We believe in blending learning models…no one model fits every child. Our educational philosophy mirrors a traditional approach to learning which includes teacher–guided activities and instruction within a structured environment. We focus on teaching math, letters, numbers, sounds, shapes, problem-solving, listening, and more. Because we also value play-based learning, we provide opportunities for children to explore and learn through imaginative play, art, and block-building. Our classes feature a variety of centers where learning can take place using open-ended materials. With our Blended Learning Model, we use four methods to differentiate instruction and engage children in developmentally appropriate activities.
Teachers engage students in a variety of learning activities and play throughout the day. These activities occur during whole group learning often referred to as Circle Time. Other teacher-led instruction includes small groups and working with students one-on-one to focus on their individual needs. Learning activities include weather discussion, singing, listening to stories, phonics development, math, writing, and reading comprehension.
Students are given many opportunities to learn and explore independently during supervised center time. Students rotate between several centers: manipulative play, dramatic play, listening/reading, and teacher-led centers. Each center is equipped with age appropriate toys and materials to engage, stimulate curiosity, and allow students to have fun!
Beginning with our Pre-Scholars (age 3), we implement weekly S.T.E.A.M. projects (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). Our goal is to promote critical thinking and problem solving skills through S.T.E.A.M. lessons. Young children are natural explorers and why not tap into their curiosity in a positive manner. A sample S.T.E.A.M. lesson would include students reading “The Three Little Pigs” and then working in small groups to build their own houses using a variety of materials. The teacher uses a hand-held hairdryer (the Big Bad Wolf) to “blow their house down”. Only houses built with a strong foundation will withstand the test. Your child will love these fun-filled activities as they explore more complex topics.
Using the most advance technology allows us to tap into the digital world in which we live. It is essential to expose students to advanced technology to extend learning beyond the classroom. Two days per week classes will use our mobile lab, a technology center complete with touch-screen tablets to practice hand-eye coordination with child-friendly apps and fun educational games that reinforce learning.
A Beka is a nationally recognized curricular program that offers comprehensive high-quality educational materials allowing our teachers to provide a strong foundation in both academics and character development. With hands-on activities, challenging exercises, repetition, and reinforcement of concepts in phonics and language development, numbers, letters, shapes, colors, and reading comprehension, students are engaged in fun learning throughout the day.
We use A Beka’s Christian materials to teach character development and Christ-like behavior. Our teachers use children’s Bible stories and colorful picture cards to teach Godly character. Our students will understand the importance of being kind and loving their teachers, classmates, family and friends.With the use of literacy, puppet animations, dramatic play, role playing, and positive redirection, we support families in instilling moral values that will create a solid foundation now and years to come.
The DLM Early Childhood Express™, a Florida approved VPK curriculum, offers a comprehensive Pre-K child-centered curriculum with strong teacher support and 21st century technology. The curriculum links connections in literacy, math, science, social studies, fine arts, health and safety, personal development, physical development, and technology.
The DLM Early Childhood Express™ nurtures each child by offering carefully selected and sequenced learning experiences. It provides a wealth of materials and ideas to foster the social-emotional, intellectual, and physical development of children. Children develop concrete skills through experiences with music, art, storytelling, hands-on activities and teacher-directed lessons that, in addition to skills development, emphasize practice and reflection.
Beginning with our Pre-Scholars (age 3), we implement weekly S.T.E.A.M. projects (science, technology, engineering, art and math). Our goal is to promote critical thinking and problem solving skills through S.T.E.A.M. lessons. Young children are natural explorers and why not tap into their curiosity in a positive manner. Our STEAM lessons, simply put, allow students to “learn by doing.” A sample S.T.E.A.M. lesson would include students singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat as a precursor to building boats to learn about buoyancy. They then test their boats to see if their boats will float across our Tupperware-made streams.
We utilize a plethora of resources to aid teachers in selecting S.T.E.A.M. lessons that are just right for their students. Such resources include: “Teaching STEM in the Early Years” by Sally Moomaw, “Year Round Project-Based Activities for STEM” by Kathryn Kurowski, and Blaze and the Monster Machines activities created by Nickelodeon and Young Minds Inspired. Each of these resources offers a variety of age-appropriate lessons with step-by-step teacher directions to lead children from questions, to predictions, to testing their predictions, to finding answers to their questions and then asking even more questions!
To effectively implement S.T.E.A.M. with fun and excitement, our teachers engage students in “What” questions rather than “Why” questions. Why questions imply that there is only one right answer and sometimes are difficult to answer. “What” questions are great for observations and discovery. During our weekly S.T.E.A.M. projects, students work to answer “What” questions such as those listed below. During observations and discovery, we ask questions like:
What do you see happening?
What do you notice about ____?
What is the difference between ____ and ____ ?
To further assist teachers in implementing our S.T.E.A.M. initiative, we provide 1-hour training each week where teachers experiment with the S.T.E.A.M. lessons before conducting them with the children. By doing so, teachers have the opportunity to think through the activity, consider the right questions to ask, and determine any accommodations needed to help their students successfully complete the weekly projects.