Learning Tree Development Center

Welcome to our Learning Tree Preschool Room. While your child is here with us, our goal will be to provide a safe, caring and learning rich environment in which your child will have the opportunity to learn through play and numerous social interactions. We will provide a developmentally appropriate curriculum and coordinating areas of interest throughout the preschool room to help foster both your child’s social and academic growth.

If at any time you find that you have questions or input, please feel free to speak with either of your Lead Preschool teachers and we will do our best to work with you to reach a solution. Your continued support of our preschool program is appreciated and we thank you for letting us be a part of your child’s early childhood education.

Curriculum:

Our learning rich curriculum is incorporated by theme based units. These units are scheduled on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Three week and month long units are rarely introduced, but do present in some units. Theme based curriculum gives us the opportunity to incorporate academics, current events and the children’s interests into our learning environment.

 Interest Areas:

Our Preschool Room consists of several interest areas. Each area is designed to encourage independent exploration as well as cooperative and positive social interaction. These areas encourage the children to learn to work within a group dynamic which also teaches the invaluable skill of problem solving. Following the conclusion of our daily group time, the children are assigned to each of our separate interest areas in groups of two to four children per group. The children rotate through the areas to maximize their exposure to all of the different area activities.                                                                        

     Art:

Our experience as teachers has taught us that art is a creative process that takes both time and creative materials. With that understanding, we strive to provide a variety of materials to encourage creativity and self-expression through imagination. We provide a wide range of material including but not limited to paint, glue, scissors, markers, play dough, shaving cream and a variety of others to induce the creative process.

The creative process can be a messy endeavor, so please keep this in mind when your child is dressing for the day.

      Books, Puzzles and Flannel Board:

The preschool book area encourages the children to explore the many different forms of storytelling. Our book selection is designed to coordinate with the weekly themed unit and is available to the children at all times. This area is also home to our puzzles and flannel board station. The pieces at the flannel board station also coordinate with our weekly themed unit and are available daily for the children’s use.

     Science and Sensory Exploration:

The preschool science area encourages the children to discover the world around them through exploration and observation. A variety of basic science activities that encourage curiosity and discovery will also be included in this area. Sensory discovery will be implemented through open table activities and hands on exploration.

     Writing Center:

Our preschool writing center provides the children with tools to practice their pre-writing skills. We have included an array of materials to inspire the spirit of embracing this necessary life skill. The children will be given formal direction and instruction and will also have the opportunity to practice these skills independently.

     Outdoor Play & Indoor Exercise:

When the weather is cooperating and being outdoors is feasible, the preschool children will have large motor play on our playground area. Our playground area provides a variety of ways for the children to be engaged physically. A large “jungle gym” with attached slides, ladders and tubes gives the children multiple ways to get their daily exercise. We also provide rotating toys such as hoops, balls, foam tubes, detached tunnels and a variety of other materials to help encourage active play.

Once per week the preschoolers spend thirty minutes with our Stretch and Grow coach Nikki. Nikki has been coming to Learning Tree since 2002 and she provides the children with weekly lessons such as healthy eating, good hygiene, body parts and functions and a trove of other knowledge rich lessons. The children love having her and look forward to their time with her each week.


     Manipulative Toys and Math Skills:

Our manipulative toys or “table toys” area provides the children with the opportunity to enhance their hand eye coordination skills. The toys that are provided in this area include math and counting skills as well as patterning materials.   This area was designed to help the children to develop basic counting and patterning skills as well as to enhance hand eye coordination through the use of patterning, counting and serration materials. Fine motor skills are also introduced into this area through the use building materials, links and string manipulated models.
                                                                      
The Preschool Curriculum Block:

Our preschool room engages in a curriculum block that begins at 10am with our group time. During this time we navigate through our various learning geared activities which include but are not limited to our knowledge of the days of the week, months of the year, recall of our previous day; current day and what the day will be tomorrow, weather words and our daily weather conditions, sign language signs of the week, letter(s) of the week, daily rotation of shapes (including lines of symmetry and parallel lines), colors (including the sign language sign for the color), Capital and lower case letters, and numbers through one hundred(in groups of ten after thirty).  We also hold discussions based around our weekly themed unit at this time.

At the close of our group time, the preschool children are assigned to groups of 2-4 children by designated center tags and are guided through each assigned interest area by a teacher. This way each child has the opportunity to explore and gain as much as possible from each of our learning centers throughout the room.


The Preschool Parent Board:

Our preschool parent board is located on the wall to the left of the classroom door upon entrance. This “school to home” communication board houses information regarding our Stretch and Grow class, lunch suggestions, developmental mile stones, weekly lesson plans, monthly classroom newsletters, Scholastic book club book of the month suggestions, our weekly sign language unit info sheet, and other helpful information. Please take a moment at least once a week to be sure to have the most up to date center and classroom information as it pertains to your family.


Conferences:

Parent/Teacher conferences are held once per semester in the Fall and Spring. Sign-up sheets will be posted at least two weeks in advance of the actual conferences. When signing up, please be mindful that we schedule conferences in fifteen minute time blocks. If you have questions or concerns that need attention beyond this time frame, please speak with one of the lead preschool teachers to set up a different time to meet.  The children are observed and assessed using developmentally appropriate tools. The information gathered serves a guide for determining where the children are developmentally and where, as parents and teachers, we would like for them to be.

Meal Times:

Both morning and afternoon snack are provided by Learning Tree. Lunches are provided by parents and needs to consist of a fruit, veggie, grain and protein. Snacks from lunches will only be opened once the “healthy” parts of lunches are eaten and only one snack item will be offered if multiple items are packed. Neither candy nor pop will be offered at any time, so please leave these items at home. Milk and utensils are provided and do not need to be packed by parents.

Morning Snack will be served at 9:00 with a final seating at 9:20. If your child is scheduled to be here during breakfast and needs to eat, please be sure to have them here no later than 9:20 as breakfast is over at 9:30. Lunch is served at 12:30 with a final seating at 12:45. If your child is scheduled to be here during lunch and needs to eat, please be sure to have them here no later than 12:45 as lunch is over at 1:00. Afternoon Snack will be served at 3pm at the end of naptime. Do to the room schedule and the schedule of the children; we are unable to extend any of our scheduled eating time blocks.

 
Naptime:

Our center wide naptime begins at 1pm and ends at 3pm. The children are required per Minnesota Licensing requirements to be on their cots and resting for a period of at least 30 minutes. Due to this requirement, we as a center are not able to have any child that is here during this time not participate in having the scheduled nap time. If children do not fall asleep, but have rested quietly for the required thirty minutes, we will supply them with a quiet activity to be done at their cots while the other students continue to rest.

If your child brings nap items for their cot such as a blanket, travel size pillow or soft noiseless stuffed toy, please be sure to place them on your child’s labeled cot and take them home at the end of your child’s week to be laundered. All nap items need to be labeled with your child’s first name and last initial.

Toileting:

With regard to toilet/potty training, the preschool room program does not allow children to be in either diapers or pull-ups. In fostering their independence and self-reliance skills, we have the children use the restroom in groups of two and on their own throughout the day as needed. We also give reminders to the newly trained to both enhance and encourage their new skill.

               
Dressing For The Day

Our preschool room not only encourages but also provides the opportunity for many hands on activities during your child’s day. These projects and activities include but are not limited to art, sensory, play dough and outdoor exploration. With this in mind, please dress your child with the assumption that they will probably get dirty due to either scheduled art or outdoor activities. We do encourage them to keep dirty hands clear of hair and clothing, but we can’t guarantee it.

Also, comfortable and outdoor play appropriate shoes are suggested and we do not allow children to wear “dress-up” or “dress” shoes outdoors. These shoes are not safe for playground equipment and the children that wear them will not be permitted to play on the climbing structures.

Each preschooler is required to have at least two full changes of extra clothing on hand in their front cubby. The clothing has to be both labeled with your child’s first name and last initial. These items also have to be bagged and hung in your child’s cubby. Should your child not have extra clothes and be in need of them, you will be contacted to either bring clothing or pick them up to get what they need.

Outerwear needs to be season appropriate. Fall gear should consist of a lightweight jacket, and if necessary a hat and sunscreen. Winter gear must include a coat, pair of mittens, snow pants, hat and boots all of which need to be water resistant. Spring gear must include a temperature appropriate coat/jacket, hat and mittens (if deemed necessary by the daily temperature) and snow pants and boots pending the muddy surface left behind after the snow melt. Summer gear must include sunscreen and should also include labeled water bottles (which have to go home every day to be cleaned), hats for children who need them and labeled sunglasses to protect their eyes.

 
Conclusion:

We appreciate you sharing your child’s most influential learning period of their life with us. We take our responsibility for their care and well-being very seriously and will provide ample learning opportunities to make the most of this important stage of their social, emotional and academic learning. If you should find at any point that you have any questions, comments or concerns; please feel free to speak with either Andrea or Kate and we will be happy to work with you to be able to continue to implement care that is fitting for both the situation and your child.