Starting Points preschool programs offer a variety of options for the children.

 

Gym Bus

The Fun Time Gymnastics bus is a unique and innovative preschooling program that teaches gymnastics and basic motor skills to preschoolers.  This program is done on site.  The Fun Time bus is a converted school bus that offers an area for tumbling and has specially designed equipment (balance beams, mini trampoline, parachutes, bars, incline mats, etc.) for preschoolers.

 

Soccer

The soccer preschooling program is offered through Carroll Sports Academies.  It is a program for boys and girls that improve soccer skills, coordination, balance, counting, colors, listening, confidence, and teamwork.  Coach Chris has over 15 years of experience working with children.

 

Outdoor classroom

Starting Points has Knoxville’s first natural playground.  A natural playground is a wonderful compliment to all of our preschool programs and is essential for allowing children to interact and engage with nature.  Studies have shown experiences in a natural setting have many benefits including improved concentration, enriched social skills, reduced obesity, and more complex play scenarios while encouraging the development of a wide range of physical skills.  A natural playground provides a setting that allows the children to use all of their senses which encourages their curiosity and creativity. Different elements are on each playground including large sandboxes, various gardens, digging area, stumps trails, treehouse, and a variety of loose parts including bamboo, tree cookies, rocks, and bricks.  There is also a nature trail located on the school grounds.  Starting Points Child Care received an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Southern Early Childhood Association Exemplary Outdoor Classroom Contest and has also been the site of various preschooling program training sessions for other area childcare providers.

 

Curriculum

Starting Points believes it is essential to appeal to children’s interests in order to encourage a love for learning.  Therefore, we do not use a prescribed ‘cookie-cutter’ curriculum.  Teachers plan developmentally appropriate activities and explorations that appeal to their group of children.  Individual activities are based off of observational notes and assessments.  Activities are hands-on and interactive. We believe children must be engaged and involved and given the opportunity to construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world.  Tennessee Early Learning Developmental Standards (http://www.tn.gov/education/standards/early_learning.shtml) are used as a guideline along with many other resources.  Curriculum areas include social-emotional development, language and early literacy, math, science, social studies, creative arts, and physical development.

 

Assessment

Observational Assessment

Teachers document their observations of children as they work towards and achieve new goals.  These observations are used to help write each child’s Individual Learning Goals which coincide with the Tennessee Early Learning Standards.

 

Portfolios

Portfolios are a combination of children’s works (art, writing, drawings, etc.). They also include pictures of children engaging in activities along with a brief description of that activity. These portfolios are given to parents every June so they can see the child’s progress throughout the year. This is a great keepsake.

 

Individual Learning Goals

Each child’s Individualized Learning Goals are used to help teachers plan activities that meet each child’s needs.

 

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher conferences are ongoing.  A parent can ask for a conference at any time during the year.  We encourage all parents to attend the end of the year conference to review their child’s progress.

 

Summary of Accomplishments

Parents will receive a summary of their child’s accomplishments for the school year (September through May).  During the Parent/Teacher conference the teacher will explain the summary in detail.  The parents and teacher can then discuss these accomplishments within the preschool programs and plan for enrichment activities for the summer months.