Classes are designed for children 18 months through Pre-K 5 years. Students enter the classrooms with different and continually evolving abilities. They will not all be developmentally ready to learn the same skills at the same rate. The CDC staff invites participation while building a base of understanding and challenging a child’s thinking. Students are taught in developmental order by starting at a level that does not assume prior knowledge or competency. We enable children to excel, by respecting their present level of development and building from there. Classes offer and encourage child-initiated as well as teacher initiated activities. We incorporate in our classes the Learning Without Tears curriculum in enhance and enrich the foundations for reading, writing, math and science skills.
Reading & Writing Readiness
Teachers work, in groups and individually, on pre-reading and pre-writing readiness skills. We use big books, read-along books, audio books and other activities to enhance and encourage the reading experience. Books used are both fiction and non-fiction. We expose children to much rich literature in order to promote a love of reading, building of vocabulary, and learning how books work. Children learn facts from informational and fictional text to learn the use of new words and develop oral language skills by listening, retelling and narrating stories.
Every class has a “class library” where books are available and changed out periodically. CDC has a stand-alone children’s library used as an additional teaching area and internal resource for staff and children.
Writing requires many skills that are essential for success in school: physical, language,cognitive, social and perceptual skills. All classes include music, movement, and multi-sensory manipulatives to teach core skills such as grip, letter and number recognition and formation, phonetics, and body awareness.
We work to build number sense right from the start. This includes counting, comparisons, spatial awareness, patterning, sequencing, matching, sorting and problem solving. Children begin developing oral language skills that help them learn about and express math concepts. Children start to develop number sense in practical ways, such as we have one mouth, two ears, or we want more goldfish. We begin with using words and symbols children are already familiar with, while expanding their basic ideas about numbers and quantities. Our children study shapes and sizes, which are pre-geometry concepts. We build vocabularies with positional words through songs, games and activities. Pre-algebra concepts, such as patterns and sequencing, are incorporated in manipulative play, artwork, through natural observation and directed activities
Chapel is scheduled every Monday and Tuesday and all classes participate. Our focus of study includes the Old and New Testament, which is taught in alternating school years. Chapel time includes songs, storytelling, games, dramas, and the use of puppets. In the spring, we invite parents to join us for “Together We Worship,” a time to participate with your child during chapel.
Each class participates in music once a week. Students are exposed to music appreciation, hands on rhythm instruments, instrument recognition, academic, seasonal, and religious music and movement. In addition, all students perform for parents at Christmas and in the spring.
Students age 3 ½ and older participate in Spanish once a week. They are immersed in the language during class time. They enjoy singing, playing games, and listening to stories. Units include conversational topics, daily life, nature and seasonal holidays.
Technology is part of the Pre-K curriculum (the students that are in their last year at Skillman before entering Kindergarten) Pre-K students attend technology once a week. They work to achieve competence with a standard keyboard, mouse, and printer. There is no Internet capability on any student computer and use of the the lab is strictly monitored.
Outdoor play is required for all children. All classes at CDC are scheduled daily.
Day at CDC
Doors open at 9, parents enter and sign in at child’s classroom, drop gear/lunch in designated containers.
Class room time is a mix of child and teacher directed activities. Rooms are set up in a centers approach… building, free art, classroom library, dramatic play, fine motor activities.