Around the Classroom

The Sensory Table

While playing with water, sand, rice, beans, flour, etc., children engage their senses and explore the properties of different materials. They learn about volume and measurement as they fill and empty containers and explore cause and effect, gravity, weight, and how materials interact with each other. Children have a hands on experience with concepts such as over/under, in/out, in front/behind, etc. They use creativity and imagination as well as self help and social skills.

Around the ClassroomThe Playdough Table

At the playdough center children use their senses to explore the environment. They use tools, acquire movement skills, and develop fine motor skills. They compare and contrast textures and use vocabulary such as hard/soft, bumpy/smooth, fat/thin, long/short, and in/out. Children express creativity, work cooperatively, and share materials. They develop language skills by expressing ideas, feelings, and experiences.

The Puzzle Table

While working with puzzles, children develop eye-hand coordination and spacial awareness. They discern sizes, shapes, colors, and likenesses. They make choices and decisions and develop focus and attention span.

GCCNS ClassroomsThe Table with Manipulative Toys

At the manipulative tables children practice a wide range of skills such as comparing, classifying, matching, patterning, and counting objects. They practice sorting objects by one or more characteristic such as color, size or shape. Children practice counting, addition, subtraction, and sequence. They make choices, solve problems, acquire eye-hand coordination, and develop pincher control while playing with manipulative toys.

The Art Table

While painting, gluing, cutting, coloring, and stamping, children engage in creative self expression. They explore and experiment with art materials whileusing their senses to discover texture, color, and shape. They share ideas with others and develop independence and self esteem.

The Block Area

In the block area children plan, create, and implement their ideas. They use language skills to practice cooperation, taking turns,and sharing with others. They learn about the concepts of part/whole, bigger than, behind, in front of, above. They learn aboutmapping, ordering, size and shape differentiation, and also weight, balance, stability and symmetry. While building they develop eye-hand coordination and how to form groups and sort by attribute. They also learn to follow safety rules and to develop a respect for the work and ideas of others.

The Housekeeping Area

In the housekeeping area children use language skills and social skills as they practice role playing. They learn to share their ideas and be accepting of others’ ideas. They learn to take turns with both toys and ideas. They engage in one-to-one communication and discover socially acceptable and unacceptable behavior. They engage in creative dramatic activities.

Circle Time

At circle time children learn to sit patiently, listen, follow directions, and focus attention on the teacher. They use language skills and enlarge their vocabulary by listening to and participating in discussions about books read by the teacher, and also by relating events from their personal experiences. Children participate in songs, fingerplays, and music and movement activities which develop coordination, spatial and directional awareness, and a sense of rhythm and rhyme.

The Science Table

Children observe and discover at the science table. They use their senses to gain information about their environment. They compare and contrast, observe cause and effect, and witness forces such as gravity and magnetism. Children match, sort and classify objects, and make predictions. They develop curiosity about the natural world.

The Playground

On the playground and in the gym, children develop important gross motor skills. They also develop muscular strength, flexibility, endurance, body awareness, coordination, and balance. Besides helping to keep their bodies fit and healthy, outdoor and large motor play helps children develop social skills. They participate in cooperative games and learn to take turns, make choices, share equipment and ideas, and practice behaviors of good sportsmanship.