At Hamilton Union we cultivate a child's natural desire to learn and explore by using a developmentally appropriate curriculum and a wide range of activities including:
Circle Time is a group gathering during which we share our ideas, plans, and observations. Circle activities are designed to stimulate youngsters' thinking, enrich their social skills, and expand their attention spans.
Gross motor activities give children the opportunity to use their muscles—as well as their imaginations—as they engage in fun, healthy exercises, such as running, jumping, and climbing.
Fine-motor activities help improve small-muscle development and eye-hand coordination. Some common items found in the fine-motor/manipulative area include puzzles, beads and laces, pegboards, crayons, and scissors.
Art activities help youngsters creatively express their thoughts and feelings. They help reinforce fine-motor skills and concept development in areas such as colors, shapes, and size relationships.
Dramatic play activities help children express themselves, practice life skills, improve social skills, increase self-esteem, build vocabulary, and solve problems. And, well, dramatic play is just plain fun!
Music activities promote youngsters' listening skills, creative expression, and social skills. In music, children can explore sound, volume, tempo, and rhythm.
Science activities offer children many hands-on opportunities for observation, exploration, investigation, making predictions, and experimentation.
Sand and water activities allow youngsters to experiment with textures and the properties of different substances. These activities also promote the development of other skills, such as math, science, and language.
Block play gives children experience with many different concepts, such as shape and size discrimination, spatial relationships, number skills, balance organization, cause and effect, and classification. Cooperative play skills, problem solving, and creativity are also promoted in block play.
Story time is designed to help youngsters develop an appreciation and enjoyment of literature. Reading activities enhance children's vocabulary and comprehension skills, and also expand their knowledge base.
Here is a tentative outline of activities at a typical day at Hamilton Union.
Clean-up, hand washing and bathroom time.
First circle time, with show-and-tell, language and cognitive concepts.
Snack time as a group.
Second circle time, with story, music, rhythms and/or dance activities.
Time in our outdoor play area or in our large indoor "bike room" (with tricycles, climbing equipment, group games, etc). Four-year-olds, who have longer class sessions, might also use this time for small science or gardening projects or quiet games.
Third circle time, classroom library sign-out and dismissal.
Both classes enjoy in-class visitors and the four-year-olds also take many field trips. We have a monthly school newsletter designed to share information on the latest classroom happenings.