Excel » Early Childhood

Early Childhood

Preschool

Our pre-school is located in the lower level of the Convent, just south of our main school building and encompasses 3- and 4-year-old pre-school classrooms, the Bitty Buckeye classroom, restrooms and a playground.
 

Pre-school Philosophy & Curriculum:

The St. Barnabas Pre-school curriculum incorporates the academic, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual needs of the young child. The aim is to nurture and teach the whole child and to encourage the attributes for lifelong learning. In order to reach this goal, a developmentally appropriate curriculum has been devised. It includes the following attributes:
 
Active: Hands-on use of manipulatives is the focus, rather than paper and pencil work.
 
Personally Meaningful: The program builds on what the child already knows.

Experimental: The child learns by doing, talking, and exploring new ideas.

Energetic: The teacher encourages curiosity and delight in order to motivate the child.

Interactive: Children are encouraged to work together rather than competing against each other.

Explorative: We invite the child to discover ideas and principles through the manipulation of objects.

Holistic: The program is integrated rather than broken into separated subjects.

Constructive: The child is encouraged to use his/her imagination and creative powers in a nonjudgmental atmosphere.

Children vary in their abilities, each bringing a unique set of background experiences into the early childhood classroom. Each child is a unique individual with his or her own needs. Our developmentally appropriate program will meet the needs of each child. Our approach allows for cooperative learning groups, individualized activities, high interest learning centers, and hands-on experiences for each child. Our curriculum provides the opportunity for each child to experience success on his/her own terms and is aligned with the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards for language arts, math, science, social studies and religion.
 
A Brief Overview of our Pre-school Day: There are two separate and unique curriculums for the two different age groups.
 
8:00am Morning Leaning Centers: Children work in various centers such as housekeeping, play-dough area, puzzle center, math center, block center and writing center
8:45am Special (One or Two Specials per day which includes Art, Music, Gym, Spanish, Media)
9:40am Calendar
9:50am Morning snack (provided by parent)
10:00am Lesson of the Day: We focus on one subject area each day.  Subject areas include: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies and Religion
10:30am Small group lesson reinforcement/centers
10:50am Half day students dismiss
11:00am Lunch (provided by parent)
11:30am Small Group Activities
12:10pm Recess (outdoors if it is 32 degrees or above)
12:40pm Afternoon Snack (provided by parent) and individual "read on the rug"
1:15pm Rest Time
2:15pm Songs, fingerplays, stories, prepare to dismiss
 

Kindergarten

Kindergarten Philosophy & Curriculum:

The Kindergarten curriculum focuses on the critical well being of each child. We aim to prepare each child for success in all areas of learning. The program is designed to build social, emotional, academic, spiritual and physical growth.

The curriculum is based on the Archdiocese and Illinois Learning Standards. It presents students with the opportunity to personally engage in all aspects of learning. In kindergarten, students engage in academic activities in whole group, leveled groups with guided practice and learning based centers. This helps students build confidence and become lifelong learners.

Our Religion Series, Finding God by Loyola Press features daily lessons based on scripture, engaging activities and songs. We also participate in the school Service Learning program and attend special Masses. GO MATH! by Houghton Mifflin provides interactive math lessons for our Mimeo board, correlating videos, workbook activities and homework for reinforcement. Our Reading Street series by Scott Foresman offers a rich program with vocabulary building, weekly fiction and non-fiction stories, phonics songs, poems and activities for comprehension and language arts skills growth. Zaner-Bloser’s Handwriting program provides practice in fine motor skill development and letter practice.