Imagination Childcare Academy, Inc. uses a spiraling curriculum, in which children are exposed to all academic concepts each year, with every year building on the prior year and becoming more complex. By Kindergarten, children have a solid grasp of the concepts they need to be successful learners in the classroom. All activities are differentiated to meet every child's individual needs.
Beginning in Junior Pre-K (3 year olds), children are exposed to numbers, letters, shapes and colors, with the understanding that they will not be expected to master these concepts. Children at this age do not understand that shapes, letters and numbers are symbols that we use to communicate. However, exposing children to these concepts builds up their background knowledge and sets the foundation for future learning.
The following year, in Pre-K (4 year olds), more time is spent on these concepts, as children at this age begin to understand that letters and words are symbols that we can use to communicate ideas. They understand that shapes and colors can be used to create things. They are also ready to begin using pencils and crayons to write letters and numbers, as their fine motor skills are more developed than their predecessors in Junior Pre-K. We begin to show children how to write numbers and letters, and provide them ample opportunities to practice with them using a variety of mediums: crayons, markers, colored pencils, magnetic letters, paints, stamps, books, etc.
By Kindergarten (5 year old), children are able to synthesize what they have learned in the years prior and are ready to use these numbers and letters at a higher level, understanding how they use these numbers and letters to communicate. In Kindergarten, our focus becomes on teaching children how to read and write by combining these numbers and letters that they have learned. We teach children how to add and subtract using real life objects. We provide them with opportunities to use these skills in real life situations: post office, restaurant, bakery, grocery store.
All activities, regardless of age group, are planned to enhance growth in the following areas:
Throughout the day children are exposed to fiction and non-fiction texts. Teachers use puppets and felt boards to make stories come alive. Troughout their day children are using their literacy skills, whether it be to sign themselves in, write a shopping list in dramatic play, or to create a story in the writing center.
Our curriculum offers vast opportunities for children to learn about the world around them, using hands on activities. Teachers incorporate math, science and social studies into each instructional unit. Children learn about numbers and how math is all around them. They learn about life sciences while studying butterflies and watching plants grow from seeds. They learn about community helpers and how we get what we need in our community.
Our children have multiple opportunities to express themselves throughout the day using various media. Some children prefer to paint at the easel, others love playing beautiful music with our instruments, and others prefer to use their imaginations in our dramatic play area. We value children's unique interests and encourage them to explore all of the arts.
At Imagination Childcare Academy we celebrate every person's unique strengths. We teach children what it means to Be Safe, Be Kind and to Be Responsible. We show children how to problem solve with their peers, and we talk about what it means to be a Super Friend. Children learn how to recognize their emotions and how to express themselves when they are upset. We believe that it is these skills that create the foundation for children's future success.
We incorporate lots of movement throughout our day, including two opportunities for children to go out onto our playground and/or use our gross motor room. As part of our physical development curriculum, we focus on throwing and catching a ball, pedaling a bike, balancing skills, climbing skills, hopping and jumping. Teachers also discuss healthy eating habits and the importance of eating a well balanced meal.
A primary goal at Imagination Childcare Academy is to promote children's independance. Throughout the day children learn how to get themselves dressed. They learn how to put on their coats, hats, gloves and shoes. They learn about being responsible, to take care of their toys and belongings and to put them away when they are finished using them. They learn the importance of washing their hands and covering their mouths so that they can reduce the spread of germs.
Free Choice Centers (Dramatic Play, blocks, art, writing center, Science Center, Reading, sensory tables)
Gym/Outside Structured Activity (game, working on particular gross motor skills)
Morning Meeting (Morning message, Letters With Lucy, Attendance, sharing time, poem & finger plays)
Bathroom Breaks/Music & Movement
Gym/Outside Free Choice
Small Groups (Two Rotations: Math, Literacy, Fine Motor Choice Activity-15 minute rotations)
Small Group (Last rotation: Math, Literacy, Fine Motor Choice Activity )
Lunch & Bathroom
Work Time (Plan Do Review)
Gym/Outside Free Choice
Read a loud
Small group activities
Quiet Table Top Activities (Children’s choice)