Our classroom is designed to include developmentally age-appropriate practices. Students engage in thematic units that involve exploratory hands-on and minds-on learning to our students. Our teacher empowers students to learn about things they wonder about in the world around them.
QSI utilizes a comprehensive, research-based curriculum program that integrates instruction to develop the whole child by focusing on the social/emotional, physical, and cognitive development of the child. The program adopted by QSI is called Frog Street, which is aligned to Head Start Early Learning Outcomes and meets the US standards from the National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC early childhood program standards). The QSI curriculum blends Frog Street Program’s approach to align the units of study to each age as appropriate.
In approaching daily lessons with students, each is divided into different components that help to accomplish the program’s goals ,which are to facilitate the social/emotional, physical, and cognitive development of our preschoolers. The components of each lesson are as follows:
Greeting Circle – Time when all the students gather first thing in the morning to encourage togetherness and connectedness. Circle time also introduces children to the weekly theme's topic through a Morning Message.
Moving and Learning – Engages children in dancing and singing to boost attention and memory. Moving and Learning sections also foster gross motor development in children.
Literacy/ Math/ Science – Uses group activities to teach key concepts in these academic areas through read-aloud stories that connect to the themes and by utilizing learning centers. Often lessons help develop the foundations of mathematics and science by using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) activities at a preschool level.
Learning Centers – Small group activities and instruction that practice skills learned in whole-class and group instruction. This allows a teacher to differentiate to meet the individual needs of the student. Through Learning Centers, students develop habits and processes to collaborate and work independently.
Content Connection – Provides an engaging activity to connect the learning for the day to additional disciplines and across domains in the unit.
Closing Circle – End of the day routine similar to the Greeting Circle. Allows students to reflect on the learning from the day. This closing allows students to make connections to other student learning. It also helps students identify what they have learned, share it, and listen to others.
Family Connection – Develops and supports a partnership with parents. Weekly notes, theme newsletters, take-home activities , and online e-stories extend learning into the home.
These lesson sections help students develop social and emotional awareness while keeping the joy of learning fun and engaging for these developing minds. This approach in the lessons in each theme allows teachers to differentiate instruction based on each child’s developmental needs while nurturing a child’s natural curiosity. Allowing for plenty of exploration in each of the domains allows students to pursue ideas and activities that feed their need to learn and grow. For a preschooler, many opportunities to learn happen naturally through play-based activities that encourage creativity that fosters a child’s imagination. Often the more “academic” subjects like mathematics and literacy happen in embedded situations that seem more like exploration and play rather than academic “work.”
QSI Curriculum Development
QSI Curriculum is developed by a trained team of QSI teachers who dedicate their time and efforts to improving our students’ education by embedding 21st Century skills and practices into our programs. The goal of the preschool program is to encourage students to learn skills to become independent and prepared for the first year of formalized instruction in the 5-year-old class (equivalent to Kindergarten in the USA and Year 1 in the UK). During preschool, students develop fine and gross motor skills to learn and play in more sophisticated ways over time as their skill set improves. Our program also prepares students to learn social and emotional skills that will allow them to socialize and cooperate with peers successfully.
The preschool program is a three-year program. Each year is more developmentally challenging than the previous year. The two programs are the 3-year-old program, and the 4-year-old program combined into one class. These students engage in a specially organized program with alternating years of study so that themes are not repeated, but the content stays at the correct instructional level by age. Each program is divided into units that focus on a theme which is further broken down into lessons that align with the unit learning objectives.