Welcome to Linton Hall School’s Little Sprouts!
The Linton Hall School’s Little Sprouts Preschool Program is an excellent opportunity for children aged two years, six months to five years to develop the skills necessary to be life-long learners. Drawing upon 30 years of experience in early childhood education we have created a nurturing, developmentally appropriate learning environment designed to ensure all children will achieve at their highest ability while having fun at the same time.
Our day includes prayer, outdoor exploration, independent and group activities, which nurture a sense of respect for themselves and others.
Children are more likely to be motivated to participate if curriculum content has meaning in their lives. Our teachers act as guides, valuing each child’s voice, cultural background and learning style. By observing and interacting closely with the children, we provide the materials and opportunities each child needs to discover and grow.
What Makes Little Sprouts Unique?
Our preschool program is unique because we challenge students to be creative, critical creative thinkers, and determined problem solvers who are not afraid to try new things. It all starts with the trust and loving bonds we build with children and their families. One of the greatest gifts we can give a child is unconditional love. This fosters security, self-esteem, fulfillment, and respect.
- VAIS accredited and fully licensed preschool
- Follow the Virginia Foundations of Early Learning Standards for Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Social Science and the good practice standards set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children
- Have teacher and assistant in each classroom with a low student/teacher ratio
- Participate as a family in a weekly prayer gathering
- Strong sense of family and community
- Provide time for children to eat a healthy home-packed lunch
- Attend enhancement classes like Spanish, Music, Movement, Art and Hands-on-Science
- Participate in field trips to places in our community
- Benefit from in-house special programs, guest speakers/visitors and family programs
- Use our 110 acre campus for outdoor exploration and enhanced learning
- Participate in collaborative learning experiences with our K-8th graders
2-3 Year Olds
Early-childhood development and cognitive reasoning studies identify the first six years of life as a crucial time in the formation of the brain. Studies show that by age two children’s brains experience a super-sponge phase of development that, when properly stimulated, ensures the brain continues healthy growth. During this phase, exposure to early sensory experiences and interaction with the environment are very critical. At Little Sprouts we understand that children need to use their senses while being engaged in meaningful activities in order to learn. We integrate sensory activities that stimulate vision, smell, touch and hearing and that lay the foundation in literacy, language, math, music and movement, and social-emotional growth for preschool years and beyond.
To further strengthen the foundation for reading, we also encourage children to study picture books, pretending to read as they flip through the book’s pages. The simple experiences of turning the pages of a book with a caring and nurturing adult, playing with puppets, or singing a song with rhyming words has proven benefits. Using “dialogic reading”, a powerful language facilitation method in which the teacher and children dialogue as they peruse picture books, we help children build vocabulary and encourage them to use more words and longer phrases.
Following the research in Literacy Begins at Birth: What Caregivers Can Learn from Parents of Children Read Early (Barclay, Benelli, & Curtis), Little Sprouts provides a literacy-rich environment where children can develop “important concepts about print, an increasing ability to retell stories from illustrations, and a love of books” through repetitive interactions with books and materials. This sets them on the path to a life-long love of learning.
Day Curriculum Overview
We will learn about the days of the week, months of the year, seasons, and weather through calendar activities; Math skills will be explored as we count, graph, make patterns, and play with numbers through songs and games; Language Arts skills will be developed as we will explore stories and discuss their elements, make language experience charts, experience songs, ask and answer questions about the world we live in, make predictions, develop new vocabulary, retell and sequence, and act silly as we rhyme and play with the sounds in our language.
Sensory Table & Science Exploration
We will use this station to experience the world whether we explore with sand, experiment with water, or simply smoosh shaving cream between our fingers. The possibilities are endless. This is a wonderful way to develop fine motor skills, practice skills and concepts learned in class, and experience the world through our senses.
Cut, Color, and Assemble Station
At this station, our preschoolers will develop their confidence as pre-readers and writers. They will strengthen small muscles, reinforce left to right eye movement, and build language skills through explorations with coloring, cutting, and creating. The emphasis will be on process- not product. Projects will be open ended, creative, and FUN!
Books and music will be available for students to listen and dance.
Each day we will do an art project based on a book or theme of the day. Students will be encouraged to express themselves with their projects and language skills will be developed.
Students will be allowed time to explore their imaginations and develop vocabulary, problem solving and social skills through such activities as: kitchen area, doll/animal care, blocks, cars/trains, dress ups, etc.
