The Small World program fosters experiential learning through sensory, discovery, song and language activities. Small World offers a unique trilingual language model in which the students hear and speak English, Spanish and Mandarin in the classroom. We provide children with a thoughtful, engaging and age-appropriate place to explore and discover the world.
Our teachers deliver an age-appropriate curriculum based on the children’s interests, that will help them better understand their world. Through one-on-one and group instruction, teachers nurture each child’s individual learning style and foster a love of exploration and discovery. Our curriculum elements include:
Social-Emotional Development: learning how to separate from parents and caregivers, follow classroom routines and make new friends
Cognitive Development: practicing introductory math and pre-literacy skills and exploring music and scientific concepts
Language Development: expressing thoughts and ideas and communicating with others
Physical Development: drawing and painting, practicing skills such as how to feed oneself and use the bathroom, and engaging in play with peers
Language Learning: hearing and speaking Spanish and Mandarin alongside English in an engaging trilingual classroom environment
Here is what a typical day in a Small World classroom looks like:
Welcome and Free Play: Children arrive to the classroom with their parent or caregiver, put their things in their cubby and say goodbye. Teachers greet students and help them transition into the classroom. During this time, children might draw a picture, play with trains and vehicles, explore at the sand table, build with blocks or play pretend with food and baby dolls. Free play is an important time for children to engage with materials while learning to play peacefully with classmates.
Meeting: After cleaning up the materials from free play, children sit on the rug with teachers for a time of community building. They learn each other’s names, sing songs and play games, and spend time studying thematic topics that reflect the children’s interests such as jungle animals, the changing leaves of fall and how elevators go up and down.
Snack and Bathroom: During snack, Small World students work on important self-help skills such as drinking from a cup, pouring water from a small pitcher, and cleaning up after themselves when done. Snack provides a time for children to practice table manners and engage in conversation with friends. When visiting the bathroom, children learn skills such as participating in a diaper change by throwing away the old diaper, visiting the child-sized toilet independently and washing their hands. Teachers work with families to support the toilet-training process from beginning to end.
Movement: We have a spacious indoor play room where children climb on soft mats, throw and kick balls, and play tag with friends.
Centers: In centers, children choose from a variety of teacher-designed activities such as special art projects (clay, gluing, watercolor painting), science and discovery activities (weight and balance, studying pine cones with magnifying glasses) and pre-math and pre-literacy centers (reading with teachers in Spanish or Mandarin, simple counting and numeracy games). This is a time in which students rotate through a selection of choices to develop skills and learn new concepts.
To learn more about the Small World Program, please join us for one of our upcoming parent information events in October.
- Nancy Schulman
February 14, 2019
The 7th grade Mandarin Chinese class moved on to complete a new project, called “给校长的建议信,” or ”writing persuasive letters about school issues to the head of school.”
February 12, 2019
What do you do with a classroom full of kindergarteners when it snows?
February 8, 2019
The 11th grade U.S. history classes were tasked with breaking into small groups and designing a memorial for Andrew Jackson that somehow took into account the complex nature of his presidency.
February 7, 2019
The pre-K Penguins and Seals decided to turn our uninspiring dramatic play corner into a full working campsite – a close getaway that would feel quiet and cozy.
February 6, 2019
This winter, the 7th and 8th graders of Avenues presented their "Totally 80s" chorus concert. These 21st-century students explored the history, fashion and culture of the late 20th century through the lens of 1980s music.