Blue Room - Preschool Age 2 - 3 years old
Our program begins in the Blue Room with a cozy, warm learning space designed just for these youngest learners. Teacher ratios in this class are 3 children to each teacher, providing a high level of care of inspiration. Students learn a great deal about how to be a member of a group, becoming more socially capable; how to explore and observe their surroundings; and much about their own body and mind.
Students may or may not be toilet-training when the year begins, but through kind and consistent routines most students leave this room with this skill in place, as well as a better understanding of how to listen to their own bodies.
The Blue Room follows the same emergent curriculum concepts as our older classrooms in planning activities, which allows the children to dictate what is explored and learned based on their interests. It is ever evolving and teachers are used as scaffolding in their learning experience, allowing the children to make their own discoveries. They play outside in neighborhood playgrounds most days, and explore the array of learning opportunities the city offers them.
The morning begins with drop-off and free choice. During this time there are tables set with different activities ranging from puzzles, playdough, science discovery or a specific art exploration on the table tops or easels. Along with table choices, we may have a specific group project happening or a planned baking activity as well. The rug area is also a space where the children learn social and sharing skills while building with wooden blocks or legos as well as using their imagination in our dramatic play section. During morning exploration, bathroom time begins. This is a great time for children learning self-help skills while toilet-training or our younger children accompanying them to the bathroom for a diaper change.
Clean-up time slowly begins with a cue of a soft bell ring and a teacher saying “cleanup time” and the children along with the teachers start to pick up and sort the different toys into their appropriate baskets on the shelves. As our year progresses the children will be able to clean up the Blue Room without a teacher’s help. The morning meeting follows cleanup. The children join one or two teachers on the rug for a story, songs, interactive games involving puppets or instruments and have discussions about where we will be heading outside on our adventure.
Snack time follows the morning meeting, a gathering of the children which supports extending their attention spans, and participation in the focus of the time. The children follow 2-3 step instructions by leaving meeting when their name is called, washing their hands and finding a seat for snack. Snack time is a great time for socializing and exploring different foods that the children may not have for snacks when at home.
Outside time follows snack. We do our best to be out in the neighborhood as long as it is not too rainy or cold. If the weather does not cooperate, the indoor gross motor space is a welcomed delight for the children. They can choose to ride tricycles, use a balance beam, run free, travel through tunnels, explore with parachutes, do gymnastics, play ball or participate in games and other organized activities. When traveling outside, we walk holding hands and explore many of the things Boston has to offer. We go to area playgrounds, the public library, public gardens, farmers’ market, indoor mall space and just stroll the streets looking for signs of the seasons and other inspiration for exploration.
Upon returning from our outside adventures, it is now lunch time. The children will collect their own lunch box from our cart outside of the elevator and bring it back to the Blue Room. A story will be read to the children on the rug while two teachers set up the tables for lunch. Lunch is a great time for the children to regain energy with a nutritious lunch as well as sit and talk with teachers and peers. Lunch time also allows the children to work on table manners and the use of their fine motor skills while manipulating spoons, forks and small cups of milk or water. Children are encouraged to help clean up after their own lunch by covering Tupperware containers and throwing away napkins or paper cups.
After lunch follows another bathroom break and the cots are set out for the children staying for rest. During rest-time preparations, the children lay on their cots with a blanket and “lovey” stuffed animal while looking at books or listening to a CD story. The room is prepared with downed window shades and soft music coming from the CD player. The teachers will sit with the children and rub a back or stroke a head to help each of them fall asleep.
When rest time is over, pick-up time begins. While the children wait for their loved ones, they quietly play with toys or read books on the rug. The teachers will relay the happenings of the day to the parents or caretakers and we all give our goodbyes.
Blue Room families may choose to have their students attend 3, 4, or 5 days a week, and in this room only, we offer both the “regular” times of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or a combination schedule option with some days 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and others 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Blue Room is led by three long-time teachers, Vicky Lynch, Leslie Caputo, and Jennifer Levitt. Vicky has a child in our preschool as well, and had been a teacher since 2011. Leslie now has a decade of leadership with the preschool, and Jennifer has three decades! Theirs is a classroom full of play, calm voices, plenty of “bathroom checks”, and impulse-control strategies.