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Early Childhood

Our Preschool is a self-contained facility which includes the Bitty Buckeye classroom, Preschool classroom, restrooms and playground.  It is located in the lower level of the Convent, just south of our main school building and encompasses 3 & 4 yr. old preschool.

Bitty Buckeyes

Bitty Buckeyes began at St. Barnabas School in October, 2010 to provide a unique experience designed for young children (18 months to 3 years of age) and their adult companions.  This Program provides an opportunity for young children to come together with an age-appropriate educational focus that is enriched by a loving, faith-based environment.  Each class exposes children to language through the use of fun activities.  Such activities are age-based and include interactive stories, sign language, fingerplays, songs, crafts and exploratory play.

Preschool

Preschool Philosophy:

St. Barnabas Preschool curriculum incorporates the academic, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual needs of the young child. The aim is to nurture and teach the whole child and to encourage the attributes for life-long learning. In order to reach this goal, a developmentally appropriate curriculum has been devised. It includes the following attributes:

Active: Hands-on use of manipulatives is the focus, rather than paper and pencil work.

Personally Meaningful: The program builds on what the child already knows.

Experimental: The child learns by doing, talking, and exploring new ideas.

Energetic: The teacher encourages curiosity and delight in order to motivate the child.

Interactive: Children are encouraged to work together rather than competing against each other.

Explorative: We invite the child to discover ideas and principles through the manipulation of objects.

Holistic: The program is integrated rather than broken into separated subjects.

Constructive: The child is encouraged to use his/her imagination and creative powers in a nonjudgmental atmosphere.

Children vary in their abilities, each bringing a unique set of background experiences into the early childhood classroom. Each child is a unique individual with his or her own needs. Our developmentally appropriate program will meet the needs of each child. Our approach allows for cooperative learning groups, individualized activities, high interest learning centers, and hands-on experiences for each child. Our curriculum provides the opportunity for each child to experience success on his/her own terms and is aligned with the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards for language arts, math, science, social studies and religion.

The brief overview of our Preschool Day:

8:00 Morning Learning Centers: Children work in various centers such as housekeeping, play-dough area, puzzle center, math center, block center, and writing center
8:45 Special (One or two Specials per day which includes Art, Computers, Gym, Library, Music, Spanish)
9:40 Calendar
9:50 Morning Snack (provided by parent)
10:00 Lesson of the Day: We focus on one subject area each day.  Subject areas include: Language arts, math, science, social studies or religion
10:30 Small group lesson reinforcement/centers
10:50 Half day children dismiss
11:00 Lunch
11:30 Small Group Activities
12:10 Recess (outdoors if it is 32 degrees or above)
12:40 Afternoon Snack and individual "read on the rug"
1:15 Rest Time
2:15 Songs, fingerplays, stories, prepare to dismiss

There are 2 separate and unique curriculums for the two different age groups. 

The 3 year-old program includes:

Alphabet Stories Series: This series focuses on each letter and sound of the alphabet.

Religion Series: "Stories of God's Love" by RCL Benzinger: Children are intoduced to a new Bible story of God's love from the scriptures or a life story related to the child's life that reinforces scriptural themes.

The 4 year-old program includes:

Individual Bible: Based on the series “God Loves Me”, each child will create their own Bible.

Writing Journal: Beginning in January, each child will complete a writing journal based on specific writing prompt.

Harcourt Math Series: This series focuses on hands-on activities that help Preschoolers form the beginnings of mathematical knowledge. Each child also receives an activity lesson book.

Language Arts Program:  "Reading Street" by Scott Foresman: A six unit series that includes: oral language, shared reading, letter knowledge, phonological awareness, writing, listening and social/emotional concepts.

 

Kindergarten

The Kindergarten classrooms are now located on the first floor of the main building.

Kindergarten Philosophy:

The Kindergarten curriculum focuses on the critical well being of the children and on preparing the students for success in all areas of learning. The program is designed to build social, emotional, academic, spiritual, and physical growth in subject areas such as: reading, writing, speaking, listening, math, social studies, health and science, art, and music movement.

Social interaction and friendships are a fundamental element in the normal development of each child. The kindergarten day consists of Learning Stations including: Math and Science, Blocks and Games, Computers, Reading/Language Arts, and Writing. The kindergarten program uses a holistic approach to engage all areas of learning.

The curriculum adheres to the state standard expectations. Furthermore, basic health and safety are included in the overall curriculum. The Kindergarten program also infuses the morals and teachings of the Catholic faith. Overall, the curriculum program presents each student with the opportunity to personally engage in all aspects of learning and to build a foundation for life-long learning.

Curriculum

Academic activities revolve around weekly Thematic Units involving all subject areas. Thematic Units are taught weekly using a variety of topics such as: Ocean Animals, St. Patrick’s Day, Children’s Book Week, countries and cultures, the 100th Day of School, and Welcome to Kindergarten.

Kindergarten Math, Houghton-Mifflin: This series focuses on engaging hands-on activities, easily managed manipulatives, and homework that reinforces and maintains concepts and skills.

Reading Street,  Scott Foresman: This series is built around reading it, writing it, and thinking it.  Each unit involves weekly writing, using visual skills and strategies, reciting vocabulary and amazing words, and building phonemic awareness.

Blest Are We, Silver Burdett Ginn: The content of this series involves God’s love for our world, love and kindness for each other, taking care of animals, and celebrating special holidays.
 
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