Somerset’s pre-kindergarten program builds on the foundation of our preschool program. While play experiences are still considered the most effective learning environment, more components are added which draw in pre-reading experiences which address oral language skills, concepts of print, phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge and writing and comprehension, pre-math experiences addressing numbers and operations, patterns, measurement and classification and data collection concepts and challenges, in a manner meaningful and interesting to the four year old.
More attention is given to Habits of Mind, which are a set of 16 problem-solving strategies, identified by Costa and Kallick that help individuals “work through real life situations, to equip that person to respond using awareness (cues), thought, and intentional strategy in order to gain a positive outcome.” The intention is that if children are supported in the development of these habits from a young age, in a developmentally appropriate manner, they will have a fundamental tool set that will serve them for the rest of their lives, both in, and outside of academic settings. These are the habits they will default to when presented with unfamiliar situations and challenges. They include the following behaviors:
Listening with understanding and empathy
Striving for accuracy
Questioning and posing problems
Applying past knowledge to new situations
Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision