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Pre Kindergarten for 3 & 4 year old children

Pre-Kindergarten is a great opportunity to build the foundation for problem solving in a fun and special environment.  For most, this is the first school experience and we want to ensure that it is positive and prepares them for kindergarten.  Our three and four year old students focus on developing social skills, letter and number recognition, phonemic awareness, as well as introductory reading.  We also emphasize hands-on and Project-Based Learning exercises, which promote problem solving and understanding outcomes while promoting emergent literacy and math skills.  

Specifically for the 3 year olds, in our PreK3 Program, our overall goal is to stimulate the growth and development in a fun way, using a “hands on” approach and movement. Many activities are incorporated to help them learn their letters, numbers, shapes and colors.

  • Daily Christian Education lessons to promote spiritual growth
  • Monthly thematic units of study
  • Letter People Program to introduce letters and sounds
  • E.D Hirsch’s Core Knowledge writing strokes
  • “Handwriting Without Tears” Curriculum
  • Reading readiness promoted through stories and songs
  • Math skills learned through active play
  • Science skills learned through exploration
  • Activities to strengthen fine and gross motor skills
  • Daily physical education and/or recess
  • Thematic art activities

In parallel, the children develop an understanding of God’s love by attending chapel and having Christian education, promoting a love and respect for others.  PreK3 and Prek4 students participate in our PreK-4th School Chapel on Monday and Friday mornings, where they participate in our pledges, prayer, bible lessons and also present a weekly Bible Verse.

Our goal is to send the children to kindergarten fully prepared for not only the academic and necessary social skills, but also with the excitement and enthusiasm for learning which will launch them into a successful school career.
 
Our approach is a comprehensive combination of rigor, creativity and fun.   As part of the curriculum, we offer an extensive enrichment program, which includes:

Technology

It is important for students to understand the value the internet and technology plays a part in their everyday life.  We help them realize this through creating projects using different types of computer media.  We also focus on internet safety, teaching students how to navigate the internet safely and responsibly.  Additionally, we offer an introduction to computer science and computer programming using different coding lessons which often support or are integrated with what students are learning in their E.D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge Curriculum.

Spanish

PreK-4th Grade:
We focus on teaching students the fundamentals of Spanish. Here they will learn: colors, days of the weeks, months of the year, food, time, weather, seasons, clothes, emotions, body parts, things in the classroom, things in the city, things on the farm, animals, etc.

The vocabulary, grammar and conversation are taught through:
  • Singing traditional Mexican folk songs and newly composed learning songs by Mrs. Towell (3 CD's are sent home every year to younger students)
  • Studying the Hispanic culture and where Spanish is spoken in the world
  • Conversation skills to carry on conversations with each other in Spanish
  • Games: Traditional Mexican Folk Song Games

Art

In the art classes at the Buckner Fanning School at Mission Springs, the students are given the opportunity to create art using a variety of materials. Students will learn about famous artists and art styles, the elements of art and how they apply to their art projects. The art curriculum is based on the E.D Hirsch Core Knowledge Curriculum standards with emphasis in specific areas the students are studying in their classroom, therefore creating an opportunity to learn about their studies using a hands-on approach. Students have at least one project each year in which they create a clay work of art. Their clay art projects are also related to their classroom studies and/or basic elements as applied in a sculptural piece.
 
The students are given opportunities for individual exploration in creating art. As time allows, students may create a work of art using the “free art” materials that are available to them. Students are encouraged at all times to create from an individual perspective and value each person’s creation as a ‘one of a kind.’ They will leave the BFSMS Art classes with an introductory knowledge of art materials and their use, famous artists and works of art in relation to a historical context, and have learned skills to enable them to approach any art project with a sense of familiarity.

Music & Drama

The methodology that structures the music curriculum is the Kodály Method (inspired by the Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodály). It is a sequential, literacy-driven curriculum using folk song material and age appropriate art music examples. Movement and instrument play are incorporated as it becomes developmentally appropriate beginning with simple circle games and classroom percussion instruments leading up to folk dance, barred instruments and more sophisticated examples of improvisation. As time allows, we also spend class time listening to and learning about both traditional and non-traditional music performance practices of the Western world and beyond.

  • Pre-Kindergarten students spend time singing and playing as they experience beat, rhythm and the dichotomies of sound (high-low, fast-slow, soft-loud, etc).
  • We also encourage performance art with several school performances throughout the year.  PreK students perform as a class and often work with other grade levels on various musical and theatrical presentations.

As part of the performance art curriculum, students explore, create, imagine, express, play-out, experiment, and dream through the study pantomime, puppetry, monologues, dialogues, and acting. They write stories, perform on stage, sing, dance, and learn how to express and share inner most feelings. Theater is entertainment and can change the world. It has always been part of the world and now our students are a part of that history as well.

Library

Each class enjoys library time every week.  During this visit, the children may enjoy a story read with animation and excitement by our librarian or learn about the functions of the library, how to locate books of their choice, and how to access information in the research area.  During this time, students will also likely do a project that is connected to a concept they are learning about in Social Studies or Literary Arts.  Children are always encouraged to check out books and read as much as possible.  We strive to help the children develop a true love of reading, so they are encouraged to visit the library outside of their scheduled class to grab a new book!

Physical Education

We feel it is extremely important for students to learn about and practice physical fitness.  We offer a developmentally appropriate course, which is specific to each school level.   After 6th Grade, the students also take a Health Science class.  Our goal is to help children understand the importance of good health, diet, and exercise in order to be both physically and mentally healthy.  

Gardening

Here at BFSMS, we want children to understand where food comes from and how to have a healthy diet.  Over the course of the year, students plant seeds and nurture the plants as they grow into fruits and vegetables.  They are then able to bring samples from the garden home for their family to eat.  It is wonderful to see the students connect with nature, gain a greater respect for GOD’s nature and understand the growing process.  It is always special for them to be part of the process and to experience the result of their efforts.