Our Work is Our Play

The programs at Riverbend Christian School is structured to be developmentally appropriate. Through much study we have come to believe that young children learn best through play. A group of children in the block center or housekeeping area are learning to solve problems, create new objects, take risks, and think in new ways.

As children play with each other, they learn to see another child's point of view and begin to be more empathetic and caring. Children who play alone may be practicing new ideas they have developed. They may be trying out a new way to do something before bringing the idea to the group.

Research indicates that intrinsic motivation, when we learn something primarily because we find the task enjoyable, is a more effective and satisfying way to learn. We make an effort to provide materials and activities that provide choice and are of interest to the children. By doing this we encourage higher-level thinking and problem solving, while providing an appropriate educational setting for your child. Play is very important to children. It is the vehicle for developing cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and language skills. In our program, each child is provided opportunities for personal growth through group involvement, creative activities, problem solving, self-control and acceptance of responsibility. 

We offer a "Learning Through Play" environment.  All classrooms are set up in centers, which include a homeliving center for dramatic play, a block center, an art center, science and math, a quiet area with books and sensory activities.  Manipulatives are available for children to build their fine motor skills, such as manipulating playdough, lacing beads, sorting shapes, using tongs to pick up objects, stacking objects, etc.  Our Pre-K & Kinder Bridge classrooms also have a computer in the classroom and a writing center.

Riverbend Christian School follows The Creative Curriculum and our 3, 4 and 5 year old classes utilize the Handwriting Without Tears program.

Children in our Mother's Day Out program will be introduced to the following skills:  verbal and language, gross and fine motor, and socialization.  These skills will be developed through interaction with teachers and other children.  The teacher will provide a warm, loving environment in which the child may play, explore, and develop a good self-esteem.  The teachers will also help in the transition from home to school.  A daily note will be sent home with a record of the child's mood, diapering, and classroom activities.

Individual and group learning opportunities are provided daily in our preschool classes through developmentally appropriate active learning experiences which foster higher thinking and build confidence and self esteem.  Our 3 to 5 year classes have implemented the Handwriting Without Tears pre-writing and letter recognition curriculum which has been adopted by EISD.  Our degreed teachers incorporate the Creative Curriculum and Developmentally Appropriate Practices when planning their units of study.  Each school day the children participate in either Creative Movement, Spanish instruction or Music classes.  Outdoor play is also scheduled daily.  The curriculum is rich in literacy and phonetic awareness, process art, science, math and discovery, fine and gross motor activities and social interactions.  Chapel, consisting of a Bible story and singing is offered weekly as well as Story Time with our school librarian.  Weekly notes keep parents informed of classroom activities.

Our Kinder Bridge class has been designed specifically for children who are five and have already completed a traditional Pre-K program.  We also allow fall birthdays to enroll in this class, creating a class of children who will be the oldest in their grade.  This class will include more activities that build confidence, encourage independence, enhance socialization, build leadership qualities and strengthen academic success.

PLAY CENTERS

Art Center

The Art Center promotes of sense of artistic inquiry by focusing on the artistic process rather than product in the visual, verbal, written, dramatic, and musical arts.
What do children learn while creating?

Small and Large Muscle Control
Interpretation of Experiences
Symbolic Representation
Creative Representation
Color, Shape and Texture
Exploration of Materials

Hand-Eye Coordination
Making Models
Cooperation
Taking Turns
Patterning
Sorting      

Creativity and Expression
Observation Skills
Spatial Relationships
Patience and Persistence
Language Expansion
Strengthening Arms and Hands

BLOCK CENTER

The Block Center involves the child fully in physical, intellectual, creative, social emotional, and open-ended play.
What do children learn while playing?

Planning and Building Together
Small/Large Muscle Development
Spatial Relationships Positional Attributes
Strengthening Arms and Hands
Imaginative Play
1:1 Correspondence

How to Make a Plan
Size and Shape
Positional Attributes
Same and Different
Problem Solving
Making Models

Counting
Cooperation
Turn Taking
Patterning
Categorizing
Sorting

COMPUTER CENTER

The Computer Center involves the child fully in physical, intellectual, creative, social emotional, and open-ended play.
What do children learn while playing?

Problem Solving
Cooperation
Dexterity
Hand-Eye Coordination              

Positional Attributes
Cause/Effect Relationships
Basic Computer Vocabulary

Fine Motor Control
Taking Turns
Follow Multi-Step Directions

DRAMATIC PLAY

The Dramatic Play/Home Living Center involves the child fully in physical, intellectual, creative, social emotional, and open-ended play.
What do children learn while playing?

Negotiation
Expression of Feelings
Sharing
Related Vocabulary
Sequence of Events

Requesting and Questioning
Role Playing Plan Play
Reality and Fantasy
Relating Past, Present and Future
Small and Large Muscle Control Turn Taking

Pretend
Plan Play
Problem Solving
Cooperation
Turn Taking

LIBRARY CENTER

The Book Center promotes confidence and comfort with books while developing the motivation and skills needed for reading.
What do children learn while playing?

Predicting
Verbal is Represented in Print
Letter Recognition
Word Recognition
Book Orientation
Memory

Empathy
Same and Different
Fine Motor Development Phonological
Visual Tracking
Vocabulary
Counting

Number Recognition
Rhymes
Phonological Awareness
Left to Right
Top to Bottom
Sequencing

MANIPULATIVES

Manipulatives encourage choice making, independence, toy manipulation, and sharing.
What do children learn while playing?

Concept Development
Fine Motor Skills
Sensory Integration
Hand-Eye Coordination
Spatial Relationships
Strengthening Arms and Hands

Imagination
1:1 Correspondence
Making a Plan
Size and Shape
Positional Attributes
Same and Different

Problem Solving
Making Models
Counting
Cooperation
Turn Taking
Patterning

MUSIC CENTER

The Music Center lets children be creative to express themselves.  Children develop an appreciation for the arts and their ability to be musical. The following skills are gained:  listening, learning how to differentiate sounds, timing, rhythm and patterns.

SCIENCE CENTER

The Science Center involves the child in activities to explore properties of materials, positions, and motions of objects through investigation.
What do children learn while playing?

Classification and Sorting
Problem Solving
Comparisons
Experimenting

Measuring and Weighing
Estimation
Questioning
Drawing Conclusions

Making Observations and Predictions
Safety
Environment
Learning About the World

WRITING CENTER

The Writing Center involves the child in pre-writing activities that promote a sense of importance and confidence with written expression.
What do children learn while playing?

Motor Skills
Spatial Relationships
Language Skills

Motor Skills  Feel Comfortable "Writing"
Pre-Writing Concepts
Directional and Positional Concepts

The Writing Center helps to develop an understanding that:

  • Thoughts and ideas can be represented using symbols
  • Writing" can be used for many purposes, e.g. labeling, notes, lists, cards, stories
  • Emotions can be represented through pictures/text
  • Certain shaped marks mean different things