Learning Centers

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Preschool children learn best through play and hands-on experiences. St. Paul Preschool provides learning centers designed to contribute to this type of learning. The classroom environment has a variety of open-ended learning centers, which include:

  • Dramatic play (varies—housekeeping, Dr. office, grocery store, puppets, dress up clothing, etc.)
  • Manipulatives (puzzles, Lego, felt board, games, push toys)
  • Creation station (painting, drawing, coloring, crafts, art work)
  • Science/math/nature (magnifying glasses/magnets/counting objects/cooking)
  • Sensory (play dough, water, corn or sand table, bubbles)
  • Cognitive (learning games and activities)
  • Reading zone—library and story reading
  • Blocks—unit blocks
  • Listening (audio tapes, music)

Each student uses these centers at his/her own level, gaining enjoyment and success from the
learning experiences. To contribute to the learning center's effectiveness, the staff will serve as
a guide to encourage individual students to use materials in such a way as to further their
development.

Outdoor Classroom

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Our mission at the Preschool is to assist children to discover God’s wonders. A perfect setting for children to explore His wonders is through nature. The Preschool Ministry has been designing an outdoor nature classroom for several years. The nature area will be divided into several areas: a place to gather, dirt/sand, nature art, building, messy materials, dramatic play stage, climbing, action area, science area, gardening, bike and butterfly area. The work will be done in phases and a couple of phases have been completed. Not only will they learn of God’s wonders, but research has found that the natural world is important for children’s overall development. As Richard Louv implies in his book, Last Child in the Woods, the nation must invest in “saving our children from nature-deficit disorder.” And Ruth A. Wilson, author of The Wonders of Nature: Honoring Children’s Ways of Knowing states the following:

“Early experiences with the natural world have been positively linked to the sense of wonder. This way of knowing, if recognized and honored, can serve as a life-long source of joy and enrichment, as well as an impetus or motivation, for further learning.”