Theme Based Skills
Through games and teacher directed activities relating to the theme of the day, students will develop pre-reading and math skills. Skills such as rhyming, letter and sound recognition, oral language, vocabulary development, counting, one-to-one correspondence, graphing, estimating, etc. will be reinforced in a very hands-on, developmentally appropriate manner.
Outside Time, Gross Motor Activities and Dramatic Play
How wonderful it would be to have that child-like energy again! We feel a preschool program should have a balance between outside free play and structured movement activities. Our students will experience outside free play, dramatic play, as well as movement with a purpose.
Enrichment Specials Classes
Each day our preschoolers will have the opportunity for enrichment in the arts with our specialists.
Art: the overall process is emphasized, not the final product; exploring as many creative mediums as possible, the children will learn about drawing, painting, clay, colors, line/shape, 3-dimensional projects and famous artists and the artwork that is associated with them.
Music/Movement: a creative extension of our daily learning environment that gives opportunities to explore music and sound through active involvement in singing, moving, listening, finger play, and playing instruments as well as being introduced to a variety of types of music, drama, interactive story-telling and creative expression. Basic sign language is also taught. Also, fundamental physical education skills like balancing, throwing, jumping, catching and skipping are introduced and built upon to build a strong foundation and awareness of one’s body’s capabilities.
Science: opportunities to explore insects, animals, plants, rocks/minerals, and the world around us through activities, stories, and music as well as opportunities with natural and physical sciences and hands on experimentation. Learning about the natural world and how to be good stewards of our planet, caring for the environment, gardening, sustainability and recycling are also an important part of our program.
Spirituality: rooted in the Benedictine Charism, all children start each school day with prayer and/or a reflection of one of the 10 Benedictine values. Children are further awakened to their spirituality through songs, stories and thanksgiving all centered around how each person (child or adult) can make the world a better place. We will stop, love and listen to Jesus during our learning journey.
Pre-Kindergarten is a special time for children as they learn to navigate in a more structured and academic environment while growing accustomed to the 5-day school week. To help our students adjust, Linton Hall School’s Little Sprouts Preschool Program offers different options, including a Pre-K Bridge class. We also offer extended day options (before and after school) for families who desire it.
Believing that all children are active learners, our Pre-k classes nurture their individuality, creativity and curiosity. Our students gain confidence and improve their skills through our carefully organized instruction that provides for the varied development levels within the class. Our role is to foster a life-long love of learning by providing the foundation of a solid knowledge base, self-esteem, independence, problem solving, and responsibility for self, others and the natural world. We stress the interdependence of ideas, often weaving a single theme through social studies, mathematics, science, reading, writing, and the arts in order to foster creativity and build a deeper understanding.
Day Curriculum Overview
As your child arrives at school each day, a task will be set out to help them get seated and focused. These activities will include puzzles, playdoh, manipulatives, Handwriting Without Tears program, journal time and phonics worksheets/games. We will start off the morning with the Pledge of Allegiance, and a brief introduction of the day’s events.
Morning Prayer Time
At the start of each day, the children will meet as a group and pray, share bible stories, learn about our virtue of the month, and sing songs. During the course of the year, we will learn about various biblical events and people. The children will learn about and celebrate Advent with their classmates. We will discuss and exemplify specific virtues each month. The underlying goal is to express to the children how much God loves them.
After Center time each day, the children will join the teacher for a listening time in which the teacher will introduce the particular concepts being focused on throughout that week.
Your child will pass through various stages of writing and spelling, beginning before Kindergarten. Most Pre-Kindergarten children are within the emergent stage of literacy. The teacher will meet the needs of an emergent reader by dividing the instructional time to address the following.
- Fluency: The goal is to help the child recognize speech to print match. This will be accomplished through finger-point reading to rhymes, jingles, songs, Morning Messages and dictations. As well as, repeated reading of books. Music and Movement will be used to cross the midlines of our bodies, work on repetition, rhyme and sequencing.
- Comprehension: The goal is to help children understand how written language works and develop concepts about print. The children will listen to stories, retell stories, describe illustrations, and perform concept sorts.
- Alphabet: The goal is for the children to develop phonemic awareness. This will be accomplished through oral language play, alphabet games and activities, recognition/matching games, and sorts by letters and sounds. We will use materials from The Letter People Program, a Scholastic ABC Phonics Music Program, The Houghton Mifflin Reading Series, and Alpha Tales.
- Writing: The goal is for the children to begin forming letters when developmentally ready. Activities that involve drawing, labeling, and pretend writing will be offered. We will follow the Handwriting Without Tears Program.
