Children and Parents Learning Together


(3-4 years)

The Dolphin-age child is ready for a safe environment where they have many adult-supported opportunities to practice being a part of a social group. With a strong focus on social skills, children learn to take turns, to listen to each other's ideas, and to work together towards a common goal. The Dolphin class learns the beginnings of Project Work, or in-depth studies that stem from the children's interests and pursuits, and which reflect their development. Children learn about themselves, each other, and the world around them by asking questions and learning how to find answers. They begin to represent their thoughts and ideas through dramatic play, music, drawing and painting, and language activities. The children's learning is enhanced with respect and support from teachers and parents. The environment is planned for learning, and adults closely observe the discoveries that unfold for the children.

The class has a structured day that includes Hello Circle, to greet friends and learn of the day's activities; Choice Time, when children use carefully planned play activities to enhance their understanding of their world (including the art center, the math center with sorting and counting activities, the writing center, and the texture or water table); Story Circle, for stories, musical instruments, and movement; and Outside Play, to develop their growing bodies. These activities provide a stimulating and supportive environment as the children begin to recognize themselves as individuals that are part of a peer group and of a larger community.