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Pre-K at Parker

Pre-K 3 and Pre-K 4

A year-round learning experience exploring our 77-acre campus

_GG21760Play is the important and joyful work of children. It’s how they develop the power to reason, experiment and create. It’s how they learn about the give-and-take of being members of a community. Their executive functioning skills – those connected to self-control and organization – are developed through sustained, themed play. We emphasize this crucial element of child development both indoors and throughout our 77-acre “outdoor classroom.”

Parker 4 Seasons

Our summer program called Planet Parker provides year-round learning opportunities and continuity for preschoolers. They are able to spend summer in familiar surroundings, often with teachers they already know.

Spanish in Preschool? Si!

Spanish language is integrated into the preschool day, as students begin to gain fluency through interaction with our Spanish specialist.  Read more about our Integrated Spanish program.

Students also participate in weekly activities with our physical education and music teachers.

Discovery Days

Our newest program for siblings of current students who aren’t quite old enough for our Pre K, offers our youngest students the benefits of exploring, investigating and socializing in a structured setting 2 mornings each week.  They gain positive feelings about school while establishing a sense of independence.

Recognizing Each Individual

Parker preschoolers feel honored and respected, encouraging them to show respect and kindness to others. We nurture the natural creativity, playfulness and joy in discovery that is present in every three- and four-year-old. We support their development as individuals, whose skills and talents emerge at their own pace. And, most important of all, we laugh and have fun.

Students made a Trail Guide in Muddy Boots Club, learning valuable lessons while exploring our 77-acre campus.  Watch their video!


Inside Pre-K:

Our 77-acre classroom experience

Our large, sunny Pre-K classrooms offer many types of blocks, building materials, tools, vehicles, dolls, a kitchen, a science table, a puppet stage, a dress-up corner, books, art, math and writing materials. Themed play areas are set up to support specific learning units: a doctor’s office, restaurant, supermarket or spaceship, for example.

DSCN2309Field trips reinforce themes from school. Outdoors we have a specially designed play structure – just for preschoolers. We use our fields, stream and paths to enhance learning opportunities in science and physical development – walking, running, exploring, observing and collecting. Children go outside at least twice a day, even during winter. On rainy days time is spent in the gym.

Friday afternoons in Pre-K are “Muddy Boots Club” days. Read about our outdoor program, the cutting edge of a worldwide trend in education, in Pre K at Planet Parker and The Dirt on Muddy Boots Club.

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Skill development and social development are closely intertwined

_GG21786Learning has a social purpose. We empower children to know themselves and communicate themselves to others. Two, three and four-year-olds learn this through modeling from teachers and practice with peers in daily interactions. Children also do this through writing, journals, reading their stories aloud, and at Morning Meetings with a message and greeting.

At Parker, innovative thinking reaps inherent rewards. When one child invents a block structure or uses materials in a new way, and others gather around to find out how it works, to exclaim and to question, there is growth on all sides.

We foster cooperation, negotiation, and expressing feelings. These go hand-in-hand with art and cooking projects, building challenges, dramatic play, and math exploration.

Pre-K students have grade 4 and 5 students as buddies. They read, write and do projects together. They enjoy getting to know each other.

Our teachers are brilliant at creating an environment where children find success!

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An integrated approach to learning

Skills in mathematical thinking, reading, writing, listening, speaking, and artistic expression are developed through themes. Stories, songs, discussion, invention, fine and gross motor practice, cooking, measuring, observing, recording…all these grow out of themes that relate to the lives of two, three and four-year-olds. Samples of our themes include:

  • Gifts from the Earth
  • The Doctor’s Office
  • Seasonal Changes
  • Our School Habitat: meadow,
    woods, and creek
  • Grocery Store
  • Pizza Restaurant
  • The Post Office
  • Day Sky/Night Sky
  • The Planets and Space Exploration
  • Wind Week
  • Birds
  • Fish
  • Growing and Gardening

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The school day

We carefully construct a daily structure and comfortable routine that enables children to feel safe so that their learning and creativity can thrive.

Full Day: 8:45 AM – 3:30 PM

Mornings: 8:45 AM – 12:15 PM (includes lunchtime)

Before Care and After Care are available: 7:30 – 8:45 AM and 3:30 – 5:45 PM daily.

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Lunch and snacks

Lunch: Children bring their lunch. We eat and socialize around the tables in our classrooms in a relaxed and companionable way.

Snacks: Fresh fruit and vegetables are prepared for our daily snack. Students help make healthy snacks. A whole grains mix is prepared for the After Club snack .

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Daily schedule

The daily schedule follows a predictable pattern with Buddy Time, Music, Physical Education, Library, and Spanish interspersed through the week. On Fridays, Pre-K joins the All-school Assembly.

Here is a sample day:

8:45 – 10:00 Imaginative play and theme activities
10 – 10:15 Morning Meeting Circle
10:15 – 10:40 Snacks and books
10:40 – 11:10 Cooking, science, or weekly music and Spanish
11:10 – 11:30 Outdoor play
11:30 – 11:45 Stories
11:45 – 12:30 Lunch and quiet time
12:30 – 1:00 Quiet books and stories
1:00 – 2:00 Outdoor play
2:00 – 3:00 Indoor imagination and discovery activities
3:00 – 3:10 Snack
3:10 – 3:30 Stories and songs

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Curriculum Links

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Teachers Blogs and Websites »


Download our
Pre-K Paper!

Download our Pre-K Paper

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