Nursery I and II Curriculum
Our goal as educators at St. Stephen’s Armenian Preschool is to provide an environment, which encourages a child to develop skills in all areas through hands-on activities and discovery in a bilingual environment. The Nursery classes serve as an introduction to the structure of the school schedule, it allows children to meet others of the same age and learn important social skills. Foundations of skills are taught such as shapes, colors, alphabet letters and sounds. Children are given the opportunity to develop confidence and become more independent through arts and crafts, group games and activities and free play, which usually center on the unit of study for the month. It is also important to remember that free play is actually a work time for children. Through play, children learn important social skills; develop language, math, readiness and coordination skills, which serve as a foundation for building concepts later. The curriculum is carefully designed to meet the individual needs and interest of the children, and to stimulate learning in all of the developmental areas: physical, social, emotional and cognitive. The development is fostered through thematic units (integrating all subjects).
The following is a brief overview of the types of activities and the units that are covered in the Nursery classes. Please keep in mind that those skills and units that are taught in Nursery I are studied in an in-depth manner and are expanded in the Nursery II class. In Nursery II, we have been using a program (Kouyn yev Kidz) that has activity books based on 10 very popular children’s stories. In Nursery II, students are introduced to 10 letters of the 38 letters of the Armenian Alphabet.
Math Related Skills and Activities
- Awareness of Shapes: triangle, circle, square, oval, rectangle, heart and diamond
- Counting from 1-20 (no limits)
- Recognizing numbers from 1-15 (no limits)
- Comparing, contrasting
- Measuring (using Cuisenaire rods, cooking, blocks)
- Sorting, ordering, one-to-one correspondence, use of space (blocks), problem solving strategies (while playing with building blocks), balancing, sequencing (calendar), awareness in time
Cognitive and Critical Thinking
- Story endings
- Memory games
- Matching pictures
- Guessing games
- Weather chart
- Cause and effect
Language-Related Skills and Activities
- Language Experience Stories (dictated stories)
- Finger plays
- Acting out stories
- Children will work on speaking in full sentences and developing their vocabulary
- Creating print rich environment
- Reading aloud
- Dramatic play
- Show & tell
- Pretend (silent reading)
- Puppet show
- Directionality (left to right)
Reading Readiness Skills and Activities
- Recognition of colors: red, yellow, green, blue, brown, orange, black, purple
- Recognition of some alphabet letters and their sounds
- Recognizing his/her own name when written
- Comparing objects and letters
Social Skills and Activities
- How to make friends
- Cleaning up
- Learning to button, zipper, put jacket on and off
- Following directions, cooperation
- Taking turns
- Caring for each other
- Classroom community
- Table manners
- Following schedule
- Listening to each other when one is talking
Small and Large Motor Development
- Coloring within a space
- Tracing a line or dotted lines
- Stringing beads
- Using play dough
- Cutting (scissors)
- Running, skipping, hopping, jumping
- Movement games (follow the leader, Punchinello)
- A wide variety of manipulatives (linking, unifix cubes)
Social Science Units
- All About Me – Covers family, friends and feelings.
- The Senses – Covers the five senses, and how we use them.
- Health and Nutrition – Things that keep us healthy – good food, sleep and exercise.
- Community Helpers – Typical jobs found in the community: firefighters, doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, mail carriers, etc.
- Transportation – Ways we go from one place to another: trains, cars and buses, boats, planes
- Animals – Types of animals, how they live, where they live and the sounds they make.
- Seasons – Discussion of the four seasons, the weather and changes throughout the year.
- Plants – How plants grow, how they change.
- Holidays – Taught throughout the year.
Photography by Kataram Studios