Immersion Preschool Curriculum Overview
HWIS’ full immersion environment emulates how students learn their first language—relevant, functional vocabulary is introduced in context within a secure, engaging, supportive community. Our teachers use broad themes such as “All About Me”, or “Light”, with the support of award-winning Creative Curriculum® to provide a context for learning content & language. All of the instructional time (except about 30 minutes of English language arts) is spent in the target language, either Mandarin or Spanish. Through hands-on discovery, and in depth learning across the disciplines of language arts, math, science & social studies, children have the freedom to explore based on their own interests. Teachers observe student development on 38 objectives in the following areas: social-emotional, cognitive language development, fine motor skills, and gross motors skills.
Children are actively engaged in learning throughout the day. They may be involved in a teacher led discussion, or they may be exploring a center on their own with a teacher nearby to guide the exploration. Themes can be explored both within & without the classroom.
How does HudsonWay Immersion School's approach compare with a Montessori type approach?
- Theme Versus Materials Focus: Our theme-based approach lends itself to interdisciplinary exploration—learning across subjects such as science, math, social studies, etc. This enables students to make connections, while reinforcing language across different subject areas.
- Teachers Guiding the Learning Versus Independent Work: At HWIS, teachers provide continual language role modeling in either large or small group work. More contact time with teachers maximizes language learning.
A Typical Day in Our Preschool Includes:
- Morning & Afternoon Meetings
- Centers (Math, Science, Dramatic Play, Art, etc.)
- Specials (Music, Art, PE)
- Outdoor Recess
- Snack, Lunch, Nap / Quiet Time
Our active, academic preschool program builds school readiness skills, while fostering curiosity, creativity & confidence. Our preschoolers will learn to:
- Explore, and try, new things
- Work independently
- Cooperate with classmates
- Complete started tasks
- Exercise self-control
- Adhere to instructions
For our preschoolers, we use concrete manipulatives and hands-on learning to develop a stronger understanding of the number system. Critical concepts include spatial relationships, sorting & classifying, shapes & patterns, and number sense. Geometry, measurements, and concepts of time and money are also introduced, in terms that preschoolers can grasp and expand upon as they build mathematical “fluency.”
Our preschool science program is inquiry-based, and has been designed to allow the natural curiosity of children to blossom. It is our role to guide the children as they investigate, develop, and discover ideas & concepts that will help them to make sense of the world around them. Children dive into high-interest topics including weather, water, nature & habitats, biology, inventions & inventors, among others. Students will observe, think critically, hypothesize, and effectively communicate about their predictions & findings.
Social Studies / Culture
Our preschoolers begin social studies exploration as a full sensory study of communities large & small—including our classroom, family, neighborhood and identity. Content is presented using a spiral approach that knits challenging concepts, and ideas together, including geographical thinking, currency, historical perspective, government (rules and laws) and culture & society. Students develop and assert their independence while learning how to interact with fellow inhabitants of our world.
In addition to the daily routines of the classroom, show & tell, read-alouds & dramatic play provide students with casual speaking and presentation opportunities to continually develop their functional vocabulary.
English Language Arts
Our preschool English Language Arts curriculum is a balanced literacy program. Academic goals focus on building strong pre-reading, pre-writing, and handwriting skills, as well as enhancing listening & communication abilities. We teach the Zaner-Blozer method of handwriting, which provides a strong foundation as children begin the lifelong practice of putting pen to paper.
Preschoolers are exposed to the power, utility, and complexity of language. Through read-alouds and shared reading experiences, they learn to distinguish between letters, sounds, words, and sentences. This fosters a love of reading empowered by reading strategies, guided reading cues, and communication tools to respond to a variety of texts, lyrics, and stories.
Students are introduced to the stages, processes, and products of writing. In preparation, students develop their fine motor skills through various grip activities and are encouraged to experiment with different kinds of writing utensils.
Speaking & Listening
Students are taught tenets of effective communication & active listening. Participation in daily dialogues, including morning meeting, show-and- tell, dramatic play, and responses to literature help students practice speaking in complete sentences, engage in question-and-answer dialogues, make predictions, and express their feelings.
Our preschool fine arts program has been sequentially and age-appropriately designed to allow children to explore their own creativity through a variety of media. We incorporate visual arts, music, dance, and drama into our daily curriculum. During this exploration process, children become more aware of their strengths & preferences, while learning to take risks in other areas. We emphasize the creative process, not the final product. Children learn how different art forms facilitate the development of self expression and cultural awareness, thus fostering self-esteem & individuality.
Our music program outfits preschoolers with the “vocabulary” to acknowledge and interpret what they hear. Students explore rhythm, melody, harmony, tone, form, and expression, using both traditional and “found” or made instruments in the classroom and outdoors. The music curriculum encourages singing, playing, creating, and listening, with opportunities for individual & group response to the wonderful experience of sound.
Our creative and robust visual arts program focuses on the experience of art as a communication of ideas. Using different tools, techniques, and materials, students explore & enjoy a full sensory introduction to drawing, painting, clay/Play-Doh, and 2D & 3D sculpture. Students go on to create portraits, murals, pottery, masks, and dolls, to name but a few.
The preschool program promotes body management and serves as an introduction to athletic movement. Individual attention is given to meet different physical, social, and cognitive needs, while promoting cooperation within a group. Program priorities include building confidence & self-esteem, promoting team building & group solving skills, and fostering characteristics of good sportsmanship and safety.