Full Day Fours: Monday through Friday, 8:50am to 2:45pm
Half Day Fours: Monday through Friday, morning session 8:50 to 11:25am, afternoon session 12:20 to 2:40pm. Half day morning sessions can be extended to include lunch and an enrichment to complete a full day.
The Fabulous Fours program at St. Paul’s Day School teaches developmentally appropriate lessons using a hands-on approach. We use many different strategies and tactics to teach to the needs of the children through play and self exploration as well as teacher-directed activities. Throughout the year the students are exposed to letter sounds through the Wilson Fundations program, focusing on one letter each week. This enables them to phonetically sound out words and prepares them to read. Each week we teach the focus letter through recognizing both upper and lowercase forms of the letter, identifying the letter in books and poems, forming the letter with lines and curves and identifying words by beginning sounds. In addition to learning letters and sounds, we expose children to many beginning reading skills by teaching story elements along with rhyming words, syllables and basic sight words.
Each day the Fours program begins with a Morning Meeting. Here children learn about the calendar, focusing on the days of the week, months of year, counting, weather, and introducing the focus letter of the week. We always include a movement activity such as an interactive song or basic whole body exercise. We conclude our meeting by reviewing the flow of the day, the day’s activities and choice time centers. Our center activities are an excellent way to enhance fine motor skills and build upon and review previous math and literacy lessons, while at the same time encouraging imagination and fun. During independent center time, teachers work with individual or small groups to complete the day’s task. Each session ends with a class gathering to discuss the day and teacher-directed story time. Full day classes incorporate afternoon lunch and rest time as part of their daily routines.
Fine motor skills are developed through cutting, tracing and letter formation. Students practice forming letters using sensory materials such as Playdough, salt, sand and shaving cream. We use droppers, spray bottles, clothespins and many more creative tools to help children use their fine muscles to reinforce and promote pencil grip and muscle growth. Each classroom is equipped with a sand box, an art easel, a writing center and a sensory bin to foster creativity while strengthening and building their fine motor muscles.
Our extensive math program exposes students to counting, patterning, simple graphs, sorting, classifying and number sense. We use many math templates and activities that utilize manipulatives and math books to reinforce counting, graphing and fine motor skills by providing a variety of tools such as scoopers, Gator Tweezers, Prong Tongs. We incorporate the holidays and themes into our math lessons. For example, math lessons during the winter months may include bears, mittens and snowman manipulatives to measure, add, graph and make comparisons promoting math language. Children are encouraged to explore manipulatives and the world around them to promote self discoveries. It is important for each child to be introduced to and experience a variety of mathematical concepts, to further nurture their overall understanding and strengthen their ability to apply what they have learned.
We offer science throughout the year; children study the seasons, weather, animals, plants, dinosaurs and much more. Each class has a designated science center promoting investigations using tools such as magnets, magnifying glasses and performing experiments. We also have music and art classes, and visits to our own St. Paul’s children’s library.
Parents are encouraged to come into the classroom as guest readers and for holiday parties. Several field trips are offered throughout the year that include parent participation. The Mother’s Day Tea is a very special occasion where the children sing to their mothers and serve them refreshments. Health and safety are emphasized during the year; fire safety is discussed in the spring followed by a trip to the Westfield Firehouse.
The Fours program at St. Paul’s combines fun, play and academics for an enriching early childhood experience. We keep our environment engaging and fun while preparing students for the next step, Kindergarten.