At ITC, we believe that children learn by constructing understanding based on experiences. When children encounter new information, play with materials in differing ways and have meaningful exchanges with other children and adults, they are making sense of their worlds. Children have their own preferred strengths, learning styles, different interests, likes, dislikes and habits. As educators, we accommodate children by providing appropriate learning environments and by arranging learning opportunities that match their strengths and preferences.
Exploring nature is a big part of our curriculum and it is woven into every age group, from infancy through school-age. Our preschool groups have an additional component to their exposure to nature - weekly nature walks led by our on-staff naturalist, Rob McLaughlin, from mid-September through June. Rob joins each preschool classroom one morning a week, Tuesday through Friday, on a rotating basis so that all children enrolled have an opportunity to experience trips to the Big Woods. Sessions typically have a particular focus that gets introduced with a short lesson - examples include animal tracking, scat, the food chain, camouflage, wildflower hunts, frog catching, scavenger hunts, tree identification, and more. Classroom teachers enhance the teaching introduced by Rob and support children's burgeoning interests in natural phenomena through different avenues in the daily curriculum. Our school is wholly committed to encouraging a child's innate interest in and affinity for the natural world.
Music is an integral component to the rich curriculum offered in our preschool groups. Teachers fold musical experiences into their daily Circle Times, including exposure to a range of rhythm instruments, such as rhythm sticks, egg shakers, bells, drums and castanets, offering children time to explore musical properties, shared music-making, and community joy. Teachers are well-versed in traditional songs and fingerplays and regularly train together as a staff to build strong musical literacy. This year, ITC is proud to partner with Indian Hill Music to include a special music time for children enrolled in preschool on Mondays, beginning in October. Music for Aardvarks, Indian Hill's newest music program, designed specifically for preschool children, will be offered as an enhancement to the existing ITC music curriculum. Music for Aardvarks is a refreshingly innovative, intelligent, and irresistibly appealing program that offers spirited yet structured age-appropriate classes led by Indian Hill’s highly-qualified, warm, and engaging teachers, who invite young learners to let their interests and curiosity guide instruction; an introduction to the diverse world of music through upbeat and relatable original songs paired with traditional songs from around the globe; and active participation in the joy of music-making through games, singing, dancing, storytelling, instrumental “jam sessions,” and other activities that will build a foundation for future music studies and a lifelong love of music. We are thrilled to have this special addition to our weekly offerings to children and look forward to building our center-wide repertoire through this delightful opportunity.
Sensory exploration is vital to early childhood exploration, and perhaps no where is that more visible than in art. At ITC, we offer daily opportunities for children to express themselves through art, believing that this expression is a critical medium for expressing feeling, analyzing and interpreting the world, and developing skills to see the world through other points of view. Art activities may include structured activity where children are led in small groups to create a project such as binoculars made from paper towel holders to open-play, choice activities where teachers offer various mediums (paper, beads, pipe cleaners, water colors, and more) to allow free expression. On any given day, you may find ITC's preschool groups painting masterpieces hung on the fences outdoors, creating unique tie-dyes, or constructing a near life-sized cardboard castle as teachers extend children's natural interest. Each year, a piece of every child's art is showcased in our Annual Art Show, bringing together friends, family, and community to celebrate our children's contribution to the arts.
Whether it's nurturing and harvesting from our community gardens, slicing cucumbers, preparing soup, or making muffins, the children of ITC are no strangers to the kitchen. Children are served group snacks each morning and afternoon, sourced from a selection of ITC provided and parent donated items that range from yogurt and fruit to hummus and vegetables. This community time encourages children to experience new and familiar foods together as they learn more about keeping their bodies healthy and strong. With a shared in-house kitchen facility, teachers and students also partner together in cooking. They create nutritious (and delicious) recipes throughout the year - ranging from zucchini muffins for afternoon snack to a hearty fall soup for a community lunch day. Our love of cooking together runs deep at ITC, where you'll see even our older infants stirring and scooping. We are incredibly fortunate to have our own community gardens on campus, where each class - from infancy to school age - is in charge of growing 2 vegetables from seed to harvest. Watching the process of a seed sprout and grow, and ultimately bear fruit, intimately connects our children to their food source. In summer, you'll see an extra sense of pride when our children are preparing zucchini from their own garden.
3 years by August 31st; Up to 14 children per class with a minimum of 2 accompanying teachers throughout the day
PSA and PSB, we believe in creating an environment that is nurturing, safe and respectful of each child as an individual. We will provide opportunities for exploration that are fun, engaging and that promote curiosity and a love of learning. Our room will be a place where children can challenge themselves, make mistakes and learn to try again. Using our indoor and outdoor space as our learning environment, we will give your child a place to explore and grow, building relationships as we work together. We value families becoming part of our community of learners as we begin your child's preschool years at ITC. We believe that respect and collaboration help create a welcoming, happy, environment; where everyone’s thoughts and voices are valued and there is a sense of belonging. The teachers work as observers and facilitators to help support and extend the children’s interests and development. In this way, we hope to have a year full of growth, learning and fun.
4 years by August 31st; Up to 16 children per class with a minimum of 2 accompanying teachers throughout the day
PSC and PSD believe in building up a child’s confidence, both within themselves and socially, so as to encourage an all-around positive sense of self. It is important to us that the children not only learn how to respect themselves, each other and the environment, but also to feel that they are supported and valued in the community. Our teachers will provide opportunities to explore, wonder, discover and to expose children to new possibilities. We will recognize and respect the children’s interests and developmental needs and will design a classroom that fosters and encourages growing independence and self-sufficiency. We will value the connections and friendships the children create with one another and help them establish new relationships as we come together as a thoughtful, caring community.Preschool is a safe and nurturing environment where children are able to find their voice, engage with others and positively interact with the world around them.