LANGUAGE AND LITERACY
The Country Day School language arts program encourages and broadens each child’s interest in written and spoken language. The curriculum develops a love of language and literature and provides reading readiness skills in a developmentally appropriate manner. Children are introduced to letter names, letter shapes and letter/sound relationships through meaningful and age-appropriate games and activities. Literacy and language opportunities include a wide variety of multi-sensory activities and are integrated into all curricular areas throughout the day.
Language activities for the two-year-olds include:
- Expanding expressive and receptive language
- Following one to two step directions
- Repeating rhymes and fingerplays
- Story comprehension and retelling skills
- Contributing to group discussions
The goal of the CDS mathematics program is for the children to develop understanding and insight into the patterns of mathematics through the use of concrete materials and real-life experiences. The program works to help young children see relationships and interconnections in mathematics and to enable them to deal flexibly with mathematical ideas and concepts.
Mathematical activities for the two-year-olds include:
- Matching colors and shapes
- Sorting by color, shape and size
- Exploring number concepts (one, many, few, some, more)
- Comparing size (big, little, long, short)
- Beginning to count objects
Throughout the school year children use their five senses to explore scientific themes and ideas. Every science lesson incorporates hands-on activities to teach concepts related to each child’s interests and experiences. Studies of life science, environmental science, and physical science are included. Country Day School is very fortunate to have four beautiful acres of grounds on which to learn about science. Areas such as the ten playgrounds, the nature trail and the butterfly garden are perfect spots for everyday scientific exploration and discovery.
The science program at CDS focuses on the following school-wide units with different age-appropriate activities at each level from the twos through kindergarten.
- Color and Light
- Measurement and Mapping
- Neighborhood Habitats
- Properties of Matter
- Movement and Machines
The children at Country Day develop a foundation in social studies by exploring concept of self, family, school, neighborhood, community, town, city and country. Our goal is to explore how we organize ourselves and how we fit as contributing members of the school environment and in our society. Across the CDS Social Studies school-wide curriculum we will explore how people work, live, learn and play together to build a peaceful community. We will emphasize how community members depend on one another and focus on kind, fair, safe, and responsible attributes.
Areas of emphasis in social studies for our two-year-olds include:
- Investigating concept of self, family, school, neighborhood and community
- Encouraging kind, fair, safe and responsible characteristics
- Understanding diversity through exploration of similarities and differences, ex: reading two different versions of Goldilocks, sharing families cultural celebrations, exploring books and materials that demonstrate differing abilities, gender roles and cultures
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Social skills are woven through every aspect of the curriculum as children in every program learn how to develop and sustain friendships, resolve conflicts, take pride in their accomplishments and work together to achieve success in a classroom and school environment.
Areas of emphasis in social and emotional development for our two-year-olds include:
- Building a sense of self
- Separation from parents
- Engaging with other children and adults
- Learning to wait and take turns
- Managing feelings and emotions
- Self care and care of belongings
- Understanding rules and routines
The Country Day School art curriculum gives children opportunities to explore materials and media and discover works of art through observation and process-oriented activities. As the children experiment they are encouraged to be creative, realize artistic talents, solve problems and work collaboratively.
Areas of emphasis in art for our two-year-olds include:
- Artist studies
- Elements of art including: line, shape, color, texture, mood
- Using materials such as water color, paint, collage, pastels, crayons, markers, pencils, paper, scissors, chalk
- Working individually and collaboratively to create individual and whole group projects
The music programs at Country Day School focus on developing a love of music in the students. To accomplish this, each day the children sing, play musical games and fingerplays, listen to various genres of music, play instruments, and move to music. These creative explorations occur both in the classrooms and in music enrichment classes with our music specialist.
The 2-year-old classes participate in such music activities as:
- Beginning to learn the elements of music (high/low pitch, loud/soft intensity, fast/slow tempo)
- Experimenting with instruments
- Learning melodies and words to songs
- Dancing to music
- Responding to music with movement
The development of a positive self-image and the enjoyment of physical activities are important aspects of the CDS curriculum. Gross motor skills are practiced and refined through exciting group games, activities and obstacle courses. Children cultivate their fine motor skills with developmental tools like resistant clay and over-sized tweezers. The older students also enjoy handwriting activities that prepare them for success in their next school experience.
Fine and gross motor activities for two-year-olds offer opportunities to:
- Develop muscle strength, coordination, stamina and balance
- Throw, kick, bounce and catch balls with both hands
- Move to beat and rhythm
- Walk up and down stairs alternating feet
- Use art materials with purpose
- Copy a circle, vertical line and horizontal line
The library curriculum at CDS is designed to promote a love of reading as well as an introduction to book sense and library skills. Children will develop listening skills, become active participants in storytelling, and have the opportunity to engage with a variety of books and stories through use of props, songs and finger plays. Throughout the year certain themes will inspire activities across the age groups, such as celebrating Dr. Seuss, seasonal changes and holidays, exploration of particular regions, or an author or illustrator of the month.
- At the two-year-old age level, skills emphasized include:
- Developing listening skills
- Proper care and handling of books
- Identifying rhyme and repetition in stories
- Parts of a book
- Story comprehension