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Early Childhood Education

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Early Childhood Education

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Cornerstone Christian Academy is centrally located in Sugar Land.  Our Early Childhood Education program serves two-year-olds through four-year-olds and offers a two-day, three-day, and five-day option.  

At Cornerstone Christian Academy, we believe that a love of learning and a heart for God forms at the earliest age. Our Early Childhood Program is designed to capitalize on these formative years, and the natural curiosity and enthusiasm our youngest learners bring to exploring the world around them.

With programs beginning at two-years of age, Cornerstone’s Early Childhood Education Program focuses on providing a warm and caring atmosphere where children feel secure in their environment, confident in their abilities; and develop a deep and long-lasting love for learning.

Our comprehensive early childhood academic curriculum focuses on:

  • Language Development
  • Early Literacy
  • Number Concepts
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical/Motor Skills Development

All lead teachers and teaching assistants are professionally certified and receive annual training.

Early Childhood Education Curriculum

  • Early Literacy

    Early literacy is the most comprehensive term used to describe the preschool phase of literacy development. Intentional planning and early learning experiences contribute to building literacy skills in preschool. CCA preschool teachers receive annual training in child development and take professional development courses online through Child Care Education Institute, www.cceionline.edu, a teacher enrichment training program. Our  classrooms model reading and writing behaviors while incorporating art, music and movement. Strategies used in our classrooms include:

    *Rich teacher talk in large and small groups

                      -Teachers discuss cognitively challenging content. Children are encouraged to reflect on language.

                      -Children’s comments are extended by the teacher to support more descriptive and grammatical statements

    *Consistent storybook reading

                      -Children are exposed to varied genres which include poems, stories, or informational books.

                      -Children respond to read alouds and teachers support conversation before, during, and after reading

    *Phonological Awareness=the ability to hear sounds in words and to isolate the sounds from one another

                      -Sound word discrimination (are the sounds or words the same or different)

                      -Blending (blends two or three words into one word ..m/o/p )

                      -Segmentation (What is the first sounds-initial)

                                              (What is the last sound-final)

                      -Rhyming (identifying and producing rhymes)

     

    Our children see and understand how print is used to label shelves and containers, describe bulletin board displays, recall a shared experience, or record findings. They have many opportunities to explore books, draw, write, and begin to recognize familiar names and words.  

  • Social and Emotional Growth

    We understand how strong social-emotional growth is just as important as academic achievement, and with good reason. Social-emotional development affects every aspect of a child’s life, including personal relationships, academic growth, and self-esteem. When children feel good about themselves and have the skills to interact successfully with others, their capacity to achieve soars. At CCA, our students have center time every day and are given many opportunities to interact with their classmates and other classes within the day. Teachers observe and guide students through their decision making. Learning to play is how we relate to others. Below are some of the types of play young children display.  They move in and out of some of them as they become more confident. The last two types of play display the strongest indicator of social skills.

    Solitary play: the child is completely engrossed in playing and does not seem to notice other children. Most often seen in children between 2 and 3 years-old.

    Onlooker play: child takes an interest in other children’s play but does not join in. May ask questions or just talk to other children, but the main activity is simply to watch.

    Parallel play: the child mimics other children’s play but doesn’t actively engage with them. For example, they may use the same toy.

    Associative play: now more interested in each other than the toys they are using. This is the first category that involves strong social interaction between the children while they play.

    Cooperative play: some organization enters children’s play, for example the playing has some goal and children often adopt roles and act as a group.

    Teachers also observe and guide other behaviors that will assist our children to

    • Relate to peers
    • Exhibit self confidence
    • Adjust to transitions
    • Tolerate frustration
    • Separate from parents
    • Share materials
    • Functions independently
    • Self-help
  • Spiritual Growth

    You can hear chapel through the halls of CCA. Joyful song and dance give way to learning as students begin each day in praise. This lively time of fellowship reinforces character lessons that teach our students some of God’s greatest lessons. Lessons of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control guide our students and teachers—and is at the heart of what makes CCA and our community of families such a special place to grow.

  • Number Concepts

    Children are curious by nature and experimenting and exploring with various number concepts allows them many ways to understand how numbers and counting apply to their lives and the world around him. Numbers can make sense. CCA utilizes materials from Learning Without Tears to engage our Pre-K students in math—introducing concepts ranging from number sense to geometry, vocabulary, measurement, time, and problem-solving.  Lessons include:  

    • Correctly counting at least five objects and progressively increasing
    • Pointing to places on a number line and count with 1-to-1 correspondence along the line (from left to right, right to left)
    • Understanding simple to more complex patterns-----ABAB, ABC, AAB, AABB
    • Understanding measurement with non-standard units (how many paper clips long)
    • Understanding time concepts (today, tomorrow, yesterday, days of the week, months of the year, and weekends)
    • Understanding number recognition (“4” means four objects and developmentally increase)
    • Adding and subtracting small numbers using concrete familiar objects.
    • Writing and sequencing numbers (numerals) from 1 to 5, then 6-10
    • Counts from one to ten in the correct order and developmentally increase
    • Understanding concepts of quantity (for example, “more” and “less”) and size (such as, “bigger” and
    • “smaller”)
    • Attempts estimation (more than 5 less than 20)

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    • Number sense (e.g., the numeral “4” represents four objects, which is greater that 3 and less than 5)
    • Geometry (e.g., patterns and shapes, each with unique features)
    • Measurement (e.g., size, distance, amount)
    • The language of math (e.g., more than, less than, equal to)
    • Spatial relations (e.g., in front of or behind; near or far)
  • Fine Motor Skills

    “Fine motor” refers to the movements we make with the small muscles of the hands. Strong fine motor skills are essential to complete tasks such as writing, cutting, using a fork or spoon, threading beads, moving puzzle pieces, zipping, buttoning, and tying shoe laces. Our classrooms are set up every morning to engage our children in a variety of activities that promote their fine motor skills.

