Eagle Creek Academy
We teach in small groups.
We enroll children who are three, four and five years old (when school starts in September) into our preschool program. They do not need to be potty-trained.
Each of our preschool teachers is in her own classroom, with her own small group of children. We usually have four preschool classes, arranged according to the children's ages, their abilities, the boy/girl split and other factors.
Our preschool groups are small:
3 year olds = 10 children maximum
4 & 5 year olds = 12 children maximum
Sometimes, we enroll children who are almost three years old in September. Please call us to talk about it.
We believe that childhood is a magical time.
Our first priority is to keep the magic alive. We make ice cream, bring in pets and have parties. We sing and dance and laugh. We want school to be a special place where children get to do special things.
For many children, preschool is a time of firsts.
It may be the first time a child leaves his parents or the first time he must talk in a group. We want the children to feel safe. We maintain a slow, calm pace. We plan our routines and our transitions carefully. In fact, we get many compliments on how peaceful our classrooms are. We love this time in a child’s life, and we want your children to love it, too.
We recognize that we are preparing your children for Kindergarten.
With this in mind, we pay special attention to providing the perfect balance between fun and academics. We spend a lot of time getting to know each child as an individual, keeping track of his unique strengths and needs so we can plan learning activities which challenge him. Many parents tell us later they were amazed at how well we prepared their children for Kindergarten.
Children learn early math concepts (such as patterning, sequencing and skip-counting) through hands-on, get-up-and-go activities. Our day is full of activities that teach math concepts.
We work on language all day long – during circle time, when we read books, when we practice handwriting, when we record our observations during science experiments, and much more. With young children, there is always the opportunity to write a word, read a sentence or tell a story.
Young children ask more questions about science than anything else. The best science lesson is an experiment where the children discover the answers. We learn about the life sciences, physical sciences, and earth science through creative, hands-on activities.
For young children, social studies is the study of their everyday lives. Our students learn about being a member of a small group, being part of a school and being stewards of our environment.
SPANISH EVERY DAY
Our Spanish teachers use games, songs and crafts. Children learn vocabulary words as well as simple conversations. They also learn about the customs and holidays in the many Spanish-speaking countries.
Young children are intrigued by technology. From time to time, we go to the computer lab to practice logging in, using a mouse, and playing academic games. We also enjoy using the cameras and iPads for special purposes.
Painting, drawing and using clay to make models help children develop the small motor skills they will need in order to write letters and numbers. They also give children the chance to be creative.
We want the children to feel free to create their own art, their own music, their own stories, their own everything... Therefore, we alternate between giving them samples to follow and giving them time to follow their inspiration.
Children get to try many instruments, from rhythm sticks to bells to tambourines. Following and extending musical patterns helps develop math skills.
Puppet shows, role playing and acting out stories help children try out adult behaviors, express themselves and build self-confidence.
Running, jumping, throwing, catching, balancing and all the other gym and outdoor activities are the best part of the day!
Reading and Language are the major focus points of the preschool curriculum. Teachers work with the children to enrich their vocabulary, help them communicate clearly, learn the basic phonetics of our language, and develop a love of books. Along with that is the physical development of the fine motor muscles, so necessary to emerging penmanship skills. All of the work we do must take into consideration the age and ability of the child, and their vital need for play. So we make learning fun, and incorporate play into all parts of our day.
Please click on this funny video (above) to see our preschool students as they get together in the middle school science lab to learn about chemical reactions. They love being in the big-kid spaces.
Math, Math, Math
Since young children are naturally interested in numbers and problem-solving, we do a lot of math. One favorite is exploring measurement using both standard tools, such as rulers, and non-standard and standard tools, such as paperclips. (Do you know how many paperclips tall you are?) We also like using the estimation jar, a glass jar full of objects, and asking "How many are in there?" Besides providing a thrill to the children who guess the closest, the jar gives us the chance to teach math concepts. For example, if the items in the jar are small, will the answer (to "How many are in there?") be a big number or a small number?
We Have Bodies!
We learned about the skeleton, major organs, veins and muscles in our bodies. Then, we drew something we like to think about in our brains, something we like to eat in our stomachs, and something we love in our hearts, and glued them on to our paper bodies. One of the most interesting things we learned was that our hair and our finger nails are made of the same protein!
What Water Teaches Us
First, as a class, we read the funny story about Mr. Archimedes and his bath. Then, in small groups, the children predicted and checked the “float-ability” of many classroom objects. After that, they tried out the Archimedes principle as they added and subtracted toy animals from a container of water and observed the water level rising and falling. Later, the small groups reported the scientific principles they had learned to the other groups.
This group of preschool children developed a keen interest in the night sky, so we watched You Tube videos and memorized songs to learn the names and the order of the planets. We also learned many space facts. For example, we discovered that Jupiter's big, red spot is a constant storm that has been storming for hundreds of years. In this picture, the boys are in their space station, talking about what it would be like to live with no gravity.
Spanish Every Day
We spend most of our preschool Spanish time listening and talking. We often talk about our families, using the words for the family members (such as hermano y hermana) and easy sentences (such as “I love my dad” and “My grandma is special").