Monmouth County Private School : Pre K Work Time
The Pre K Work Time is designed to provide our students with an opportunity to actively engage with the school environment and to take a meaningful and self-directed role in learning. Because children are naturally curious and eager to understand their world, it is important to provide time and opportunities for them to deeply explore concepts and topics of interest to them. Through daily observation, teachers thoughtfully plan provocations and carefully select materials and activities to offer to students. The students, working in small groups, engage in the exploration of ideas while supported by their teachers. Within this fluid learning environment, students move from activity to activity, while they work on and share their learning.
Each working group, with its small number of students, enables the children to socially construct their knowledge. Children engage in authentic learning through many avenues: blocks, dramatic play, fine and craft art, water, sand and outdoor exploration, and cross-curricular investigations. They rely on mathematical reasoning, problem-solving, negotiation, compromise, and experimentation to test their hypotheses. This all culminates in meaningful work. Through all of this deep, timely and relevant exploration, students are supported by mentors who guide them. The students are challenged to think deeply about what they are exploring, to connect their shared knowledge to that of others, to synthesize new information and to gain deeper understandings. With provocation and time, children comfortably and organically express themselves and their understandings of the world.
Examples of teacher provocations include a new material, an overhead projector for the study of shadow and light, music, a question to be answered, an item to be fixed, or perhaps a visitor or a trip. These provocations are meant to help the students build stamina for investigation and, perhaps, to find a new area of investigation. Work Time provides for flexibility, spontaneity, and excitement.
Work Time is also an opportunity for the teacher to work closely with a small group of students on concepts that are relevant to their growth and development. The teacher has the ability to deliver one or more mini-lessons each day and to work with small, focused groups with greater intention.
The students will:
- initiate their own learning.
- engage in productive, meaningful work.
- join projects that connect to personal interests and the world around them.
- learn in a reciprocal environment, co-constructing knowledge.
- work independently and collaboratively.
- increase perseverance and stick-to-it-ness.