Using feathers as a painting tool. 

4 Yea-old boys

In the ECEC, our approach to teaching is designed to make learning memorable, fun and inspiring.  In the program for 4-year-olds, we strive to maximize each child's enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge, and to develop individuality, with each child encouraged to reach his or her own potential.  We do this primarily through Reggio project work.

In project work in the 4's classroom, children investigate the topic through observation, experimentation, and by using books and technology.  They "represent" the topic through music, dance, drama, story, construction, sculpture, paint and drawing.  Follow these links to see examples of Reggio projects done by the 4-year-olds:

The teacher's written observations of the children's questions and conversations serve to guide a project.  Collaboration is key.  Children are encouraged to communicate, critique, negotiate, hypothesize and problem solve as they work in small groups.  Teachers are researchers with the children as they guide and document the children's work.

When the classroom is not buzzing with project work, the children are learning uppercase and lowercase letters, phonics are introduced, numbers reaffirmed, basic math skills explored, and science investigations carried out.  During the course of the year, our teachers collect documentation that includes the benchmarks from the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, so you can see your child's progress.  This documentation is put together into a portfolio for each child.