Our dynamic Pre-K class is a warm, nurturing place for your child to grow as a learner. Our balanced curriculum meets the social, emotional and academic needs of each child. On a daily basis, students are engaged in literacy and math activities. They play and build, interacting with their peers in learning centers designed to promote higher-order thinking skills, interpersonal skills, creativity and imagination. As part of the Saddle River Day School community, they are matched with Reading Buddies, participate in the Rebel Leaders program and enjoy all of the opportunities that make Saddle River Day School a unique place to learn.
Through quality literature and daily exposure to print, students develop phonemic awareness building a strong foundation for reading. A focus on letter recognition and the formation of letters is achieved with the implementation of the Learning without Tears Program. A love of literature and storytelling is fostered with daily exposure to books, poems and nursery rhymes.
Students develop an understanding of the mathematical concepts through hands-on activities and the use of manipulatives. They count, sort and compare numbers and objects, learn about shapes and colors, identify and create patterns, and recognize and write numbers throughout the year.
During classroom lessons and weekly visits to the science lab, students actively explore the world around them through inquiry-based learning and experimentation. They learn new concepts using tools such as magnets and magnifying glasses. They survey plant and animal life and make observational drawings, investigate animals and their homes, and explore their surroundings using their five senses. Nature walks, gardening and other explorations further enhance their development as scientists.
The Pre-K social studies curriculum addresses the unique social and emotional development of children for this age. Through engaging lessons, games and books, students gain an understanding of their feelings and how to express them in a positive way amongst peers, friends and teachers. They are given tools to self-regulate their emotions as well as build individual self-esteem and confidence. Through poems, books and creative activities, students are introduced to national holidays throughout the year. They learn the Pledge of Allegiance, national anthem and other patriotic songs. Basic map skills are introduced at the end of the year by asking students to draw maps of their backyard, complete with symbols and a map key. Pre-K participation in schoolwide programs, such as Reading Buddies with Middle School students and Rebel Leaders with Upper School students, develops the overall sense of community at SRDS and strengthens the relationships among students across grades.
Students gain an understanding and confidence in the use of the Spanish language through songs, games and other multisensory activities. They learn the Spanish representation of several classic children's stories and portray the characters in order to develop their conversational skills in the language Students also begin to explore cultural traditions.
Students visit our IDEAS Lab, where we introduce them to various technology media in a developmentally appropriate manner. Students explore language, art, science, design and building through a hands-on, integrated curriculum. They practice design thinking, cooperation and problem solving through an introduction to robotics, 3D printing, coding and play.
In our classroom and during weekly visits to the Lower School Art Studio, students explore a variety of art processes and use art materials such as crayons, watercolors, tempera paint, markers and oil pastels. They experiment with mixing colors, sculpting, cutting and pasting. They are introduced to different artists through history. Our focus is on the process rather than the product.
Students are actively engaged in songs, poems and rhymes to develop phonemic awareness and an appreciation for music. We visit the Performing Arts Center on a weekly basis to develop singing on pitch and maintaining a steady beat through poetry, children's literature, circle games and simple percussion instruments. Pre-K students perform in a winter and spring concert with the Lower School chorus.
Students engage in lessons and activities modeling positive interpersonal strategies. They are encouraged to express their feelings and emotions verbally and treat others with respect. Through our programs such as Reading Buddies and Rebel Leaders, they will interact with the greater SRDS community outside of our classroom.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND FINE MOTOR SKILLS
Students participate in age-appropriate games and activities. They develop gross motor skills such as throwing a ball, jumping, skipping and balancing. Through these games, students learn to follow rules and play in a group setting. Yoga practice is part of our daily routine. We also develop students' fine motor skills by using play dough, scissors, Legos and puzzle pieces.