The Early Childhood classroom offers your child specific areas of study: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Science, Creative Arts, Performance Arts, Agricultural Arts, Language, and Cultural Studies.
At BPCA, our early childhood classroom is designed to be a calm, welcoming environment with light tones on the wall and natural wooden furniture. The focus of the room isn’t the decor, but the students. Educators intentionally create classroom communities, little families of growing minds and bodies. The room design is meant to create a learning space that allows the child to socialize and build fine and gross motor skills. In our early childhood room, you won’t see desks, nor will an educator stand at the front of the room delivering a lesson to the whole class. Instead, you’ll see students happily working and playing individually or in small groups, at tables or on the floor near small mats that delineate their own space.
Specially designed learning materials and activities are displayed on open shelves, easily accessible to the students. Educators gently guide students to help maintain the organization and cleanliness of this environment to keep it orderly and attractive, and to help students understand how to care for materials and clean up after themselves.
In their third year —
Often known as kindergartners or rising first graders, students in this year take pride in being the oldest. They serve as role models for younger students and they demonstrate leadership and citizenship skills. Our students reinforce and consolidate their own learning by teaching concepts to their peers that they have already mastered. In this third year, we expect our students to show high levels of self-esteem, self-efficiency, cooperation, and responsibility.
Rigorously trained educators carefully observe their students in the early childhood environment, identifying their interests and abilities. Our teachers guide the learning, introducing new lessons through circle time and stories. Each circle is a collection of poems, songs, and fingerplays with an overarching narrative structure that complements the natural rhythm of the seasons and increases in complexity throughout the year.
Students perform the same circle for four to eight weeks, which allows them to connect deeply with the material and foster a sense of accomplishment and pride in their abilities. Classroom materials, stories, movement journeys, and specialty curriculum complement the themes emerging in the circle story and in our own pocket prairie. The teacher offers the encouragement, time, and tools needed to allow children’s natural curiosities to drive learning, and provides choices that help them learn, grow, and succeed.
The simple, intentional rhythm of the day includes focused, individual and small-group work that integrates multiple areas of development and community building practical activities such as family-style mealtimes. We complement the core of the academic journey with specialty classes including visual art, performing arts, Spanish, and environmental education.
The rhythm extends into the cycles of the year and includes seasonal festivals and celebrations. Our student-centered and constructivist teaching styles utilize self-directed, experiential learning in relationship-driven environments. This style of design emphasizes the role of imagination in learning, striving to integrate holistically the intellectual, practical, and artistic development of our students.
Emphasis is placed on the value and importance of the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, and cognitive.
Our immersive play-based kindergarten curriculum blends many foundational skills necessary for subsequent academic success. There is a strong social-emotional learning component as well as the meaningful connections our curriculum ties to the head, heart, and hands.