Even our youngest learners can make meaningful connections to our community through service opportunities.
two, three, and four year-olds
At Marin Primary & Middle School we believe that the innocence, curiosity, and playful exploration of early childhood are key building blocks of healthy growth and future success. Our preschool teachers treasure childhood and encourage learning in the classroom and beyond, offering a developmental, play-based program where children thrive. Guided by supportive teams of teachers, children build self-confidence, gain independence, and develop critical social skills through their connections with teachers and other children. Our program supports the cognitive and social-emotional growth of young children, guided by the principles of Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Meadow and Forest - The Two Year Old Program
In the Meadow classroom, our focus is on helping children become comfortable as part of a group with classmates at their level. We begin our year together building routines and relationships and getting to know each other as we move forward into our year of learning and growing through play. Many of the children spend a great deal of time observing their new, stimulating environment before becoming full participants in play. We set up our days and activities so that each child is able to learn in his or her own way, developing important critical thinking skills such as problem solving. We identify and talk about our feelings as we grow together, learning about empathy and resilience on a daily basis. While building trusting and secure relationships, the children feel safe to begin to take ownership of their classroom and school, freeing them up for new opportunities as they move forward.
In the Forest classroom, teachers focus on helping children become increasingly comfortable as members of a group who socialize regularly with their peers. Two year-olds most often come to us largely focused on their own thoughts and desires, based on their developmental level. The Forest experience includes activities and tools to help the children to develop awareness of and empathy for the children around them. This process involves small steps through the year, and many children spend a great deal of time observing their new, stimulating environment before becoming full participants in play. They learn by engaging in a variety of creative endeavors, where the emphasis is on process and enjoying their experiences with classmates and teachers. Recognizing the innate sense of wonder in all children, the Forest teachers seek to cultivate the curiosity and questioning that further inspires an intense engagement with the world around them. The teachers and children identify and talk about feelings as they grow together, and practice and model problem-solving on a daily basis. The children learn that even when they run into difficulties, they are able to bounce back, and this resilience serves them well as they interact with the group. After building trusting and secure relationships through the year, our students begin to take ownership of their school, freeing them up for new opportunities as they move forward.
Seashore and Jungle - The Three Year Old Program
In the Seashore classroom, teachers teach their children to reach in a safe and secure learning environment, supporting them in their development and sense of identity. There are ample opportunities for exploration and physical activities, both indoors and outdoors. The teachers lead regular nature walks to help the children get to know their community and learn about surrounding habitats. And they engage in agricultural practices on a small scale in the school garden, learning about the impact of cultivation and learning to be responsible stewards of the earth.
The Jungle classroom provides a nurturing educational and social environment where each child’s cognitive, emotional and physical development is supported through child-centered play and developmentally appropriate activities. The children are encouraged to explore and experience the world around them in order to instill a genuine and enduring love of learning and a sense of independence, and have opportunities throughout the day to engage in explorations both inside and outside in nature. Through play, literature and discussion, children develop empathy, curiosity, creativity and collaboration.
Barn and Zoo - The Four Year Old Program
The Barn and Zoo students in our PreK program are encouraged to collaborate within the classroom as well as the larger school community, helping them to learn to make connections as a key component to a successful life long journey. Making connections means more than just making friends. It is about truly understanding and knowing your strengths and weaknesses; it is about acceptance, inclusion, and empathy; it is about having the ability to be your authentic self and the courage to share that with the world.
Childhood is a time for great discovery and exploration. As educators, the Barn and Zoo teachers know the importance of holding space for individual growth and development. We believe that innocence, curiosity, and the playful exploration of early childhood are the building blocks of healthy growth and future success. Barn and Zoo students are encouraged to slow down, take time to reflect, and understand that life is a process filled with little joys as well as obstacles to overcome. Each day the teachers guide and support students as they navigate their world through social interactions, taking risks, and developing perseverance as challenges arise.