging opportunities to develop gross motor skills using bikes, building blocks, balls, gardening, and dramatic play. The children return inside to close the session with story time. The 3’s class takes two field trips during the year—to the pumpkin patch in the fall and to Hidden Villa Farm in the spring. Cooking and Science are a regularly scheduled part of the curriculum, and show-and-tell is a favorite monthly activity.