     

    • Build a tower of 8-10 small blocks
    • Use playdough to make balls, snakes, cookies, etc.
    • Build things with large linking blocks, such as Mega blocks or Legos
    • Drawing circles
    • Copy a cross (+)
    • Imitating teachers drawing a square
    • Cut across a piece of paper
    • Start to cut along a straight line
    • Beading
    • Sorting
    • Finger painting
    • Manage buttons

     

    Large Motor Skills

    Gross motor skills are involved in movement and coordination of the arms, legs, and other large body parts and movements.  CCA students have recess every day along with physical education. Our PE Coach designs lessons for our children to have many opportunities to practice these skills. They participate in movement such as running, crawling, hopping, kicking a ball, swinging, and scooting.  

  • Handwriting Without Tears (HWOT)

    Our children use HWOT because it is fun, engaging, and teaches developmentally appropriate instructional methods to enable children to learn to write. Teachers use Mat Man to teach children how to draw and develop letter and body awareness. This approach makes handwriting easy-to-teach and easy-to-learn through songs and guidance.

    Week 1

    Week 2

    Week 3

    L

    Week 4

    F

    Week 5

    E

    Week 6

    H

    Week 7

    T

    Week 8

    U

    Week 9

    I

    Week 10

    C

    Week 11

    O

    Week 12

    Q

    Week 13

    G

    Week 14

    S

    Week 15

    J

    Week 16

    D

    Week 17

    P

    Week 18

    B

    Week 19

    R

    Week 20

    K

    Week 21

    A

    Week 22

    M

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    N

    Week 24

    V

    Week 25

    W

    Week 26

    X

    Week 27

    Y

    Week 28

    Z

    Week 29

    All vowels

    Week 30

    Review

    Week 31

    Review

    Week 32

    Review

    Week 33

    Review

    Week 34

    Review

    Week 35

    Review

    Week 36

    Review

  • Science

    At CCA we believe that science is an experience, not just an experiment. Teachers nurture our children’s curiosity and provide many opportunities in the classroom to experience the discovery and wonderment of preschool science. Centers are designed for repetitive, individual discovery and examination, and our parents are invited to an annual Science Day to see our little scientists at work.

    August

    Color Matters:                            

    Prediction, observation, picture books, journal entry

    September

    Measurement:                           

    Compares size and weight, estimation, picture book, Lego Duplo for Stem, journal entry

    October

    Life cycle of a pumpkin:              

    Sequence of events, vines, seeds, observation, picture books, journal entry

    November

    Leaf investigation:

    Comparing, sorting, describing, measuring, picture books, journal entries

    December

    Air takes up space:                       

    Absorption, heat and cold, observation, predictions, picture books, journal entry

    January

    Solids and liquids:            

    Properties, description, classifying, defining, picture books, journal entry            

    February

    Air has power:                     

    Rocket ship, kazoos, force, predict, music, data entry in journal

    March

    Life cycle of a butterfly:    

    Stages, observation, picture books, data entry in journal

    April

    Parts of a flower:                

    Magnifying glass, petal, leaf, stem, sprout, observation, picture book, journal entry            

    May

    Chemical reaction:

    Giant’s toothpaste, types of matter, measuring, predicting, journal entry

TWO-YEAR-OLD CLASSROOM

Our youngest students come to us just as they are learning to talk. In our language-rich environment, teachers support and guide children as they learn how to navigate their ever-expanding world—which now will include a classroom. With a strong emphasis on social interaction, children learn how to be a part of a class and communicate with their teachers and peers. Students will also be introduced to early academic concepts, learning their letters, numbers, and shapes, as well as benefiting from the casual incorporation of Spanish into their lessons. Arts and crafts are also widely used to reinforce learning concepts and give children a creative outlet.

THREE-YEAR-OLD CLASSROOM

As students progress into a three-year-old class, they will focus on letter recognition—distinguishing between upper and lower case letters—phonics introduction, and large and fine motor skills such as grasping a pencil or crayon. Each lesson and skill is carefully designed to prepare them for deeper learning and support pre-reading, pre-writing, and pre-math skills. Interactive manipulatives, science concepts, and lessons, as well as art through crafts, also make up an important component of this classroom and learning centers. At this age, students begin to venture beyond their classroom, attending regular library, physical education, theater arts, and social-emotional learning (SEEK) classes, with continued use of introductory Spanish in the classroom.

FOUR-YEAR-OLD CLASSROOM

Cornerstone Christian Academy’s four-year-old classroom builds on the foundation laid in our Young Leaders program and prepares students with the skills they will need for kindergarten. Students benefit from interactive manipulatives and learning centers, as well as daily lessons centered around core subjects. Students are introduced to sentence structure, begin sounding out and learning sight words, and continue building the motor skills necessary for writing and math through programs such as Handwriting Without Tears. Students also enjoy exploring the world of science through introductory lessons and the utilization of STEM-based learning. Classes explore art through regular crafts, and attend weekly library, physical education, theater arts, music, and SEEK classes. Spanish continues to be incorporated and taught in the classroom at this age.

TRANSITIONAL KINDERGARTEN

CCA offers a transitional Kindergarten for families who want to give their child an additional year of maturity and academics before entering Kindergarten. This class also provides an increased level of academic challenge for students who may already possess a base knowledge of Kindergarten concepts. This class is limited in size due to the range in student age and to allow teachers the ability to customize learning for each student.