General Program Information
At Weekday, exceptional Early Childhood Educators collaborate with developmental specialists to implement a program that reflects children’s interests while meeting curricular goals. We create an engaging environment using high quality, open-ended materials for focused exploration and imaginative play. Our low student-to-teacher ratio allows teachers to facilitate the individual and group conversations that enhance analytical and creative thinking. The relationships built by the teachers with each child and between the children themselves are the foundation of our learning community. We intentionally create classrooms with an age range of about a year so that developmental similarities and variations work to stimulate individual growth. Additionally, we provide snacks as well as a nutritionally balanced lunch catered by Butter Beans Kitchen. All children have an opportunity to experience and practice additional methods of self-expression and communication with our Integrated Arts specialists during weekly classes in Art, Dance, Music and Literature.
Daily routine and the activities are designed to give children an opportunity to develop attachments to their teachers as they are adjusting to separating from families and caregivers. As teachers build individual connections with each child, they facilitate the development of the social skills and emotional regulation necessary to forming friendships. These relationships provide the foundation for a comfortable, lively community of learners. The day is structured to provide plenty of time for teachers to support children as they independently perform self-care tasks like putting on jackets and using the bathroom while they are learning traditional school routines such as lining up, walking in the hallway and participating in group conversations. Children are asked to identify and articulate feelings when working together to solve problems. Early academics such as letter recognition and number awareness are embedded in the classroom environment. Both indoor and outdoor play is part of the daily schedule. Children in these programs also take part in Art, Dance, Music and Library classes each week.
In the older students classrooms, the play based, emergent curriculum continues to focus on the social/emotional confidence essential for young minds to absorb academic information in the coming school years. Through literature, hand-on projects like woodworking and cooking, and collaborative problem solving, children use analytical skills like comparing/contrasting, making predictions and sequencing. As children become more proficient at self-care tasks, their responsibilities expand to include classroom jobs which nurture their perception of themselves as competent, capable members of a classroom community. Both indoor and outdoor play is part of the daily schedule. Children in these programs also take part in Art, Dance, Music and Library classes each week.
In this classroom, the teachers introduce traditional academics within a child centered, play based classroom. While we continue to implement the emergent curriculum methods used with younger children at Weekday, teachers lead children toward in depth exploration and investigation. Using a social studies lens, the children research the Hudson River out their classroom window. Taking walks around the neighborhood leads to studies of architecture and gargoyles. Teachers work directly with children on handwriting, literacy and math skills. Both indoor and outdoor play is part of the daily schedule. Special classes in Music, Dance, Art, Sports and Literature are built into the regular schedule.
The Weekday School offers each child a rich variety of sensory experiences during weekly Visual Arts, Literature, Dance and Music classes. The arts teachers tailor classes to serve all students at a developmentally appropriate level, working from basic concepts to increasingly complex projects as the children mature and gain new skills. The Arts teachers collaborate with each other and classroom teaching teams to integrate various modes for self-expression into the daily fabric of the child’s experience and the school’s culture.
Visual Arts: Children will work with a rich variety of materials and techniques. Work in the Art Studio ranges from basic introductory exploration of new materials to long-term projects developed in tandem with classroom teachers and/or the arts team. Self-guided “open studio” time allows children to develop art preferences and time to return to favorite activities.
Dance: Work in the dance studio encourages a joy of movement while developing technical skills, communication skills and stretching creativity. As we connect and relate movement to music, literature, poetry and art, children’s relationship to dance is broadened. The dance curriculum cultivates each child’s ability to understand the roles of dancer, dance-maker and dance-viewer.
Music: In music class, students practice listening and responding to music in an imaginative way. Stories and creative manipulation of instruments deepen appreciation of the music as students grow to create their own stories and sounds. Various instruments are made available as students experience vibration and practice rhythm. Students also discover and practice using their singing voices to sing songs related to the season or to classroom projects. We come together as a Weekday Community once a month to celebrate and sing our songs together.
Literature: The Weekday School has a fully equipped library featuring over 1700 early childhood books as well as books on parenting for adults. Our Librarian provides weekly library classes, afternoon Story Time sessions and Parent Workshops throughout the year. An online catalog is allows the entire Weekday community to check on the availability of titles.