In the course of their third year children’s language grows at an enormous rate and they become far more independent. Our curriculum is designed to encourage these emergent language and social skills. For example, story time is used to teach new words, concepts, and print awareness, and the kids are schooled in waiting their turn, learning how to cope with minor conflicts, and working in groups – such as making floor puzzles together.

Academically, the focus is on developing their pre-reading and pre-writing skills to pave the way for their pre-k year. We continue to develop the relationship between letters and letter sounds (phonics) started in the 2s class, and learn about rhyming and initial word sounds (phonemic awareness). The kids will learn that stories come from the written text of books, which consists of words read from left to right and top to bottom, and that words are made up of letters (print awareness). The fine motor skills needed for writing are worked on directly through line, shape and letter tracing, as well as indirectly through cutting, painting, drawing and gluing. By the end of the year the kids will recognize most of the upper and lower case letters, know most letter sounds, how to spell their first and last names, and to write their first name.

Numeracy and patterning are also worked on; by the end of the year the goal is to count up to twenty, show an understanding of adding and subtracting objects, predicting what follows in simple patterns, and sorting objects by multiple categories (e.g. give me all the red teddy bears). They will also be able to recognize written numbers up to 10 and understand the correspondence between numbers and objects.

We do not forget to have fun in the classroom, and there is plenty of time for self-expression through art, dramatic play, and gross motor activity such as freeze dance, obstacle courses, and yoga. Every week, a science experiment encourages the kids to get involved in new sensory experiences.

The curriculum goals are listed below by category.

Language & Communication

  • speak in sentences using age-appropriate speech patterns
  • name more shapes including: heart, star, diamond, oval, and cross
  • say their full name, age, gender and know their birthday
  • ask “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, and “why” questions
  • follow instructions with three or four steps
  • recite the days of the week
  • recognize words that rhyme
  • retell a story in sequence
  • sing a song or recite a poem or nursery rhyme from memory

Reading & Writing

  • recognize and name many lower and upper case letters
  • write some letters
  • know the sounds of many letters
  • recognize and write their first name

Numbers & Counting

  • count to 20 by rote
  • count up to 20 objects
  • recognize and name the numbers 0 to 10
  • write numbers 1 to 10
  • show an understanding of the meaning of one, two, three, four, and five
  • show and understanding of adding and subtracting objects
  • show an understanding of “more” and “fewer”, “larger” and “smaller”

Social & Emotional

  • enjoy doing new things
  • cooperate and share with others
  • show a preference for playing with others
  • be content to play alone at times
  • show pride in accomplishments
  • exhibit good manners
  • clean up after activities, play, and snack time
  • use words to express feelings
  • be independent in the bathroom


  • complete a task or activity
  • show an understanding of spatial relations such as “above”, “inside”, “next to”
  • draw a person with two to four body parts
  • sequence objects by size in a line
  • sort objects by size, color, or shape
  • do puzzles up to 12 pieces
  • paint, color, and draw with a purpose

Fine Motor Skills

  • cut around a shape with scissors
  • trace a figure
  • colors within lines
  • use a glue stick properly
  • copy a circle, square, cross, X, and vertical and horizontal lines
  • manipulate play dough or clay into a ball, snake, etc.
  • turn book pages one by one

Large Motor Skills

  • stand and hop on one foot
  • walk in a line forward and backward
  • catch a large bounced ball
  • jump up and down with both feet