The Poppies Environment is made up of our oldest students, ages 3 to 5 years. This program offers opportunities that emphasize self-directed, open-ended play activities that are developmentally based. We encourage independence, initiative, self-expression and responsibility for self, for others and for the environment. Our classroom environment encourages learning through investigation and exploration. Students are invited to question how the world works and participate in curriculum projects that will help answer these questions. Our curriculum address the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive learning of the child.
In our environment, children are free to choose from a variety of both child-initiated and teacher-guided play activities such as: block play, loose part manipulation, dramatic play, puzzles and games, movement, creating, and music. This array of activities collectively develop skills in problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, gross and fine motor control, art, science, math, language/literacy, sensory, social-emotional, and sensory.
Daily, monthly and yearly exploration is planned using emergent curriculum as a way to support students’ interests and passions. We observe and identify themes found in the rich play of children and use these observations to support the opportunity for them to explore their ideas. Elizabeth Jones refers to children in this age group as “Master Players” (1997). From the play themes, we determine curriculum to support the children’s interests.
As play themes emerge, projects begin. “Children have a strong disposition to explore and discover. The Project Approach builds on natural curiosity, enabling children to interact, question, connect, problem-solve, communicate, reflect, and more.