Green Room - Preschool Age 3 - 4 years old
The Green Room houses students who are generally ages 3 – 4 years old. There is some leeway in the placement of these ages, and during enrollment, leaders will craft classes with the most similar age and developmental needs together to best create cohesive classrooms. Students in this room enjoy a little more freedom and a little more wiggle room than the younger classroom, but also are expected to take more responsibility for imagining what the classroom might study and for their behavior as a class.
Meeting Time in the Green Room is particularly special as the students’ classroom routines become more extensive. They might sing songs, discuss an idea, solve a problem, read books together, play a game, or sometimes even have a dance party. The classroom experience is that of a team, with teachers playing supporting roles to the children’s learning. As with all our classrooms, the Green Room’s activities are guided by our practice of using emergent curriculum principles.
In the Green Room, the day begins with a wide array of activities to choose from as the group engages in free choice time for the first hour or so. On any given day, different groups may be cooperating on a floor puzzle, helping with a cooking project, collaborating on drawings at the writing center, reading in the book corner, playing a board game, researching at the science center, block building, or painting at the easel.
At clean-up time, everyone pitches in to help and then gathers on the meeting rug to talk about the day ahead, participate in music and movement, complete classroom tasks such as identifying specifics about the calendar and weather, or discuss any important class business. Snack time follows. As the children begin to finish and clean up their snack spots, they gradually make their way back to the rug for independent reading time. Once everyone is assembled again, a second meeting takes place. This may involve curriculum discussion, a science experiment, a Show & Tell session, or story reenactment.
Next it is time for the outdoor excursion of the day: a playground visit, a walk, or perhaps a trip to a location related to the current dramatic play topic, such as the fire station, supermarket, or post office. The goal is always to get outside, but if the weather does not cooperate, the indoor gross motor space is an enticing backup for the children. There, they can run free, do gymnastics, ride tricycles, play ball, or participate in any number of other games and activities.
Upon returning to school, lunchtime is next on the docket. Generally the children enjoy storytime while the lunch tables are being prepared, then they wash their hands and locate their spot. Meals are a fun and recharging time, but also an opportunity to practice table manners, social skills, and healthy eating choices. Again the children finish and clean up at their own pace, and gather on the meeting rug to look at and discuss book choices with their classmates. Teachers then join for storytime before rest-time preparation, which includes the setting up of cots, various bathroom “checks,” brushing teeth, and the children obtaining their blanket bags to help themselves get cozy. They listen to stories on CDs, followed by calming music. Some fall asleep and some do not; after a period of rest, they have the option of reading or doing quiet activities on their cots before the clean-up process begins.
As the day winds down, there are several choices available, from playdough to drawing to puzzles, similar to morning free choice time but with a somewhat more relaxed pace so as to facilitate smooth pick-up transition times. The children check their art cubbies to see if they have projects they want to take home, chat about the goings-on of the day, and bid their friends and teachers farewell.
Families may choose to have students enroll for 3, 4, or 5 days a week, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. This room can house 12-14 students at one time, and is led by two veteran teachers: Saba Sodegar and Summer Marsh. Joselyn Depina, a teacher of 4 years, works in this classroom, as well as in the Red Room. Saba has been in the field for over a decade, and with Old South Preschool for 9 years. Summer’s own children came through our program, and she has taught for us for nearly two decades cumulatively (not counting a few years of baby-raising!). They make such a great teaching team that they voluntarily lead a summer program together each year!