The Four year-old program:
Most of the children in the 4′s Program have attended Tom Thumb for at least one year, or two years if they have attended the 2′s Program. They are indeed ready for more challenges and the program changes to meet their ever increasing needs and skills.
Parents and teachers observe and listen very carefully to the children and attempt to pick up on their interests and develop what we call an “emergent curriculum.”
All of the same interest centres such as art, blocks, dramatic play, clay, music etc. are available to the children in the 4′s class but often we focus on a particular interest of the children which may last for a couple of weeks to over a month at a time. These interests or projects will evolve or emerge from the children rather than being dictated by the teachers. Examples, of interests in the past have been gardening and flowers, trains, night, fire, puppets etc.
We also try to provide experiences related to the seasonal changes. Field trips in the 4′s are common and they often are related to the current interest. e.g., a trip to a bakery or to a farm, going for a trip on the bus or to the local Dunbar library.
The 4′s make good use of Chaldecott Park which has more space and is more challenging to this age group.
In the 4′s we also have an introductory circle when they first enter the classroom. This is a chance to share news and stories, plans for the day and sing. The 4′s class is divided into two groups for a second circle later in the morning which focuses on stories, more conversation and project work.