Strategic Curriculum

Proven Methods. Powerful Practice.

The curriculum at Pre-K 4 SA follows the HighScope approach, an evidenced-based curriculum backed by more than 40 years of research. Utilizing this approach, our instruction is based on what is developmentally and individually appropriate for the children being served. Our goal is to develop lifelong skills, including problem solving, critical thinking, interpersonal, and communication skills that are fundamental for successful living in our rapidly changing society. We use these core principles to guide our daily instruction.

Integrated Curriculum

Subjects are presented in an interactive and integrated format, conducive to the way young children learn. For example, they learn math when they play with dice on the carpet, and fill buckets half full with water outside and put four handprints on their canvas. It’s intuitive learning — and they take that with them forever.

Positive Environment

Every aspect of the learning environment–from how the furniture is arranged down to how many paint colors are available in the art center–is carefully designed to promote learning. The learning environment is such a critical part of our approach that we refer to it as the third teacher in the classroom. Our classrooms and teaching spaces provide a warm, welcoming and safe atmosphere, and reflect the diversity of the children’s home lives, languages, and cultures. Teachers incorporate materials that are meaningful and interesting to children, and families are invited to contribute as well. The various spaces encourage all levels of play where children are taught to find, use, and return materials independently.

At Pre-K 4 SA curriculum is design to let children explore, discover, create and grow using their brains the way they were designed to be used — through the Five Ingredients of Active Learning.

Materials
Through an abundant supply of age-appropriate materials the child learns from using the materials in a variety of ways.
The child has opportunities to explore, manipulate, combine, and transform the materials chosen.
The child chooses what to do. Since learning results from the child’s attempts to pursue personal interests and goals, the opportunity to choose activities and materials is essential.
The child describes what he or she is doing. Through language, the child reflects on his or her actions, integrates new experiences into an existing knowledge base, and seeks the cooperation of others in his or her activities
Adults recognize and encourage the child’s reasoning, problem solving and creativity.

Culturally Responsive Master Teachers

The curriculum at Pre-K 4 SA is only half of the equation. The other half is our amazing teaching staff. Every classroom has a certified teacher educated specifically in Early Childhood Education and an assistant teacher. Spend just a few minutes in one of our classrooms and you will see how the teacher’s guidance is a critical instrument in the learning process. They ask questions that make the children think, challenge, explore and learn. They model behavior for the children, use intervention skills that strengthen each child’s social skills and create an environment which celebrates diverse cultures and embraces similarities and differences. All Pre-K 4 SA teachers follow the HighScope approach and are trained, observed and evaluated.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get better, it does! At Pre-K 4 SA, we are always on the lookout for new ways to push the envelope and engage our young learners—and their families.

One of the primary goals of Pre-K 4 SA is to create a strong, educated workforce in our city. This requires nurturing an entire generation of people that care about and are involved in impacting the community. Throughout the year, children and their families have opportunities to engage with the community. One of our favorite programs is Gracias San Antonio. Children research and vote on a non-profit organization to support throughout the year. Then during the spring semester, each classroom creates a one-of-a-kind art piece that is auctioned off at the Gracias San Antonio Art show with all proceeds benefiting the organization of choice. At age 4, children experience their actions impacting others in the community. It’s the children’s way of saying ‘gracias’ to the city for investing in them. Amazing!
Integrating visual and performing arts into the early childhood curriculum enhances child development so Pre-K 4 SA incorporates the Wolf Trap model into the classroom by inviting local artists to work with the children in creating original works of art. The Wolf Trap Institute is a proven national model for utilizing the performing arts to support young children’s cognitive, emotional and physical development. It also enhances STEM content (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and addresses two primary concerns: 1. the school readiness of children, many of whom live in educationally disadvantaged circumstances, and 2. access to effective professional learning and coaching for teachers who work with these children. The Wolf Trap Institute’s art-based teaching method taps into children’s innate desire for active, multisensory learning and utilizes these methods to teach challenging content.

While most every prekindergarten program has some kind of outdoor play area, none of them compare to the Outdoor Learning Environments (OLEs) at Pre-K 4 SA. Pre-K 4 SA is committed to supporting children in developing physical and cognitive skills as well as an appreciation for nature through strategically designed outdoor learning activities—every day. Each OLE is arranged to provide children with opportunities to interact with open-ended materials-both natural and recycled, in areas that reflect the five classroom interest areas (House, Block, Toy, Art and Book Areas) and create a sense of wonder about the world around them.

Understanding the connection between what we eat and our wellness puts children on the path to a healthy life. At Pre-K 4 SA, children learn firsthand about healthy eating by growing their own food. Each class has a garden bed in the outdoor learning environment. The children work with a master gardener to choose the vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers they want to grow. Then they plant, water, and weed the garden until it’s time to harvest the produce. The children learn to make simple recipes with the produce they have grown and learn concepts of sustainability, life cycle, and environmental science. We even host a farmer’s market so the children can take home fresh produce to share with their families.

Parents and Grandparents
Why Pre-K
At the beginning of the school year, our daughter's teacher asked us to make a wish list of what we'd like her to learn at Pre-K 4 SA. We chose empathy and creativity. I can honestly say she's strengthened these skills and more! Not only is our daughter reading confidently, writing letters and numbers, and talking about science and healthy food choices, but she's better at explaining her emotions and always comes home with lots of artistic creations. Pre-K 4 SA allows her to be a kid and her own unique self while learning important life skills in a structured environment. Her teachers are attentive and caring and provide useful feedback. This has been the best, most effective, and most fun introduction to school for our daughter.
Kat Sturgeon Gomez, Jun 2018

Parents and Grandparents
This was a wonderful program for our twins last year. They entered kinder last week with self-assurance and skills that were a result of Pre-K 4 SA. Getting a spot at Pre-K 4 SA is like winning the "golden ticket"
Chris Bartlett Layton, Apr 2018

Parents and Grandparents
"Best teachers ever!!! My daughter and son loved Pre-K 4 SA! All thanks to Lauren Moreno and MRS Perez!! Thank you for all your love and hard work!! You have impacted the life of my little babies for ever!"
Aneli Melendez, Apr 2018
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