FRENCH ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES APPROACH FOR EACH GROUP CLASS
The school-readiness approach and The developmental approach
The best approach to prepare preschoolers for GS Class (kindergarten) has been an ongoing topic of discussion among educators and policymakers, both wanting to meet the academic needs of all children. Research has shown that children in academically geared programs must also have time for social engagement with peers through play, and developmentally based programs must provide time for all students to nurture literacy skills in preparation for CP Class (First Grade).
ABS French Preschool blends the philosophies. “There is be a good balance offering at ABS!”
Laura Drake, a preschool teacher in Danville, Calif., says. “Preschool (Maternelle) can provide a unique opportunity to embrace a learning environment that contains a kindergarten-readiness structure while remaining play-based and developmentally appropriate.”
Reading and writing
Books, words, letters and writing materials are accessible for all children throughout the day. Pre-reading skills can be developed through children’s experiences with letters and words in writing stations, art projects, reading nooks, music and more. Literacy can also be supported through the daily routine in the classroom, such as putting initials on helper charts or labeling where supplies are stored. Preschoolers have opportunities to cut with kid-safe scissors, squeeze clay, or explore other materials that develop muscles and coordination necessary to hold a pencil and write.
Math and science
Placing one block on another, arranging seashells in patterns or counting up the number of cereal pieces — these activities contribute to future understanding of mathematical concepts. In the classroom, students experience materials and activities that promote thinking about the spatial relationships between objects with dice, dominoes, manipulatives, blocks and puzzles.
Like math, science helps students make sense of their world by prompting them to ask questions, problem-solve and think critically. Our ABS teachers build on children’s natural curiosity when gardening, caring for classroom animals, following the changing seasons or studying an object under a microscope.
Play and social learning
Play is paramount to learning and preparation for the academic experience. The ability to work with others cooperatively is learned through the development of play. Understanding how to negotiate, compromise and process the disappointment when not getting one’s way are all important skills for working on a team. Expressing needs to adults and ideas to peers can be challenging for young children, so the practice provided in preschool sets the stage for language expectations in CP Class (First Grade).
Independence and self-help skills
Being able to separate from loved ones is another critical piece toward academic learning. If children are worried or sad because they’re missing their parents or caregivers, they’ll be distracted and will distract others. Our ABS teachers are prepared to help our students who have trouble saying good-bye, so that they’ll be able to master this skill by First Grade. And children who know how to take care of themselves, such as hanging up their jackets or washing their own hands, will feel more confident when asked to do so in the kindergarten and First Grade setting.