PS-2 Exploration

Play is the underpinning foundation of all learning in preschool. Teachers set up an environment of purposeful learning centers and activities. For young children, play is their work. Each Exploration class is taught by a certified early childhood teacher and an assistant. There is a half day or full day option with carpool pickup available at noon and 3:00 p.m. The Southfield Extended Day program is available until 5:30 p.m. and early drop-off are available beginning at 7:30 a.m. Exploration children who use the Extended Day Program remain with familiar teachers and friends. They continue the Exploration experience throughout the afternoon.

Early Literacy

The Exploration classroom is designed to instill an early love of literature, to enrich and increase vocabulary, to develop a desire for reading, and to encourage even our youngest children to begin using writing and art implements appropriately. Children have varied opportunities to experience books, songs, and rhymes through play, which encourages independent exploration and a developing understanding that words and pictures represent real things in their environment. Each week students will have story time with the Library Director. Teachers create relevant books for the children using photographs of students and class activities to encourage language development and early literacy.

Early Math

Our Exploration students enjoy varied opportunities and materials which convey mathematical concepts and language such as more and less, big and small. They see and touch different shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. Reading books that include counting and shapes and using objects in the classroom environment build early number awareness. Children also begin to categorize by attributes such as shape, size, and color. 

Science 

The Exploration Science curriculum introduces basic science concepts to our children. The are provided an array of materials and activities that encourage them to use their senses to learn about the environment. They discover that they can make things happen and solve simple problems. Teachers choose books and daily activities that respond to the curiosity and interests of children in their natural world.

Social Studies

Social Studies in the Exploration classroom is designed to develop a child’s positive identity and an emerging sense of self and others. We offer children many opportunities to become a part of the classroom community so that each child feels accepted and gains a sense of belonging. Class materials are chosen to build understandings of social roles, family, community, and diversity through appropriate play.

Technology

Technology in the Exploration classroom includes the use of audio players which children enjoy with teachers and in small groups. Children also enjoy viewing digital photos and videos to recall classroom experiences and activities. Due to the overwhelming availability of digital media outside the classroom, we focus on hands-on experiences while at school. Use of passive technology or media such as television, film, or DVDs is extremely rare and limited to developmentally appropriate programming.

Music

Music is integrated into every part of the Exploration curriculum. Teachers provide varied opportunities for children to sing, dance, and listen to music. Songs and movement expand their exposure to language, rhythm, and creative expression. Children enjoy time to play with and explore appropriate musical instruments. A music teacher visits the classroom twice a week. They sing, dance, move and play simple instruments.

Drama

Exploration students enjoy varied opportunities and classroom materials that encourage their natural interests in pretend and imaginative play. Books, puppets, dress-up clothes, home living centers, block centers, and dramatic props engage children in creative play as they explore new concepts in language, literature, and relationships.

Art

Art in the Preschool-2 Exploration classroom includes daily use of creative and age appropriate art materials by children. Teachers guide the use and care of washable paints, markers, scissors, glue, and paper to expand skills in children that support artistic expression. Children see and respond to the art of others in the classroom and learn vocabulary and concepts such as light, dark, and color.

Physical Education

Physical Education in the Exploration classroom is constant. The safe, appropriate environment allows them to move freely and achieve mastery of their bodies through self-initiated movement. They practice coordination, movement, balance, and perceptual-motor integration when they climb, build with blocks, sift and shovel sand, measure and pour water, and engage in art activities. Exploration children enjoy the playground each day for large motor development.