Parent Guide to the Curriculum: Pre-K

Language & Literacy

An important component of the pre-kindergarten program is the academic learning that takes place. The most important aspect of learning is “hands-on learning” or “learning by doing.” Students need materials and activities that they can handle, explore and use. Hands-on exploratory play allows them to manipulate and experiment with objects and materials in their very own classroom. The teachers work towards purposeful learning. They start at this young age, helping students develop readiness skills to be successful as they continue through school.

Learning Targets

Letter Naming

  • In school we will expose and begin to master upper and lowercase letters.
  • At home you can practice letter naming by finding and naming letters in your environment.

Letter Sounds

  • In school we will expose and learn to produce letter sounds. Target sounds are m, a, t, c, g, d, o, i.
  • At home you can reinforce this skill by practicing the sounds letters make.


  • In school we will use language and literacy activities to develop rhyming skills.
  • At home you can recite nursery rhymes, poems and fingerplays and sing songs to reinforce this skill.

Listening Comprehension

  • In school we will read stories and encourage students to ask and answer questions about the story and retell familiar parts of the story.
  • At home you can read to your child every single day!


Learning Targets

Count to 20

Touch and count up to 10 objects

  • In school we will provide hands on activities to practice this skill.
  • At home you can provide opportunities to reinforce this skill using toys, household objects or simple everyday chores such as counting how many napkins are on the table.

Recognize and match a numeral to a group of objects

  • In school we will use numeral cards and various manipulatives to connect meaning to the number shown.
  • At home you can make number cards and encourage your child to practice matching a number card to a group of objects.

Identify and describe shapes

  • In school we will expose and reinforce the names and properties of a circle, triangle, square and rectangle.
  • At home you can practice naming and describing shapes while reading books, playing games (such as “I spy”), or completing puzzles.

Comparing objects using measurement words

  • In school we will provide various opportunities to work with weight, height and capacity.
  • At home you can play sink and float at bath time, weigh and compare household objects, or create a growth chart of the family.

Writing numerals 0-5

  • In school we will introduce and practice writing numerals using various tools.
  • At home you can practice writing numerals using sand, flour, whipped cream, shaving cream, markers, crayons and pencils.

Addition and subtraction up to 5

  • In school we will introduce, illustrate and act out simple addition and subtraction stories.
  • At home you can reinforce this skill by illustrating and acting out addition and subtraction stories using a variety of objects.

Social/Emotional Development

Children involved in the pre-kindergarten program develop strong social skills. In the classroom, the teacher and the teaching assistant create a sense of trust and warmth within their environment. The classroom team will nurture and support relationships so that students can be encouraged to become independent. The teacher and the teaching assistant allow the children the opportunity to explore and question their experiences in order to find out more about themselves. It is important that children develop the necessary strategies to enjoy the process of learning. We want children to be confident in their ability to master new skills and learn new ideas, and to take pride in their accomplishments. Our team allows the children to learn and develop at their own individual pace.

In addition to students own independence, the ability to make and sustain friendships is a vital part of the program. Learning to work with other students and in groups is a necessary skill that they will come across from this point forward. Creative problem solving with other students helps them improve their social skills, learn to collaborate, and improves creativity at this very young and impressionable age.

Physical Development

Gross Motor Milestones for 4-Year-Olds

  • Balance on one leg without help for 10 seconds
  • Stand on tiptoes for three seconds
  • Jump over objects six inches high
  • Jump forward 10 times
  • Jump forward 10 to 15 inches without a running start
  • Hop 10 times on preferred foot without falling
  • Walk three steps forward using a heel-to-toe gait on a straight line
  • Swing, pumping legs, independently
  • Throw a small ball about 10 feet
  • Throw a ball into a medium-size container, such as a trash can
  • Catch a large thrown ball with hands only
  • Run forward and kick a stationary ball forward
  • Perform forward somersaults without help

Fine Motor Milestones for 4-Year-Olds

  • Use a static tripod grasp – holds a pencil or crayon with thumb, index and middle fingers while the hand moves as a unit
  • Copy a cross, right and left diagonal lines, square and X
  • Touch tip of each finger to thumb
  • Draw a person with two to four body parts
  • Color within a picture with no more than quarter-inch deviations from the coloring lines
  • Move the paper while cutting along a line with scissors
  • Cut out a circle with scissors
  • Use a fork correctly
  • Get dressed and undressed with help for fasteners (buttons, zippers, snaps)