Red Room - Preschool Age 4 - 5 years old
The Red Room houses our oldest students, who are ages 4 – 5 years old, and most plan on beginning Kindergarten the following September. The school day runs from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and parents have the option of enrolling their children for 3, 4, or 5 days per week. This class can accommodate up to 14 students each day.
In following our emergent curriculum goals, each day in the Red Room will involve free choice-making, child-initiated, child-directed involvement as well as working individually or in small and large groups, with teachers acting as partners, guides and advisors. With the Preschool’s location in Copley Square, children easily travel about the city, making visits to nearby Boston Public Library; utilizing playgrounds and parks near and far; taking neighborhood trips; and participating in programs at local facilities. The children’s outside engagement lets them claim the city as part of their environment and declare themselves as mindful, caring citizens who can contribute to society within the scope of their development.
Our morning in the Red Room begins with children entering the classroom between 8:45- 9:30. Upon arrival there is a sign-in sheet where the children sign their names before deciding which area of the room is of interest to them. Students may choose between the block area, library corner, the science center, art center, the dramatic play area, and more.
Next is bathroom checks and hand washing, followed by snack, when children can socialize and share conversations. After snack, we gather for our morning meeting. The children and teachers sit on the floor and we start off with a song that greets everyone in the group. We then focus on topics such as the calendar (working with numbers), attendance (numbers and writing), geography (learning about states in New England), weather, stories, songs, and conversations pertaining to our day.
If the weather permits, we then go on an excursion. Common destinations include playgrounds, neighborhood walks along Newbury Street, the Boston Common, through Copley Mall, the farmers’ market, and Star Market. On rainy days, we use our indoor gym area doing yoga, races, obstacle courses, riding tricycles, playing with hoops, and other games.
Lunch follows, and the children wash their hands and find their name cards that have been placed on the table. The card tells each child where they will sit, and is a good way for children to recognize each other’s names. This is a big conversation time for the children and the practice of using their utensils and table manners.
After lunch we do another bathroom check, as well as teeth brushing. When everyone is finished with their teeth, it’s time for puzzles or games until about 1:20 p.m. when there is a group story before going to rest at 1:30 p.m. After group story each child is called to get their bags, which contain their blankets and pillows, and find their cots. We turn an audio story on, and the lights off.
At 2:15 pm., children who did not fall asleep can get up and do a quiet activity until the lights go on at 2:30 p.m. At this time all children must be up. Everyone gets a cup of water and there is another bathroom check right before children start getting picked up. Puzzles and art are usually open until everyone say their goodbyes.
The Red Room is led by teachers Sharon Reardon, Jacqueline Robinson, and Joselyn Depina. Sharon has been with Old South Preschool for 14 years, and in Early Childhood Education for over 20 years. Jackie joined Old South in 2017 after being in the field for more than two decades. Joselyn was once a student intern with the Preschool, and has been a teacher since 2015, working with both the Green Room and Red Room classes. These three soft-spoken and engaging leaders serve as inspiring guides and facilitators for the Red Room’s classroom endeavors.