We emphasize education of the whole child—intellectually, emotionally, and physically.
Our Pre-Kindergarten Teaching Philosophy
Gulf Stream School’s pre-kindergarten philosophy is rooted in teaching the whole-child. We define whole-child education as a method for stimulating a child’s academic, social, physical and emotional growth. Our multi-age program encourages children to interact with peers who are in various stages of development, which is effective for promoting a strong sense of communal learning between and among the children. At one moment a child may be acquiring beneficial skills and aptitudes by observing an older classmate, in the next moment that same child may be exemplifying those new competencies to his or her peers. Older students begin to develop and practice leadership skills, while increasing their self-confidence and empathy.
Our Teaching Environment
Connected classroom spaces further enable students to interact freely with classmates, teachers, and the inspiring environment we have created for early-childhood learning. Connected spaces and multi-age grouping facilitates differentiation in instruction, ensuring we meet the needs of every child. We pride ourselves on using open-ended questions and materials that encourage students to make meaningful discoveries, problem-solve, and think creatively. Throughout our day, students are engaged in small-group as well as large group instruction to help them achieve success in all domains of their development.
Content in Pre-Kindergarten consists of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and Spanish language. In language arts students learn to keep a reflective journal that is shared with parents throughout the year, they read chapter books that culminate in creative STEM-oriented activities, and they traditionally make their own “Stone Soup” after reading a variety of books from the well-known series. In social studies, the children learn about what makes their community by creating a mural featuring roads, signs, and buildings, such as favorite restaurants, our school, the fire station, and post office.
Pre-Kindergarten Math & Foreign Language
PreK uses the Bridge Math Program as a gateway to the Eureka Math program. Bridges Math Program teaches math concepts using directed lessons, open exploration, and using themes to engage students in math lessons and many hands-on investigations. The children enjoy working on STEM projects that are connected to stories they read in class. Building a bridge for the three billy goats gruff and different size bean stalks for Jack are great ways to help the children connect to the stories and use critical thinking. The human body unit is a favorite science project for the children. The students learn about the major organs through reading books and art. The students have their bodies traced on big pieces of paper and have the chance to paste on paper cut outs of the major organs on their own paper body. Spanish classes start in PreK. The children begin to learn Spanish words and phrases for greetings, animals, and food. The children also begin to learn American Sign Language to help them visually understand the words they are learning.