The learning goals in THE GREAT BODY SHOP Preschool Program support the following five developmental components: socio-emotional, cognitive, literacy, physical and aesthetic. All goals and objectives in the program are geared toward the child’s development in each of these areas. While some children will develop more gradually in one area than in others, there are ample opportunities to encourage growth in all areas in preparation for school readiness.
Goals in this area include enhanced self-esteem, positive attitudes, cooperative and pro-social behavior. THE GREAT BODY SHOP provides opportunities for self-awareness, self-expression, and understanding of oneself both as an individual and as a member of a group. The program seeks to promote healthy attitudes in each child toward his/herself and others in an environment where the child can grow to respect individual differences, develop concern for others, learn to share time and materials, accept responsibility, and resolve conflicts peacefully. Children will become increasingly independent, cooperative, and helpful to others as they demonstrate increased confidence in their growing abilities through Circle Time, Interest Areas, and Family Activities designed to foster healthy socio-emotional development.
In the area of cognitive development, THE GREAT BODY SHOP seeks to facilitate the acquisition of learning, early reading, and problem solving skills through multiple pathways. Thinking is what we do all the time, but critical thinking is a skill that is crucial to achievement and safety in the world in which we live. Children, even very young children, make decisions all the time. One goal is to help children discover different ways of thinking about things and apply what they have learned to new situations. Young learners will have the opportunity to arrange, classify, and recall information, patterns, and concepts so they can learn to make comparisons, draw conclusions, and predict outcomes during Circle Time or through Interest Area Activities.
Another goal is to encourage the development of creativity, flexibility, imagination, and collaborative thinking through fostering skills in make-believe play, group discussions, and story telling. In assuming pretend roles and make believe situations individually and with others, children will have the opportunity to increase their understanding of themselves and the world around them.
Reading and communication skills are at the heart of all learning experiences. One of the most important goals of THE GREAT BODY SHOP is to assist children in developing meaningful communication skills in all arenas; non-verbal, verbal, written, and beginning reading. The program gives children multiple opportunities to increase their verbal and non-verbal communication skills through games, songs, plays, group stories, and discussions of words and pictures, while increasing their awareness and interest in reading through a print-rich environment access to books, pictures, and group reading.
Children will work with the teachers to “read” THE GREAT BODY SHOP Big Book, create new stories for THE GREAT BODY SHOP, and design class books for the Interest Areas. Beginning reading and writing skills are encouraged through oral language, phonological awareness, print awareness, and alphabetic knowledge. Teachers are encouraged to apply their current use of word walls, word boards, pocket chart, and file folder activities to health education through the use of high frequency words found in each unit. Children will have the opportunity to experience language through experiences designed to foster emerging literacy skills, including oral and written language.
Goals in this area include providing ample opportunities for development of gross and fine motor skills, as well as developing awareness and appreciation for one’s own body and the things that it can do. The program seeks to help young children discover and develop skills in using their senses for enhanced sensory discrimination skills. Activities using creative movement to foster locomotor skills and development are integrated into Circle Time, Interest Areas, and the Family Bulletins.
The program also seeks to help children understand that they have a personal responsibility for the care of their own bodies and for the respect of others. Children will learn about personal space as they interact cooperatively with others.
Another goal of THE GREAT BODY SHOP is to facilitate the discovery of all that is beautiful in the world around us. The program seeks to encourage young children’s minds to be open to the wonder of design, form, rhythm, and expression through words, visual displays, music, and movement. The more children can be encouraged in their inherent sense of wonder, the easier it will be to build healthy values and positive attitudes. Visual arts, performing arts, and music play a major role in our overall wellness and are woven into the program through Circle Times as well as Interest Areas.