At Ecopia Day School, our programs are designed for infants to pre-kindergartners. Each level is thoughtfully created for age-appropriate learning with an approach inspired by the Reggio Emilia method for teaching young children. Starting as toddlers, children at Ecopia Day School continue building on skills through projects that develop from their own ideas and interests.
3 to 15 months
The infant classroom is designed for movement, exploration and discovery in a safe, comfortable environment that resembles home. Natural lighting, thoughtfully displayed materials and age-appropriate soft toys invite curiosity while promoting a calm ambiance.
Our teachers work to foster feelings of security and independence by continuously communicating intentions and outcomes. We incorporate daily routines centered on the needs and wants of infants. Routines are key for a predictable class environment that facilitates social and emotional security.
Activities for infants incorporate development of fine and gross motor skills, art, music, and language.
15 months to 2 year olds
We believe in the importance of creating a strong bond between the child and teacher. Our teachers create and facilitate a classroom atmosphere where toddlers are treated as capable individuals whose opinions, actions and thoughts are respected and valued.
As toddlers are just learning to communicate verbally, significant emphasis is placed on modeling appropriate language and behavior. This is designed to create a respectful environment where trust, self-esteem, communication, independence and teamwork are represented
Toddlers also are beginning to create their own identities. Through introduction of the Reggio Emilia inspired philosophy, teachers offer them experiences and provocations to discover and interact with a variety of materials. They are encouraged to explore areas of interest by working with paper, clay, sand, water, and paint.
Teachers take physical and verbal curiosity cues from toddlers to develop “real world” projects through which children can investigate their surroundings. The projects create a framework for learning that includes emergent literacy, math experiences, science, social studies technology, music, art, dramatic play, sensory, and motor-development experiences.
2 to 3 year olds
Socialization is a key aspect of a child’s development during the early preschool age. Children transition from independent play to active play in groups. Sharing, taking turns, respecting, and listening to others are actions that become more meaningful. Their curiosity will continue to launch projects that allow them to experiment and investigate through their learning.
The classroom becomes an environment filled with discovery. It is equipped with unique project-related equipment as well as the basic supplies needed to offer a diverse educational experience.
As the children continue projects, they can take advantage of the Atelier studio and begin to use a variety of tools such as brushes, tape, scissors, the light table and pictures, among others. Early preschool children will continue building on previously learned curricular experiences in the areas of literacy, math, science, social studies, technology, music, and art.
3 to 4 year olds
At this age, children are constantly questioning their surroundings. Their creations are built with the intention to obtain a final product.
Through activities that fine-tune their gross and motor skills, children are given opportunities to trace over light tables and wall-displayed image projections. They work with wire, clay, string and natural elements to facilitate learning and experiences. The written and spoken languages begin to take an active role in their lives.
Teachers deliver an “emergent curriculum” that is built upon children’s curiosity, emerging interests, ideas and questions. Lessons are planned in response to the group’s interests and concerns, and the curriculum expands into inquiry. Teachers and students begin to become co-learners to understand concepts in all curricular areas.
4 to 5 year olds
Children are approaching the world with curiosity and becoming complex thinkers. They continue to participate in project learning in the emergent curriculum.
Project works provides ample opportunity for discussion, decision-making, choices, cooperation and evaluation during the course of an investigation. Through projects, teachers plan and deliver a wide variety of educational experiences which incorporate literacy, math, science, social students, nature, art, music, dramatic play and motor development.
During pre-kindergarten, children begin using computers and a smart board as sources of communication, learning and research.