Our 3s Program is intended to help children progress in recognizing and communicating their feelings and emotions.
With the assistance of a program called Second Step, we help your child learn to name his/her emotions. We explore coping mechanisms for dealing with “big emotions” and we engage in meaningful conversations. We introduce mindfulness and breathing into the class every day.
At age 3, your child should begin developing more confidence and independence and should respond to simple directions. We build more awareness of and enforcement of classroom rules, and we use cooperative play.
We work with your child to build more fluency in imitative reading, expand vocabulary and use writing utensils to scribble and draw. Your child will begin to understand that words represent ideas—for example, dictating a thank-you note to go with a picture after a doctor visits the classroom.
We begin introducing mathematical and scientific thinking, to help children solve problems and understand numerals.
Areas of Study
Our 3s spend time every day reading books out loud and in small groups; they listen to nursery rhymes, poems and short stories. They begin to recognize letters and shapes and practice rhyming words. Our goal is to build phonological awareness, expand vocabulary, and develop comprehension (“What happens next?” “Where did she go?”).
During our 3s program, our students begin understanding math concepts and developing math skills. During playtime, we develop these skills. We may ask the students to count how many blocks are in a Lego tower, sort by color and shape, and understand quantity and measure items at the sensory table.
Our 3s begin using tools, such as a magnifying glass to look at leaves and feathers or a scale to sort and compare items. Through enrichment programs and special visits, we learn about animals.
When Irvine Nature Center brings a hawk, snake or hedgehog to the classroom, our students love to talk about what the animal eats, its habitat, etc.
Social-emotional learning is a critical part of the development of children in pre-K. Through play and Circle Time, our 3s begin to understand the people around us (How many girls are in the room? How many boys?). They explore concepts such as family, and identify who is in their family. They talk about community helpers, and ask what a firefighter, letter carrier, teacher or doctor does.
Every day includes activities that help with the physical development of our 3s. We provide time for exercise and play outside with tricycles, scooters and sliding boards, and inside with dancing. We also have a focus on wellness, with time for stretching and yoga.
Activities to Try At Home—
Activities we use and encourage parents to reinforce at home include:
Try New Things
Encourage the child to try new tasks, or to work with you. Do the new tasks together at first.
Encourage the child to use her/his words to express her/his needs, wants and feelings.
Model cooperative play, entering in and helping to choose roles in pretend play.
Talk about what the child is seeing, hearing and touching.
Demonstrate Reading Concepts
Allow Time to Respond
Learning to Draw
Make paper and large crayons and pencils available. Correct an awkward pencil grasp
Introduce New Vocabulary
Allow for Discovery
Encourage the child to find out for her/himself rather than give answers immediately.
Provide materials for small muscle play and practice, such as smaller blocks and beads, manipulatives, play dough, paintbrushes, markers, large and small writing utensils, and blunt scissors and paper.