A Typical Preschool Readiness Day
7:40-8:45 Arrival/ Welcome/ Free Play
8:45-9:00 Circle Time
9:00-9:30 Small Group Learning
9:30-10:00 Enrichments: Math (Monday), French (Tuesday & Thursday), Library (Wednesday),
10:15-10:35 Music with Mrs. Davis
10:35-11:30 Outside Play
11:30-12:00 Closing Circle
Transition to Carpool Pickup or Extended Day
12:00-12:20 Outside Play
1:00-2:30 Rest Time
2:30-3:00 Clean-Up/Center Exploration
Transition to Carpool Pickup or Extended Day
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 Readiness class is taught by a certified
early childhood teacher and an assistant. Additional certified specialists
instruct students in music and French. Art, physical education, and technology
experiences are offered daily in the classroom, in the courtyard, and on the
playground. Music, French, and math specialists work with teachers and
students to enrich the learning experience. There is a half day or full day
option with carpool pickups at noon and 3:00 p.m. The Southfield Extended Day
program is available until 5:30 p.m. and early drop-off is available beginning
at 7:30 a.m. Readiness students who use the Extended Day Program remain with
familiar teachers and friends. They continue the Readiness experience
throughout the afternoon.
The Readiness Language Arts program expands upon the goals of the curriculum
and includes instruction in all areas of communication: listening, speaking,
writing and reading. Children develop an interest in and curiosity for reading
and enjoy practicing skills needed for both oral and written communication.
Children hear stories many times daily and participate in varied writing
experiences, as well as contributing to classroom language experience books.
Weekly library time is part of the Readiness experience. The reading readiness
program, “Happily Ever After,” part of the Rowland Reading Program, teaches early literacy skills through a
Readiness classes use the preschool component of the school-wide University of
Chicago Everyday Math Curriculum. It provides an age-appropriate, exciting,
and hands-on introduction to mathematical skills in numeration, operations,
patterns, functions, geometry, measurement, money, clocks, and data
collection. In addtion to classroom instruction a Southfield Math Specialist
visits classrooms weekly to provide engaging and challenging math activities
for students. She also teaches students in whole group and small group
settings and provides curriculum support.
The Readiness Science curriculum evolves from the curiosity of young children
and develops from the integration of science concepts with units or themes of
study in other subject areas. Teachers encourage children to learn by
discovery, experimentation, and using their senses. Children explore concepts
such as magnetism, temperature, states of matter, health, weather, and plant
and animal life.
The Readiness Social Studies curriculum focuses on the study of one’s self, the family, and the world around them. Thematic units incorporate art,
music, drama, and cooking to provide fun and meaningful experiences. Children
prepare and act out the First Thanksgiving Feast, study Native Americans,
construct Pueblo villages, and enjoy rotating dramatic play areas in their
classrooms. They participate in monthly school-wide Flag Ceremonies and the
Southfield Civilization Fair.
Technology is applied to learning in the Readiness classrooms partly through
the student use of science equipment such as balances, magnets, and scales.
Children also use multimedia equipment such as audio players as well as iPads.
Use of passive media such as television and DVDs is extremely rare and limited
to developmentally appropriate programming. Teachers are purposeful with
technology experiences and encourage children to enjoy these opportunities
with friends so that they build both cognitive and social skills.
Readiness children visit a certified music specialist each day and enjoy
opportunities to learn about a variety of forms of music in a program that
nurtures creativity, expression of feelings, self-esteem, and the ability to
cooperate with others. Their musical experience includes singing, movement,
playing instruments, folk dance, listening skills, and music appreciation. The
program integrates music and classroom instruction to support primary
curriculum themes. Additionally, the school’s orchestra director visits the classes for a “composer of the month” study of classical composers.
Readiness students use classroom centers and experiences to explore dramatic
roles in play and learn cooperation skills. Children participate in holiday
programs and in the school-wide Civilization Fair. In May, their year
culminates with a traditional Maypole performance which blends music, dance,
and poetry recitation.
Readiness students receive instruction in French twice weekly from a certified
French teacher. This content-based program centers upon the use of stories and
music as contexts for language acquisition. Children learn greetings,
responses, simple commands, weather words, and other basic conversational
Art in the Readiness classrooms is integrated into every curriculum area and
focuses more on process than product. Children delight in a variety of artful
experiences each day involving varied media such as tempera, watercolor, clay,
dough, glue, paper, and markers. They experiment with forms of collage,
drawing, printing, and construction. Immersion in the art experience through
hands-on activities develops improved motor skills, enthusiasm, and an
appreciation for art.
Physical Education for the Readiness child is on-going throughout each school
day. Children develop motor ability and skills of cooperation during daily
outdoor play times, in courtyard play, in music-movement activities, and in
daily classroom activities designed to promote balance, flexibility,
endurance, and small motor strength. Children are enthusiastic as they develop
competence in motor ability, fitness, and personal social interaction.