2 to 3 years
The Bumble Bee Group is made up of our youngest students, the two and three year olds. The main focus of this group is on social and emotional development. There is emphasis put on getting along with friends, resolving conflicts, listening to teachers, using words to communicate, recognizing feelings and expressing those emotions and feelings in an appropriate way.
The Bumble Bees begin their group time with a short circle time where they sing a couple of songs or finger plays, listen to a story, or have a discussion about any variety of topics. At the beginning of the school year, their structured time starts out as only about 10 to 15 minutes. As the year progresses and the children grow, their attention spans also grow. The teachers adjust their structured time to reflect the children maturing throughout the year.
After a short circle time the children participate in a small group activity that the teachers have planned for them, often tied to a topic that was discussed during circle time. The Bumble Bees enjoy a variety of sensory activities, art activities and music movement activities during group time. After they have finished with their structured group activities they have free choice time in the housekeeping and block area, or they head to the outside classroom for structured large motor activities or free choice.
3 to 4 years
Our Ladybug Group is comprised of mostly 3 to 4 year olds. Our Ladybugs have grown and matured since their days as Bumble Bees. Their attention spans have grown and developed as well. They enjoy sitting for a longer story or two. They enthusiastically engage in group discussions during circle time. In order to reflect their changing needs and abilities the Ladybug’s structured group time lasts longer, usually about 30 minutes at the beginning of the school year.
Our Ladybug teachers plan activities and have discussions about topics that are engaging and relevant to the children’s daily lives. Their topics range from seasonal themes to animals to gardening, and anything else that the children bring up that sparks interest. Through their explorations the children learn valuable math, science and language skills.
4 to 5 years
Our Butterfly Group is our Pre-Kindergarten Class. The children in this group are our four and five year olds and are all eligible to enter Kindergarten the following year. Butterfly Group is more structured and lasts longer than our other two groups, typically about an hour. It is designed to give our Butterflies the knowledge they are expected to have before entering kindergarten, in a way that is fun and engaging for them.
Our Butterfly teachers continue to plan themes that are used as a framework for activities and discussions that teach the math, science and literacy skills needed for kindergarten. We also use the Zoo Phonics program in our Butterfly Group to help the children learn phonics and letter recognition in a fun and exciting way.
"The environment at Great Beginnings is very creative and nurturing. I genuinely feel that the staff members care about teaching little ones and take pride in what they do."