A Focus on Literacy
In ERUSD preschool classrooms, children master the alphabet with the “Benchmark Buddies” program-- a developmentally appropriate system for teaching letter names and their corresponding sounds. Each week, preschool teachers introduce their students to a new letter of the alphabet. Every letter is associated with a fun, colorful character and related activities for children to enjoy. Over the course of each week, children sing, dance, read, paint, and write about their new Benchmark Buddy. And, by Friday, children are experts on the letter of the week!
In an effort to ensure that all preschool students enter kindergarten prepared for success, the ERUSD Early Learning Program utilizes the High Scope Numbers Plus math curriculum. “Numbers Plus” is a comprehensive, research-based mathematics program designed specifically for preschool students.
Aligned with the standards of the National Council for the Teachers of Mathematics, Numbers Plus provides students with key foundational math skills that they will need for success in elementary school and beyond. With Numbers Plus, teachers use fun, engaging materials to teach children lessons in five content areas: Number Sense and Operations; Geometry; Measurement; Algebra; and Data Analysis.
Each of the program’s 120 lessons gives children opportunities to participate in hands-on activities that promote solid concept development and problem-solving skills. For example, children play with interesting materials like colorful number cubes to perform basic addition and manipulate 3D shapes to learn about geometry; these important early experiences will lay the foundation for ERUSD’s preschoolers to become the mathematicians of tomorrow!
Utilizing the Art in Action curriculum, preschool students study the lives and masterpieces of several great artists over the course of the school year. To promote oral language development and critical thinking, children participate in “art talks” with their teachers in which they discuss and analyze great works of art from such notable greats as Vincent Van Gogh, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Wasily Kandinsky.
After learning about the artists and studying their work, children then roll up their sleeves and get to work producing their own masterpieces. Using a variety of materials- such as oil pastels and clay, children produce original work inspired by the style and techniques of the masters they have studied. From three-dimensional Native American inspired sculpture, to formal floral still life paintings in the style of Van Gogh, the children’s work has been nothing short of phenomenal!
As part of our science curriculum, children participate in science experiments and STEM challenges aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards. Preschoolers’ STEM challenges use high interest, developmentally appropriate topics as a catalyst for rigorous STEM learning. For example, after reading The Three Billy Goats Gruff, preschoolers design a bridge for the Billy goats using engineering and design principles. It is our expectation that teaching STEM in the early years will lay the foundation for future academic success and prepare students for the careers of the future!