At the heart of our Multiage Preschool program is an emergent curriculum - a pedagogy that allows our two lead teachers per classroom
to collaborate with children around their ideas, questions, development, and topics of interest. It is a continuous cycle that requires teachers to observe children and to listen closely for their ideas. Observation and listening are followed by the teacher's thoughtful response, which builds on what the children are doing and thinking. To do this well, Orchard’s Multiage Preschool teachers create Invitations for Learnings to help welcome children and provide them with the materials necessary to inspire their innate and extraordinary curiosity.
An invitation to learn is a display of materials, carefully selected and arranged, that draws children’s attention and engages them in a world of wonder, exploration, and discovery. The invitation to learn is purposefully and intentionally designed with curriculum outcomes in mind. As the children interact with the invitation, the educator observes and documents the children’s interests, thinking, and learning. The children’s questions and interests can become the focus for an inquiry.
Quick overview of elements explored in the Multiage Preschool classroom:Math and Science -
Students will learn to recognize and copies patterns such as sequences of sounds, shapes, color (e.g. ABAB or AAB) with guidance. They'll make simple concrete graphs reflecting opinions and events with guidance. Students will use many different tools to help gather information. Asking questions based on their discoveries will lead to new explorations and experiments.Reading and Writing -
Language patterns are learned and strengthened through reading and reciting texts with rhyme and rhythm. The ability to segment and blend phonemes facilitates spelling and decoding for our young learners. This goes hand in hand in terms of preschoolers beginning to write. Students learn that writers plan by thinking about who they are writing for and what they want to tell that person. They also know that writers know how to spell many words because they know that sounds make letters.Spanish -
Preschoolers learn other languages enables an individual to participate in multilingual communities. They also learn that the purpose of language study is to communicate so we can understand others and they can understand us. Orchard students will learn basic Spanish greetings and emotions, colors, numbers (1-10), size, parts of the body, and family and culture.Music and Art -
Students will travel to Mrs. McSpadden's room for music class. Throughout the year, students will learn how to keep a steady beat, discover various instruments, explore vocal range, and reinforce metals, shakers, and skins. Art is encouraged and integrated into larger classroom projects on a daily basis by the teachers.The Importance of Play -
Children venture outside to explore, discover, investigate and play! While children are always supervised, they are allowed to explore our spacious 43-acre wooded campus and let their creativity lead the way! Gross and fine motor skills are developed. Undirected play helps children learn to work collaboratively, to share, to negotiate, to resolve misunderstandings and learn self-advocacy skills.Physcial Education -
PE is one of the places where gross motor skills and coordination are developed. Gym is especially fun when it's pajama day, and running throughout our 43-acre wooded campus makes for interesting exploration. Healthy, active kids become healthy, active adults.
Our Multiage Preschool classrooms are structured to enhance the preschool experience by creating a child-centered, emergent curriculum with full exposure to hands-on experiential learning. There are four classrooms with a mix of three through five-year-old students. If a child is three-years-old by August 31st, they will spend two years in this program. If a child is four-years-old by August 31st, they will spend one year in the program.
We offer two options for the Multiage Preschool program:
- 5-Day Full Day (8 AM until 3:20 PM)
- 3-Day Full Day (8 AM until 3:20 PM)
Before care begins at 7:00 AM and after care runs from 3:20 - 6:00 PM.