Teaching children HOW to learn
Our multiage preschool program, for children ages 3 to 5, celebrates being a preschooler, while getting students ready for the rigors of Kindergarten. We place a emphasis on teaching our students the value of being a part of the MCP community, as well as enriching and supporting the community that has supported us since 1949!
Using the High Scope approach, children are involved in active, participatory learning experiences in every part of their daily routine. With engaging hands-on activities, children will be guided by teachers to interact with other students, learn self-help skills along with many other skills to build a strong student all within a mixed age classroom setting.
We are currently offering our in-person Multiage Preschool Program as well as a NEW virtual option called MCP connect.
how we learn
A day in the life of our students….
Students spend the first moments of their day in the gathering room. Here we utilize symbols so that students can “read” the daily schedule. Symbols are assigned to a number and move from left to right and top to bottom, laying the foundation for reading. Children are taught to observe and communicate. They take note and discuss who is missing for the day. They also take this time to introduce the parent helper for the day. A moment of extreme excitement for the child of the helper!
(it can get messy!)
During outside time students learn through open ended play and exploration. They have the opportunity to gain valuable communication and problem solving skills. We go outside in all seasons, however, if it’s too cold or wet we are lucky to have a large gym unlike many other preschools in the area!
During large group the entire class comes together to learn cooperatively and collaboratively through activities that happen in the classroom, in our gym or within the community! Large group focuses on ever changing developmental areas. Primarily led by teachers, our cooperative format also allows for MCP parents and supportive community members to join large group and teach, offering many unique ways for students to learn about things that outside of a standard preschool curriculum.
After large group students return to one of three designated tables, with their teacher for a small group activity that often relates to the theme of large group, often combining multiple developmental areas. Small groups remain consistent throughout the year allowing students to become comfortable with their teacher and peers. Our small teacher to student ratios mean that our teachers’s are able to gain knowledge of the children’s strengths and direct the child to based on their skill level and needs. Like large group, the curriculum of small group is ever changing.
Plan. Do. Review
Plan/Do/Review is arguably one of the most important parts of the students daily routine and the final part of Small Group activities. Children are prompted make decisions about what they will do during work time. They make a plan focusing on what they will need, who or how they will spend their Work Time. They then carry out their ideas and afterwards, reflect on their activities with the other children and the teacher.
Plan.Do.Review initiates deeper thinking. Thesehigher-level thinking skills are linked to thedevelopment of executive functions, which are needed to be successful in school and life.
During Work Time students are active participants in their learning. They complete their plan by playing- as this is HOW young children learn about their world. Students have the option to focus their time in our many play areas including, the block area, play table, play kitchen, art area, reading loft, or all of them! They play on their own or together, building relationships, learning about emotions and regulation, practicing empathy, and working on moral development and conflict resolution. In the area of physical development, they gain gross motor and fine motor skills, and develop body awareness.
Using the HighScope curriculum, a proven, research-validated curriculum that advocates an active participatory learning approach, we combine key classroom ‘ingredients’: material, manipulation, choice, communication and adult support, so that children are able to build knowledge through their own experiences. As a result, children learn HOW to learn developing self confidence, independence and a love of learning! In the classroom, we incorporate eight content areas which define important learning goals for young children. Click the plus sign to learn more about each!
Approaches to Learning
Teaching children HOW to learn!
