A Day at STEAMworks
Outside time, snack, and morning STEAM enrichment might be in a different order from what is listed below. This is primarily an older three and Pre-kindergarten rhythm. For younger classes, explore would be longer or there may be two explore times; learning blocks are shorter, especially at the beginning of a school year and then gradual increase in length as child's developmental abilities increase.
7:30-8:15 – Early arrival - One classroom will be designated as the early arrival classroom. Children will enjoy explore time and finish the time with a short circle and reading of a book before being walked to their morning classroom.
8:20 – Class arrival time - Classes are open for children to arrive with their parents. Twos and young three year olds start with explore time; three year olds and older children start with Circle and manipulatives to use while waiting for their friends to arrive. As the year progresses, young three year olds will have less explore time at the beginning of the morning and will eventually start in circle and their explore time will be a little later in the morning.
8:35 – Circle - Manipulatives are picked up and circle begins with a welcome song or welcome activity; children greet each other; morning message for Pre-kindergarten children are read. Math and literacy is embedded in the lessons. The STEAM focus of the day is presented and discussed.
9:10 – Outside Time – Physical activities, social skills, fresh air make for healthy bodies great communities, and support the natural learning that occurs in the outdoors. Teachers will treat the outdoors as a classroom introducing changes to the playground environment to encourage inquiry. Math, literacy, five senses, science through their exploration will continue while children explore and play together outside.
10:00 – Snack time – Children will enjoy family style snack consisting of cheese, fruit, and a grain provided by the parents, practice manners, and refuel. This is a relaxing time for the children after being outside.
10:30 – STEAM Enrichment - This part of the rhythm begins with a second learning circle to share about the hands-on activities that support the STEAM concepts and learning for the day. There may be one group activity or there may be two or three STEAM activities where children select to which ones - or all of them - they wish to explore and discover through. Literacy, phonics, math are embedded in the activities. Older children will be given the opportunities to document their learning through drawings, writing, etc.
11:20 – Explore Time – Children have the opportunity to decide which areas in the room and with what they would like to explore and play. Some may decide to continue with exploration of the STEAM Enrichment activity. Children's particular interests and imagination come to play during explore time. Teachers enhance the natural play by providing materials of the children's interests. This is also a great time for teachers to work with children who have an interest in, and who are looking for a little more, pre-reading and pre-writing skills.
11:45 – Story by Heart – Children gather together to listen to their teacher tell a story without using a book. The focus on the stories incorporate values and character development - such as friendships, compassion, loyalty, kindness, courage, etc. For many children this is one of their favorite parts of the day.
12:00 – A few children may go home at this time, and a good-bye song is sung before they leave.
12:15 – Lunch and Relaxation Time - Children enjoy lunch together and the teacher will read a book or two during this time. As children finish their lunch, they are invited to quietly look at books, build with puzzles, and/or use any of the small manipulatives. This is an excellent time to relax. Those children who take a nap, will start to lay down in the nap classroom at 12:50 and nap time typically goes to 3:00.
1:20 – STEAM Enrichment - For children who no longer need a nap, they will continue learning and exploring based on the daily STEAM theme - including a circle with math, literacy and information about the additional hands-on activities that support the daily STEAM theme. This is a perfect time for the teacher to go deeper into the learning and excitement based on the children's interest for the theme.
2:20 – Outside Time – Children will enjoy playing outside with their friends, using their imagination, and increasing their gross motor skills.
3:15 – Snack – Children will sit as a family together with their teacher and enjoy nourishment from their lunch boxes.
3:45 – Story by Heart - The teacher will tell another story based on values and character development. Some children may go home at 4:00, and a good-bye song is sung before they leave.
4:10 - 5:30 – Extended Care - Children will gather together for outside play time or inside explore time. When inside and for the children that stay for most of this time, an activity or two will be available along with open play time.
Modifications are made to meet the developmental needs of each classroom, but a classroom’s order of activities are consistently maintained so that the children always know what is next, allowing them to feel more secure, safe and comfortable and to help them gain more confidence and independence.