BLUE DOOR

Blue Door serves the youngest children in our school. As a beginning school experience for children, the Blue Door teachers work closely with families, including caregivers, to make this a smooth transition for everyone. This year largely focuses on, but is not limited to, children’s social-emotional development, including separation and language development, and physical growth. During this year, children are also be exposed to pre-academic concepts to help provide a foundation for future academic learning.

 

Social-Emotional Development:

  • Separation: Separation is an area that is approached with care and love, as it can be an uneasy experience for children who are leaving a parent or caregiver for the first time. It is a process that requires patience and trust from everyone involved, including the child, parent/caregiver, and teachers.

  • Play skills include:

    • Engaging in parallel play

    • Approaching peers and asking to join their play

    • Choosing peers with whom to play

    • Independence  

    • Sharing toys and materials with others

    • Taking turns

    • Learning about his/her personal space

    • Learning to respect the space and body of his/her peers

    • Regulating his/her body during play

    • Attending to activities for longer periods of time

    • Playing imaginatively

  • Emotional Regulation skills include:

    • Identifying his/her emotions using words (not hitting)

    • Approaching a teacher when he/she needs assistance

    • Recognizing the meaning behind facial expressions/body language (i.e. crying means someone is sad)

    • Following classroom routines and transitioning through changes

  • Self-Help Skills

    • Cleaning up after him/herself​

    • Potty Training (when the child is ready)

    • Making autonomous choices

    • Dressing independently (i.e. changing shoes, putting on/taking off coat)

 

Language Development:

At the ages of two and three, language plays a very important role in a child’s life. It is an important time for language development, as children’s vocabulary and understanding expands at a rapid pace. For the most part, language can be divided into two parts: expressive language (being able to use words to verbalize thoughts and needs) and receptive language (understanding what is being said).

Expressive Language skills include:

  • Responding to questions from teachers

  • Using his/her words to engage in imaginative play

  • Repeating commonly heard phrases

  • Memorizing songs

  • Using words to communicate needs and wants

  • Speaking in phrases and/or sentences

  • Enunciating words clearly

Receptive Language skills include:

  • Following one to two-step directions

  • Following daily routines

  • Paying attention/listening during meeting and story time

 

Furthermore, since each child develops uniquely in his/her language, teachers communicate using diverse forms of expression. Teachers may use gestures, visual aids, very short and clear sentences, specific phrases or even single words to communicate with children who have limited language. This allows for children at all stages to be able to participate in all activities and discussions in the classroom, ultimately furthering their language development.

Physical Development:

As children develop greater confidence moving their bodies, they become more coordinated while holding smaller objects, running, jumping and climbing, etc. Two areas of physical growth that children develop and strengthen are fine-motor and gross-motor.

Fine-motor skills:

  • Manipulating small objects

  • Eating while holding utensils

  • Completing simple puzzles

  • Palming writing/coloring utensils correctly

  • Making marks on paper

  • Putting away toys

  • Stacks blocks

Gross-motor skills:

  • Balancing/hopping on one foot

  • Looking forward while running/walking

  • Walking up and down stairs using alternating feet

  • Having awareness of body in space

  • Keeping appropriate physical distance from others

  • Safely running without falling or bumping into other children

  • Kicking a ball

  • Increasing hand-eye coordination

 

Cognitive Development:

Throughout the school year, children are making more meaningful connections between their learning and the physical world. Therefore, they are beginning to take in information in a deeper and more complex way. During this year, children engage with a multitude of activities and experiences that support their learning in mathematics, science, pre-literacy and expressive and receptive language.

Mathematics skills include:

  • Counting numbers 1-10

  • Identifying basic geometric shapes

  • Matching and sorting objects based on simple characteristics (i.e. size, color, shape, etc.)

Science skills include:

  • Correctly identifying basic colors

  • Using the five senses to make observations

  • Using trial and error

  • Asking questions and making predictions about how things work

  • Identifying several body parts

Pre-literacy skills include:

  • Name recognition

  • Learning that print has meaning

  • Matching an object to a picture of the object

Expressive and Receptive Language skills include:

  • Understanding the concepts of “same” and “different”

  • Mastering some basic rules of grammar

  • Speaking clearly enough for strangers to understand

  • Telling stories

  • Following one-step and two-step directions