The school day runs from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Please consult the School Calendar for holidays and our vacation schedule.
8:00 – 8:30 am — Optional early drop off
8:30 – 9:00 am — Welcome and Free Play Outdoors Social/ Gross Motor Skills
9:00 am — Attendance
9:00 – 9:20 am — Circle time Movement/Teacher Lead Circle: Songs and Rhymes Literacy, Science or Math Activity, Multicultural Lesson or Social and Emotional Skills Weather and Calendar
9:20 – 9:45 am — Group Activities
9:45-10:30 am — Free Play (Tuesday-Thursday) Outdoor Exploration (Monday and Friday)
10:30-11:00 am - Snack
11:00 am – 12:00 pm — Nature Walk Tuesday through Thursday: Curricular content is reinforced during the nature walk Examples: Draw the letter T outside with sticks along the walk Continue Science lesson- e.g. looking for insects Continue Math by looking for triangle shape in nature Friday: Cleaning Day
12:00 – 12:20 pm —Story Telling, Puppetry, Dramatic Story Reenactment
12:20-1:00 pm — Lunch / Teeth Brushing
1:15-1:30 pm — Children Listen to a Story, then Choose Their Own Book
1:30 – 2:30 pm — Rest
2:30 – 3:30 pm — Outdoor Gardening / Play
3:30 – 4:00 pm — Inside Activities
Good Morning! We begin the morning outside in our playground and garden where we have time to connect with one another and the world around us. We join together for our first circle of the day where we say good morning and work on our gross and fine motor skills through singing, moving and following the teacher's movements.
Focused Learning We are now ready to get to work, we go inside for focused instruction in literacy, science and math. Children learn the rhythms and sounds of English through a large repertoire of beautiful songs and seasonal rhymes. These are embodied in accompanying movements/gestures and therefore easily learned. Stories and puppet shows rich in imagery and content are also a core part of the language arts curriculum. Exposure to such rich language builds children's speaking and listening skills--so important in later reading development. It enhances their vocabulary knowledge too. Learning the letters of the alphabet is easy and fun! Children are natural scientists and so curious about our world. At Cairn Hill Nature Preschool science topics include soil, hibernation, solids and liquids, birds, crystals, and the water cycle, to name a just a few. Math concepts, such as counting, sorting and measuring are easily integrated into scientific study-- and our nature setting provides the perfect context for both.
Activities/ Play Our daily activities include painting, making soup, drawing, baking bread and cleaning the classroom. After our work, we have time for free play in the various activity centers of the classroom where the children learn social skills through play. Then it's time for a nourishing, healthy snack. Our tummies full, we are ready again to build and play in nature. In the afternoon, we share lunch together and half day students prepare to go home while full day students get ready for rest time. The strong and steady rhythm of the day helps the children feel secure in themselves and in the world. It builds up healthy habits and a sense of belonging and purpose.