Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf

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1. Early Childhood » Pre-Kindergarten: 4-5 Years Olds

Pre-Kindergarten: 4-5 Years Olds

Our Pre-Kindergarten students stay a full day in the classroom. Their schedule follows the standard MSAD schedule and is Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. daily and on Fridays from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Morning snacks can be provided by the parents or purchased from MSAD. Lunches are provided. A half hour quiet time follows lunch where children rest or read quietly which is followed by a half hour of speech and language development with the speech and language teacher.
The Pre-Kindergarten class follows the same routine as the early childhood group with free play through thematic centers focusing on the whole child as well as gross motor time, circle activities, and art. In addition, the Pre-Kindergarten class has a daily calendar and sharing time. With older children, you will see more time where they are playing together expanding on their play with imaginative toys and make-believe. Their art will begin to resemble favorite items such as people, cars, and houses. They take pride in writing their name on their work or writing letters and familiar words. They develop turn taking strategies not only with toys but with conversational skills. They work collaboratively to build gigantic structures to play with. They develop skills to click using the mouse on the computer to navigate through computer games.

The afternoon block of time includes a second block of free time where all of the early childhood and Pre-Kindergarten students play together. This also allows for children who have language delays to interact with younger children who may be more at their language level. The younger children look up to the older children in the classroom as they are role models for the next stages of their development. The benefits for both groups are wonderful. This combined learning through play time is followed by a separate second circle activity and craft or a weekly visit to our MSAD library for storytelling.

The Pre-Kindergarten class, throughout the center and circle activities specifically target academic readiness skills including but not limited to: letter recognition, beginning to read sight words, writing uppercase and lowercase letters as well as our names and other favorite words, cutting, recognizing shapes, counting, categorization and sequencing.

Above is a signed story from two of our Pre-Kindergarten students, 'The Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.'