A Typical Day at MNS
Arrival & Table Activities:
At MNS we strive to teach independence from day one. We know independence is a must have for incoming kindergarteners. Students are greeted at the door and go directly to the closets to unpack their belongings, turn in their folders, and hang up their coats and backpacks. Teachers assist where it is needed, but we learn very early on in the year that our students are very capable of doing many things independently if just given the opportunity. Students then work independently or in small groups to complete morning table activities while they wait for their friends to arrive.
During morning meeting students recite the Pledge of Allegiance, participate in calendar time, sing some songs, learn about the word of the day, and review the daily schedule.
Students rotate through a variety of centers. Centers are a vital part of the preschool learning experience. Albert Einstein taught us that “Play is the highest form of research.”. Centers consist of activities such as dramatic play, art, block building, math center, library center, sensory play, discovery center, and toys and puzzles.
Each day students take a break to enjoy a nutritional snack. Snacks are provided by MNS and consist of healthy choices. Every student is offered milk and the snack of the day.
Recess is important because it serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom. It also offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits. We go outside whenever the weather allows. When we are unable to go outside we hold recess in the gym.
Whole Group Phonics & Small Group Phonics:
At MNS we incorporate the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness curriculum, known to our students as “purple book”, into our daily phonics time. “Phonemic awareness is the understanding that spoken words are made up of individual sounds, which are called phonemes. A child who is phonemically aware is able to isolate sounds, manipulate sounds, blend and segment the sounds into spoken and written words.” Phonemic awareness is vital to a child’s academic growth to ensure they are ready for kindergarten. We also discuss our phonics letter, sound, and lesson of the day and then break into small groups to reinforce the lesson. Small group instruction is vital because it focuses precisely on what the students need to work on to move forward.
Students bring their own lunch and sit together with their table mates during lunch time. We encourage students to eat the healthy/main course of their meal before opening and eating treats that are often brought with their lunch.
After lunch we turn the lights off and have a short brain break. During this time students spread out and sit or lay on a sit spot. We listen to books read aloud, or watch short educational clips and then participate in a physical activity. Depending on the day this may be a guided workout, singing songs with multiple movements, or doing cosmic yoga.
Math is taught in small groups and students are broken up into groups based on which level of math they are on. Groups range from 2-6 students per group depending on the math activities.
Visits from Aunt Zoophonia:
Occasionally Aunt Zoophonia stops by to visit our classroom. While away, she is exploring on exciting safaris and finding our animal friends to deliver to our classroom when she visits. The class writes letters to Aunt Zoophonia while she is traveling on her adventures. Usually her special friend, Baby Bear, comes along for her visits too!
Our Panda and Polar Bear Classes (4-year-olds) attend a dedicated music session on Wednesdays. Students learn to walk quietly in line through the halls of West Central to a room in the elementary school where they are under the direction of a wonderful music teacher.
Students benefit from music education in many ways: improved fine motor skills and coordination, language development, focus and memory, fundamental math skills, discipline and teamwork, and self-confidence and self-esteem.