The Multi-age classroom includes eighteen children ages three and four, two full time -teachers and a part-time teacher.
Organization of the Day
The organization of our day is designed to strike a balance between intentionality and flexibility, for child initiated play, encounters with open ended materials, gatherings, replenishment, and small group work.
Children and families are greeted with soothing sounds, sweet smells, and warmth by educators and staff eager to help them transition and develop their own ways of saying goodbye to parents; some children desire more time during this transition than others. The room is open for exploration.
During “Morning Tea” children are offered a nourishing snack. Our morning teas are served family-style and create a savory moment for children to converse and build relationships with friends as well as practice “practical life” skills such as pouring, taking turns, asking for what you need, cleaning and so forth.
Most children are independent in the Multi-age living room and they may use the toilet as needed. However, for some children that still need more guidance, teachers will invite them to use the toilet every two hours or as needed. These moments are opportunities for learning, as teachers engage children in conversations and support their practical life skills such as hand washing and dressing.
After the children have finished their morning tea, we gather as a whole group. The morning meeting is a brief but magical time for us to come together and celebrate each other’s presence with singing, dancing, and engaging in creative movement. Morning meetings may also include storytelling, discussions, and voting on critical issues. Then children make choices about where they‘d like to play and work for the day.
Learning Choices and Small Group
Teachers maintain an environment that is engaging and filled with provocations based on the children’s interest. From our morning meeting, we go into our planned small group work and children make choices about which provocations they wish to explore and teachers often offer suggestions. You may find us baking fresh bread, using clay to represent our homes, tending to our garden, constructing the tallest building in Atlanta, investigating a praying mantis, walking around our community, working in the studio, living-room, or other areas within the School. Explorations of materials, continued project work, and meaningful exploration of classroom areas are some examples of what might occur during small group time.
We all come together again for a family-style lunch around noon. The children eat at tables in small groups with an educator. Children are full participants in this experience, helping to set the tables, creating centerpieces, engaging in full conversations about the day, and sharing in the responsibilities of cleaning up. Once the children have settled into their new routines, parents are welcome to join us for lunch.
Personal Care and Relaxation
After lunch, the children take care of their bodies by washing their hands and faces, brushing their teeth, and using the restroom. Afterwards, we prepare our bodies to rest. You’ll find us practicing yoga, reading stories quietly, and rubbing backs. The length of each child’s nap varies, but all of the children do sleep. Soothing music is played in the classroom as the children fall asleep. Educators attend meetings and take their breaks during this time.
After children wake up they have a healthy afternoon snack.
If the weather permits, we go outside to the playground for the afternoon. Small group work, open explorations within the school, and mixed-aged group activities may occur within these periods.
Late Day and Afternoon Gathering
Between 4:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. most parents and children prepare for the transition from the school to their homes. Special messages and highlights of the day are also shared. If you would like to speak with an educator at length, we suggest that you schedule a mini conference. The Center closes promptly at 5:15 p.m.