Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf

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1. Early Childhood » Preschool: 3-4 Year Olds

Preschool: 3-4 Year Olds

Our preschool class offered at MSAD is for 3/4 year olds. Students attend school Monday-Friday all day.

Preschool focuses on learning through play with an emphasis on whole child development through language acquisition. The daily schedule is built around exploration and building social language. The daily routine creates an environment for students to engage in self-directed play through centers. The classroom rotates through different themes, with every classroom material, activity, toys and books selected to foster growth through the different developmental domains - language, cognition, social-emotional, gross/fine motor and self help. 

Our centers include -

Dramatic play

Sensory Tub



Dress Up




During free play the teachers follow the lead of the child joining them in play to expose them to language, expand their imaginations, and encourage socialization with their peers. Come into the classroom and you will find a dramatic play area filled with child-sized kitchen appliances, dress-up clothes, mirrors, and props to fill your imagination. In the manipulative area you will find puzzles, table toys that develop fine-motor skills, and games. The block corner lets our children build to their heart’s content not only with blocks but with trains, cars, farms or other toys that take up a little more space. The reading area is filled with books that support the weekly theme and cuddly animals and pillows to snuggle with. There is a computer in the classroom that is programmed with early childhood games and is also used to display photo slide shows of the students to view and enjoy. We have a changing sensory table that the children can explore tactically with shovels, scoops, funnels, and more. Here they can find water, beans, flax seeds, rice, acorns, or other fun sensory experiences. A writing center with letter activities and an art table fill out the classroom.

The afternoon block of time includes a second block of free time where all of the early childhood and prekindergarten students play together through the thematic centers. This is followed by a separate second circle time and related activity.

The activities in the afternoon specifically target academic readiness skills including; letter recognition, writing, cutting, recognizing shapes, naming colors, counting, categorization and sequencing.