The teacher will provide a hands-on approach that introduces sorting and classifying, graphing, joining sets, concepts of time, patterns, sequencing, estimation and counting (by 1’s, 10’s, 5’s). Math manipulatives will be used to perform the various tasks. Some goals are recognition and formation of numbers 1 through 12 and counting with one-to-one correspondence. The children will also engage in daily calendar activities.
Center Time/Teacher-Directed Activity
Each day the children will break up into small groups and explore various centers that will be set up to meet their learning needs. There will be approximately four to six centers set up each day and the children will have free choice over a 45 minute period. At this time the children will also participate in another activity that will be teacher directed and related to the theme and learning objective of the week.
Each day, the class will go outside for twenty to thirty minutes to engage in large motor activities. The Pre-K children will have access to the playground equipment. The teacher and the assistant will reinforce safety rules, adequately supervise, and provide an alternative game or activity.
The children will enjoy lunch with their classmates each day. Prayer will be offered and good manners will be encouraged. The lunch should be provided by the parent and sent into school on a daily basis, labeled and dated. Please be sure to send in healthy foods that are nutritious and will provide an energy boost. Some suggestions are fruit, raw vegetables, yogurt, crackers, and pretzels. Please refrain from sending candy, chocolate, gum, pudding and sweets to school. Please note that even though parents will be providing lunch for their own child each day, it is still essential that the teacher be informed of any food allergies. Throughout the year, children will celebrate birthdays and special events where it may be necessary to provide an alternative food choice. You will be informed at the start of the year if we have any classroom allergies. If we have any peanut allergies, we will become a “Peanut Free Classroom” and you will be provided with a “safe snack” list. Thank you.
Once a month, the Pre-K teachers will set up stations in their rooms relating to the theme in the areas of math, science, social studies and language arts. Students will rotate through each classroom station.
Each day the children will enjoy a class period taught by a specialist in the following areas: Music, Hands On Science, Art, Movement, Spanish, Technology.
- Art: the overall process is emphasized, not the final product; exploring as many creative mediums as possible, the children will learn about drawing, painting, clay, colors, line/shape, 3-dimensional projects and famous artists and the artwork that is associated with them.
- Music/Movement: a creative extension of our daily learning environment that gives opportunities to explore music and sound through active involvement in singing, moving, listening, finger play, and playing instruments as well as being introduced to a variety of types of music, drama, interactive story-telling and creative expression. Basic sign language is also taught. Also, fundamental physical education skills like balancing, throwing, jumping, catching and skipping are introduced and built upon to build a strong foundation and awareness of one’s body’s capabilities.
- Science: opportunities to explore insects, animals, plants, rocks/minerals, and the world around us through activities, stories, and music as well as opportunities with natural and physical sciences and hands on experimentation. Learning about the natural world and how to be good stewards of our planet, caring for the environment, gardening, sustainability and recycling are also an important part of our program.
- Spanish: taught by a native Spanish speaking teacher, children are given an introduction to the language and culture, basic vocabulary (feelings, colors, numbers, greetings, family, animals, body parts etc.) taught through games, songs, videos and other activities as well as a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. The earlier a child begins to learn and experience a foreign language, the easier it is for them to find success.
- Spirituality: rooted in the Benedictine Charism, all children start each school day with prayer and/or a reflection of one of the 10 Benedictine values. Children are further awakened to their spirituality through songs, stories and thanksgiving all centered around how each person (child or adult) can make the world a better place. We will stop, love and listen to Jesus during our learning journey.
- Technology: following The National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) position statement about computer use for preschool, children will have occasional opportunities to use computers as appropriate but not as a replacement for highly valued early childhood activities and materials.
We believe process is more important than product. Children learn by doing and it is the journey and the experimenting and exploration and inquiry that have the most value. Our program builds upon the natural curiosity young children have about the world. Our rich natural environment and small class sizes allow for a wide range of opportunities for exploration and discovery.
We show our children how to take a deep breath, slow down, and wonder at the beauty of nature. Children are curious. We encourage them to stop and look at things with attention and marvel at the beauty and miracles of the world God has created for us- be it a spider web, butterfly or budding flower.
At Little Sprouts Preschool, it is our goal to make a positive impact on our community. We would like to see a world where random acts of kindness are less random. It is through God’s love, that our children learn respect and compassion for all living things, including themselves. A key element of our preschool program is to show our children what caring means. Role modeling and supporting them in their efforts is a much more meaningful experience than just written words. We focus on observation, patience, and respect for all living creatures, in and outside the classroom.