STEAM is a 4 day a week afternoon program for our more mature 4 year old kids and our pre-k children who need a full day option. Children must be potty-trained to attend Stepping Stones Preschool, diapers and pull-ups are not permitted. Our teachers do many hands-on, fun experiments that focus on sensory experiences revolving around math and science concepts. While we have a curriculum to guide the year, we follow the interests of the children. When the children are interested in a concept, we want to harness that! A typical day begins with the children gathering to eat lunch after their morning class. After lunch, the group will have focused down time that consists of learning centers, music, or a short educational video related to our current topic. Children are encouraged to rest during this time if they are sleepy. After our quiet time, we have a group exercise time focusing on our core muscle groups, and then begin our afternoon activities. Some examples of our topics are magnets, the human body and space. In a typical lesson, children will have a discussion about the day’s topic and engage in several activities or experiments related to our topic. We recognize the need for preschool children to have plenty of active time outdoors, so we make outdoor play a priority.
We will truly be hands on this year as we focus on a wide array of STEAM topics. Below is a schedule of how our STEAM time usually works:
Every day after your child is dismissed from their morning class they will go to lunch. Each child brings his/her own lunch. During lunch, we will talk with the kids about health and nutrition and introduce the different food groups to them. They will learn about fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy and grains. Having a well-rounded lunch is important for them. Try adding new foods from time to time! You’d be amazed at the foods they won’t touch at home but are willing to eat in a group setting. DO NOT SEND ANYTHING WITH PEANUTS OR PEANUT BUTTER! We will provide water for them to drink but if you’d like to send a water bottle that is fine. We give them all a napkin every day and we have a few utensils on hand in case it’s needed and you forget to pack it. If your child forgets to bring his/her lunch and you are not able to bring it to school, we will make sure your child eats! We generally pull several snack items from the snack cabinet. After lunch, the kids will have some down time for independent book time, they will have games to play quietly with, or they will watch a show related to the day’s topic.
We try to incorporate a formal exercise time into our STEAM time. After a bathroom break, we will do group exercises. The kids have a great time practicing gross motor skills focusing on their core muscle groups, learning to count in different languages, and learning to follow directions in a large group setting.
After a long morning of preschool ‘work’, the children need a break! We make sure they get independent playtime most days. We go outside if at all possible, and we play in the lobby with scooters, hula hoops and other toys if it is raining or too cold to be outside.
Our instructional time will focus on math and science topics. We will cover subjects based on a loosely defined curriculum, but we will follow the children’s interests! If they are really enjoying magnets, we will spend more time on them. If they seem to enjoy our sequencing activities, we will add more. If it appears that they do not like money games, we will move on more quickly. During this time, we will do a lot of projects that often include a lot of mess! It isn’t uncommon for our STEAM kids to go home with green fingers or corn starch in their hair. We will try to send a quick email home at the end of the week with an explanation of some of the things we covered and a few pictures of our activities. Do not expect to see worksheets coming home! Our hands will be too busy experimenting to bother with worksheets!
Here is a tentative list of topics we will likely cover this year:
Parts of a whole
Parts of the body/
Living and Nonliving