STEAM Enrichment (for preschool/kindergarten ages 3-6)
STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math. STEAM is STEM plus the inclusion of “the Arts”, which includes all arts (music, drama, dance, movement)… not just visual art.
Our STEAM program is offered as an integrated 5 full day STEAM/Montessori combination class. Children attend about half their time in Montessori and the other half in STEAM.
The STEAM model supports and reinforces the learning that children acquire in their Montessori classroom and gives children more time to explore topics at their own pace. Children benefit socially in this environment where they can participate in collaborative group activities and projects. The STEAM program provides activities that strengthen a child’s fine and large motor skills, support concentration and cognitive skills and ignite the imagination.
Each day children are engaged in creative problem-solving, collaboration, investigation, and open-ended exploration. A wide assortment of learning material, creative activities and planned projects are woven throughout the classroom, providing children with plenty of hands-on learning experiences. Opportunities for both individualized and group learning occur daily.
Engineering, Construction & Technology
Students engage in a variety of large and small projects and are provided with a range of materials: specialized building blocks, Legos, puzzles, cylinders, found and recycled materials, and items that can be taken apart and put together again in new and creative ways. Throughout the year children build their own simple machines and see physics in action. They can build a bridge or tower or create a grade with a ramp and race cars to see which car goes fastest and furthest, or construct a pulley system to lift a basket of toys.
Engineering and construction encourages and challenges children to plan and solve problems as they invent and create. They are provided with a vast assortment of art and recycled materials for open-ended art exploration. Children actively construct their knowledge as they plan and design, tapping into their imagination and creativity.
Students learn how to use interactive apps to teach math, logic and reasoning skills, creativity and problem-solving skills all within the STEAM technology space. Students will work on computer programs to learn those skills. Children have opportunities for both individualized and group learning. As a child’s skills increase, the level of technology provided will also increase to match the child’s development. An introduction to coding with screen-free, hands-on materials also is incorporated.
Music & Movement
Children have plenty of opportunities for inside and outside (weather permitting) movement and exercise. Using various specialized gym equipment and yoga, children develop coordination and balance while strengthening core muscles. Outside activities allow for relay races, tricycle and scooter play, and organized group games where children strengthen large muscles, develop hand-eye coordination, learn to listen and follow directions, cooperate, take turns, and practice good sportsmanship. The simple act of playing outside builds confidence, promotes creativity, teaches responsibility, reduces stress and fatigue, and most importantly, gets children moving!
Children also engage in plenty of music and movement activities, learn to sing folk and classic children’s songs, and discriminate between different types of instruments. Children learn to hear the rhythm and harmony in songs and identify song structure and notes.
Children explore the world, learning about the people, culture and biomes of the earth’s continents. As we go on our world journey, it is exciting to learn about the history, hear different languages and music, learn new songs, and try out new dances at every destination we visit. We travel the continents from Antarctica to Australia, with many exciting and educational stops along the way. World arts and crafts, and international cooking are threaded through this joyful, multi-cultural interactive and hands-on class, perfect for the curious little explorer!
A wealth of hands-on activities demonstrate various elements of biology, zoology, physics, circuitry, and chemistry through the exploration of simple chemical reactions. On one day the children might study metamorphosis and the similarities and differences between plants, insects, and animals, and on another day, they may make their own clouds, or learn about polymers and create their own plastic from milk. Other areas of investigations may include the study of the human body, rocks and geodes, magnetism, animal habitats, and the study of light and rainbows and the study of live mammals, bugs, worms, and reptiles.
In addition to daily activities and experiments, the STEAM teachers have created an assortment of classroom STEAM kits to engage young children in creative problem-solving and collaboration. The kits introduce children to basic math and science skills such as prediction, experimentation, forming a conclusion and data collection. Our youngest children can conduct a simple experiment to stack multiple blocks and record how many are stacked before they fall, while our older children are learning to take their data from the same experiment and record it in simple graphs. Geared and individualized to meet the skills of this multi-age group, children will learn how to predict, experiment, collect data and form a conclusion in this dynamic classroom environment.
Children are given the opportunity to develop the essential language and literacy skills of listening, speaking and vocabulary building, as well as using their imagination while acting out favorite stories, making up their own stories, and playing with puppets. Children will use their artistic skills to create props and costumes and work on crafts connected to our story of the week. Through our classroom activities, based on nursery rhymes, favorite fairy tales, well-loved classics and new releases, and stories from around the world, children learn to recognize rhyming words, notice the rhythm in spoken language, create a storyline, predict the outcome and learn the moral of each story as part of character education.
Storytelling is a wonderful way to weave lessons from the entire week into a fun and engaging conclusion. Beans from Jack and the Beanstalk are integrated into science Thursday, while international stories reinforce lessons from World Travels.
Clean Recyclables wanted: Students love to create a variety of crafts with items you may be recycling at home. Items such as shoe boxes, paper towel and toilet paper tubes, oatmeal tubes, corks, clean egg cartons, clean/empty water bottles, buttons, and clean baby food jars may find new life as special child-made projects. Check with our STEAM/Montessori Teachers if you have items to donate and thank you for helping replenish our supplies!