1. Initiative: Children demonstrate initiative as they explore their world.
2. Planning: Children make plans and follow through on their intentions.
3. Engagement: Children focus on activities that interest them.
4. Problem solving: Children solve problems encountered in play.
5. Use of resources: Children gather nformation and formulate ideas about their world.
6. Reflection: Children reflect on their experiences.
31. Number words and symbols: Children recognize and use number words and symbols.
32. Counting: Children count things.
33. Part-whole relationships: Children combine and separate quantities of objects.
34. Shapes: Children identify, name, and describe shapes.
35. Spatial awareness: Children recognize spatial relationships among people and objects.
36. Measuring: Children measure to describe, compare, and order things.
37. Unit: Children understand and use the concept of unit.
38. Patterns: Children identify, describe, copy, complete, and create patterns.
39. Data analysis: Children use information about quantity to draw conclusions, make decisions, and solve problems.
Social & Emotional Development
7. Self-identity: Children have a positive self-identity.
8. Sense of competence: Children feel they are competent.
9. Emotions: Children recognize, label, and regulate their feelings.
10. Empathy: Children demonstrate empathy toward others.
11. Community: Children participate in the community of the classroom.
12. Building relationships: Children build relationships with other children and adults.
13. Cooperative play: Children engage in cooperative play.
14. Moral development: Children develop an internal sense of right and wrong.
15. Conflict resolution: Children resolve social conflicts.
40. Art: Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through two- and three-dimensional art.
41. Music: Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through music.
42. Movement: Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through movement.
43. Pretend play: Children express and represent what they
observe, think, imagine, and feel through pretend play.
44. Appreciating the arts: Children appreciate the creative arts.
Physical Development & Health
16. Gross-motor skills: Children demonstrate strength, flexibility, balance, and timing in using their large muscles.
17. Fine-motor skills: Children demonstrate dexterity and handeye coordination in using their small muscles.
18. Body awareness: Children know about their bodies and how to navigate them in space.
19. Personal care: Children carry out personal care routines on their own.
20. Healthy behavior: Children engage in healthy practices.
Science & Technology
45. Observing: Children observe the materials and processes in
46. Classifying: Children classify materials, actions, people, and
47. Experimenting: Children experiment to test their ideas.
48. Predicting: Children predict what they expect will happen.
49. Drawing conclusions: Children draw conclusions based on
their experiences and observations.
50. Communicating ideas: Children communicate their ideas
about the characteristics of things and how they work.
51. Natural and physical world: Children gather knowledge
about the natural and physical world.
52. Tools and technology: Children explore and use tools and
Language, Literacy & Communication
21. Comprehension: Children understand language.
22. Speaking: Children express themselves using language.
23. Vocabulary: Children understand and use a variety of words & phrases.
24. Phonological awareness: Children identify distinct sounds in
25. Alphabetic knowledge: Children identify letters & their sounds.
26. Reading: Children read for pleasure and information.
27. Concepts about print: Children demonstrate knowledge
about environmental print.
28. Book knowledge: Children gain knowledge about books.
29. Writing: Children write for many different purposes.
30. English language learning: (If appl.) Children use English & their home language (incl. sign language)
53. Diversity: Children understand that people have diverse characteristics, interests, and abilities.
54. Community roles: Children recognize that people have different roles and functions in the community.
55. Decision making: Children participate in making classroom decisions.
56. Geography: Children recognize & interpret features/locations in the environment.
57. History: Children understand past, present, and future.
58. Ecology: Children understand the importance of taking care of their environment.
Benefits of a Multiage Classroom
Children in a multiage class are able to develop skills within a supportive community according to their ability. As a result, they are able to lead their own learning, which results in a love for it that can last a lifetime!
Older children in the multiage class have the opportunity to serve as mentors and to take on leadership roles. They help younger children by offering more sophisticated approaches to problem solving.
Younger children are able to accomplish tasks they could not do without the assistance of older children, increasing both children’s level of independence.
In a multiage classroom, children are more likely to cooperate than compete. Just as the teachers evaluate our children as individuals in varying stages of development, the children also learn to see each other as individuals, not as competitors.
New! Virtual learning options
Along with in-person learning, MCP will now be offering virtual learning opportunities for children ages 3-5. This online class offers children live, educational Zoom connections from the comfort of your own home on Tuesday and Thursdays 10-11am. The assigned teacher will interact with the children following MCP’s curriculum, integrating early childhood best practices to provide engaging online experiences. Regular routines will be observed to maintain consistency for each child. The Zoom class will incorporate social interaction by incorporating multiple students in each session. This, along with the teacher’s guidance, presents children with unique experiences that will keep them on track acquiring needed skills.
As young children should not be required to be online for excessive amounts of time, the Connect class will only be a maximum of an hour in duration. Additional curriculum content will be provided for the Connect class. This will be a recorded session that would augment the daily class.
join our cooperative
What does it take?
Every member of our Multiage Preschool Program is a member of our Cooperative. Membership is easy (and fun)! We are fully staffed with teachers to fulfill our legal ratio requirements, parents are involved to offer enrichment by the utilization of their special talents and skills, or to enjoy time in the classroom as a classroom helper.
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