Shu Academy is proud to be a part of San Mateo County Quality Counts program. As a part of San Mateo County Quality Counts program, Shu Academy is committed to the quality of care and education it provides, therefore, it goes above and beyond what is required to be a licensed childcare program in California.
At Shu Academy, our teachers use Experience Early Learning, a researched based and award winning curriculum as our main curriculums in our classrooms, and follow the California Preschool Learning Foundation as our guideline to design and adjust our curriculums. As early childhood educators, we understand each child is different, so we design our curriculums based on our understanding and assessment on each child, and focus on all areas of learning. We pay attention to what children are interested in, and plan themes or projects that help children expand their knowledge and skills in different areas, therefore, children can get a deeper understanding of a subject when we make connections across several content areas.
Preschoolers ask a lot of questions about the world. Our teachers encourage children to be curious, make discoveries, and think scientifically. We have a designated Science Classroom for children to do science activities. They observe, ask questions, and predict what might happen. Then they experiment and explain what they’ve found out. Our teachers support science learning by
- Setting out materials for children to experiment with
- Researching topics with children by reading books, looking up information online, taking field trips, and having experts visit the class
- Guide children and create a “Thinkering” environment
- Using new science words many times and in different situations
- Encouraging children to review and share their learning
We believe children are capable of initiating their own learning experiences, and they are constantly learning from the world around them. Montessori is a great way to recognize and develop children’s inherent ability to learn about the world around them through meaningful play. Therefore, we have set up a designated Montessori Classroom with a compelling mixture of materials and activities specifically geared toward developing a well-rounded learner, where children are challenged physically, cognitively, emotionally and socially. We show our respect for the children by giving children the freedom to make choices, and not interrupting while they are concentrate on an activity. In addition, the Montessori Classroom is set up as a quiet and calm environment so the skill of being focused can be cultivated.
Social and Emotional Development
At Shu Academy, we design fun group activities to provide opportunities for children learn to get along, make friends, and help with making decisions and problem solving. Through these activities, children also learn about themselves and how they fit into their families, classes, and the community. Our activities also include learning about the languages and cultures of other children in the class.
Examples of social activities include Show and Tell, Emotion Tic Tac Toe, Friendship Arts and Crafts, Team Building projects, and Culture event presentation.
Children express their feelings and ideas in unique ways. We encourage children to be creative. It could be through painting, dancing, and pretending. But creativity supports every area of learning and can be expressed in many ways, from drawing their own stories to figuring out how to keep ice in the water table from melting so fast. At Shu Academy, our teachers design an environment that supports every preschooler’s creative abilities, and provide a variety of open-ended materials (playdough, seashells, chalk) to challenge their ability to create.
At Shu Academy, children’s language skills develop when they have lots of opportunities to listen to and speak with the others. Our teachers talk with children throughout the day—while they play, at group times, and one-to-one. We encourage children to share information, ideas, and feelings with each other by different types of activities. Teachers efficiently support children’s language skills by
- Using children’s interests to introduce new words and concepts
- Encouraging children to use longer, more detailed sentences by adding to what he says in conversation
- Asking questions that encourage thinking and require more than a yes-or-no answer
- Using rich vocabulary—unusual or difficult words that are new to children
- Labeling shelves and bins in English and other languages children speak
Guided Reading and Writing
At Shu Academy, we not only read, but also help children form a life-long habit to read, and understand why we are reading, for example, what reading is for and what rhyming sounds are. They learn through listening to and talking about books, stories, and discussion over different reading subjects. Most preschoolers can read their own names and some simple words by the age of 4. At Shu Academy, examples of teachers help preschoolers develop early reading and writing skills are
- Talking about the story’s characters, setting, and plot, and connecting stories to what’s going on in school or at home
- Providing materials for children’s play that encourage writing or show examples of writing
- Helping children hear the differences in sounds and understand that letters stand for sounds
- Playing rhyming games, singing songs, and reading books with fun language
- Pointing out letters and words in books and other places
- Helping children learn the alphabet through fun activities
Math Concepts Application
Children explore math concepts through many activities, for example, sorting materials into things can be built with and things can decorated with (classifying). Children also explore shapes and textures while making art (comparing, understanding attributes). Children clap out the beats to a song (counting). At Shu Academy, our teachers encourage math learning during daily activities such as
- Providing match related materials—blocks, buttons, acorns—to count, sort, compare, and make patterns
- Encouraging children on problem solving
- Introducing and shaping math concepts during daily activities, such as guiding children to measure and compare objects
- Designing activities to help children observe and record data
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