At Warm Fuzzies Preschool we foster a creative, warm, friendly, and structured learning environment for young children to thrive. We pride ourselves in maintaining a beautiful, thoughtful space where children can build independence and ownership of their own learning. Our multi-age classroom (typical of a Montessori classroom) allows children to learn at their own individual level. Here at Warm Fuzzies we differentiate instruction and activities to meet the needs of each child. We are extremely enthusiastic, energetic, and excited about teaching children about the amazing world around us! Our philosophy also includes a strong conviction that children need to be outside in nature. This includes digging for insects, tending plants, drawing in nature journals, climbing, running, jumping in puddles, making mud pies, observing animals, going on quiet nature walks, building forts, swinging in tree swings, and so much more. Children need to have unstructured play time outdoors to enliven their senses, build independence, self-esteem, and appreciation for the natural world. See the link below for more information from Scott D. Sampson (one of my favs!): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/smart-parents/how-to-raise-a-wild-child_b_7153650.html
Warm Fuzzies Preschool is not a strict Montessori school, however, some materials and philosophical components will be present in the classroom. I am certified and experienced in Montessori education and will bring the best parts into Warm Fuzzies. The importance of following the child, honoring and respecting children, providing real life activities (called “works”), having beautiful, high quality materials, and fostering independence and intrinsic motivation are all elements of Maria Montessori’s view of educating young children and will be practiced at Warm Fuzzies Preschool.
Teaching children how to read and how to write is one of my favorite things to do! Watching the “light bulb” go on in a child’s mind when it all comes together and finally makes sense is one of the most rewarding treats of being a teacher. My students (when they are ready) learn all components of reading and writing for a wide variety of purposes. As we learn about the concepts of print, elements of a story, phonemic awareness, decoding, rhyming, sentence structures and many other components of our language, children will find their own individual writing voices and develop a love of reading. We will use some Montessori language materials and some traditional school materials to practice daily. Every day we will read books aloud as a whole group and as well as individually and in small groups (guided reading and shared group reading) when the children are ready. We will also use our reading and writing skills to enhance our learning in the areas of science, math, social studies, and art to show that literacy is essential to the world we live in.
Aside from learning to read and write we also spend a great deal of energy developing oral language. We celebrate learning new words and ways to use them on a daily basis.
If children have a true understanding of numbers they can do anything with them. At Warm Fuzzies Preschool we strive to build strong mathematical foundations by focusing on number sense and everything that it entails including all of the following:
- Counting forward and identifying what comes next
- Counting backward and identifying what comes before
- Skip counting (2’s, 5’s, 10’s)
- Numeral identification (naming the symbol)
- Matching a number with a quantity
- Matching the numeral with a quantity
- One to one correspondence when counting
- Subitizing (being able to automatically identify the quantity of dots)
- Addition (and the strategy of adding on)
- Subtraction (and the strategy of taking away)
- Mental math and story problems
To master these skills and concepts we will use a lot of Montessori math materials and some traditional math materials to practice daily in new and interesting ways. We will also incorporate math into other areas of our curriculum to show its real life applications as often as possible.
♥ Science/Social Studies
I enjoy teaching Science and Social Studies as much (or more!) as the children enjoy learning about them! We use thematic units to focus our attention on a specific habitat or culture (some examples: Sea Creatures, Animals of the African Savannah, Creepy Crawlies (insects, arachnids, etc.), Life Cycles, Egyptian Pyramids, etc.). In addition to our pre-determined theme we will always act as scientists to explore our world. I feel it is important for children to have a significant role in driving their own learning so I am flexible and more than willing to gear our instruction toward the interests of our students. We perform experiments and incorporate projects to help guide our learning. It is amazing to see what such young children are capable of doing and understanding!
Art has a very special place in my heart. In my home growing up we were surrounded by art supplies and plenty of inspiration. I design projects to do with the children often but more importantly I try to inspire the individual artist inside each child and give him/her the supplies and resources he/she needs to make the ideas come to life. Art is everywhere at Warm Fuzzies Preschool and the thought and creativity behind every brush stroke, crayon mark, and pastel smudge is highly valued and appreciated!
One of the most important reasons for sending a child to preschool is so that he/she can develop the skills and pro-social behaviors for interacting with other people. We value the bonds and relationships that children form here and do everything we can to make school a happy, safe, and enjoyable place. I teach through example, books, role-playing, and story telling how to be kind, generous, loving, accepting, patient, and empathetic towards one another. Warm Fuzzies Preschool is all about being warm and fuzzy!
The primary goal behind guiding children is to keep them safe. We do not embarrass children, intentionally make them feel shameful, yell, scold, or ever use force. If at all possible we encourage children to be the ones solving problems between themselves and their peers through thoughtful and calm conversations. If I do need to step in I use strategies from Love and Logic to give children choices. I feel that nothing is more important than the well-being and safety of the children and that comes first before anything else. At Warm Fuzzies Preschool we operate as a community to solve problems together and to celebrate our achievements and successes. Please refer to the Parent Handbook for specific policy information regarding guidance and discipline.
♥ Movement and Music
It almost goes without saying that children need to move, sing, laugh, and play! We do all of those things on a regular basis and encourage you to bring the songs and movements/dances we do at school into your homes. We often send home cd’s of songs, and lyrics of the songs we sing so you can sing along. I also post song lyrics, finger plays, and theme information on the “Blog” page.