Preschool & 4K CLASSES
At Apple Ridge Academy, we believe in teaching children to be creative and confident thinkers. That means we offer them opportunities for hands-on exploration and discovery that help build lifelong critical thinking and problem-solving skills and foster self-confidence!
Children will graduate from our program with all of the skills that they need to succeed as independent, self-confident, curious learners who can build friendships and work well with others.
The Creative Curriculum for Preschool® guides teachers in planning a program that includes Choice Time, Small- and Large-Group Time, The Arts, Math and Literacy, Music and Movement, Cooking, Sand and Water Experiences, Toys and Games, Discovery and Studies that integrate learning across all the content areas. The outdoor environment is designed to provide an extension to the classroom, and to allow various science and discovery experiences, too!
The Unit Studies Approach
The Unit Studies approach is the heart of The Creative Curriculum for Preschool® and 4K at Apple Ridge Academy. This approach is a method of integrating content learning through children’s in-depth investigation of a meaningful topic. Children raise questions about the topic and then they find the answers to their questions.
Study topics can be explored through children’s firsthand experiences with resources that are readily available in and near Apple Ridge Academy and are age-appropriate and relevant to children’s everyday experiences. This differs from a “theme” approach (like rainforests, dinosaurs, planets, zoo, etc.) in which children cannot explore these topics firsthand or in everyday life. Additionally, these studies are connected to what children will be expected to learn in grades K-12.
Studies focus on child inquiry and fostering the disposition to make sense of experiences. Teachers help integrate concepts and process skills through providing experiences for firsthand exploration and by leading extended discussions. Teachers build deeper understandings by first finding out what the children in the class already know and then leading extended discussions. Children are then challenged to pursue their interests and engage deeply in learning.
The Study Approach:
Focuses on science and social studies topics while promoting skills in language and literacy, math and the arts.
Enables children to apply their acquired skills in meaningful, real-life contexts.
Equips children to solve problems and find answers to their questions creatively.
Engages and challenges ALL children.
Encourages higher-level thinking, development of intellectual interests and positive approaches to learning.
Encourages family involvement to extend learning beyond the classroom.
Supports the development of social-emotional skills such as resolving conflict, sharing responsibilities, and working collaboratively.