Gladstone Teaching Preschool
When you play with a friend you get happy. I feel it inside my heart, and it stays inside of me.
— Maile, age 3
Gladstone Teaching Preschool serves as a resource to early childhood professionals and policy makers seeking fresh ideas about the learning environments we provide for our youngest citizens. These are environments where playful inquiry, creativity, imagination and the wonder of learning thrive.
The Preschool provides direct service to Gladstone children ages 3 – 5 including children who qualify for special education through Clackamas Education Service District (CESD) and children who qualify for Head Start. The classroom is co-taught by one CESD teacher and one Gladstone District teacher. The project is built on the reciprocal exchange of best ideas and practice.
The collaborative partnership that supports Gladstone Teaching Preschool shares a set of values about teaching and learning that include:
- The early learning years as fundamental to the well-being of our community.
- Teaching and learning communities that nurture lifelong learning, self-efficacy and social emotional intelligences.
- A powerful image of young children and the adults who work with them as intelligent, creative, and resourceful, with gifts and abilities that the world needs.
- The needs and rights of human beings to build strong relationships with one another and the environment.
- Children and adults playing a central role in the development of their own learning, because personal engagement enhances intellectual and academic development.
- Prior experiences of learners of all ages, because knowledge is an evolving series of connections between the known and the new.
- Families as partners who bring vitality and richness to the school by contributing distinctive life experiences and wisdoms.
- Collaboration and respect for individual differences, however they may be expressed.
- Community agreements as identified, discussed, practiced, and experienced within a community of children and adults.
- Organized use of space, equipment, and materials that inspire possibilities and encourage encounters, communication, and relationships.
• The arts, sciences and natural environment as avenues to facilitate and inspire communication, self-expression, creativity, and imagination.
- The arts, sciences and natural environment as avenues to facilitate and inspire communication, self-expression, creativity, and imagination. Curriculum and instruction at Gladstone Teaching Preschool build on the learning history of both the Opal School and CESD. The program is inspired by the municipally funded pre-primary schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Learning structures include:
- Explore Time: for children to playfully investigate environments that are carefully prepared to engage them in thinking about a particular question, problem or medium. Examples include the use of the light table, construction area, art studio and more.
- Studio & Project Work: designed for children to work with materials such as clay, paint and natural materials to study a topic of interest and participate in long-term projects with classmates.
- Story Workshop: an opportunity for children to strengthen their language and literacy development by playing with a variety of objects and materials to tell stories from their real or imaginary lives. They develop competence with the story form and communicate their stories using a wide variety of media.
- Outdoor Time: happens every day! Children spend time on the playground, on the classroom’s outdoor patio, and walking the neighborhood. They make connections with the natural world, including weather, the seasons and the plants or animals living in Gladstone.
- Math & Reading Workshop: supports emerging skills as they build their understanding of mathematical problem solving and reading
There’s lots of ways to tell a story. You can sing it and you can dance it and you can read it. And the oldest way of telling a story is when someone tells a story to another. — Eliza, age 5
Inherent in Gladstone Teaching Preschool’s mission is a deep commitment to research and dissemination. This may include photographing, videotaping or using other tools to document your child’s learning. From time to time, a family may not feel comfortable with this practice. If this is the case for you, we respect your decision, and Gladstone Teaching Preschool is not the right learning environment for your child.
Gladstone Teaching Preschool is a collaboration of:
• Clackamas Education Service District
• Gladstone Schools