OUR TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
Our curriculum reflects important aspects of the Bank Street philosophy, which maintains that young children can best satisfy their curiosity and develop their potential through play in an unhurried, supportive setting. Rather than guiding children to produce the same work, our teachers make opportunities for the kids to work independently or to join together to create projects of their own choosing.
Painting, drawing, collage, clay, dramatic play and water table activities, along with reading, creating and listening to stories are all a regular part of the day. Music and movement sessions, guided by Chickpea parents, take place weekly. The kids also are given ample time to play in the backyard, in all but the foulest weather.
Chickpea kids are learning how to interact with each other and the world around them. Teachers provide vital guidance, helping them figure out how to resolve disputes, handle frustrations and collaborate constructively.
Since the children are part of one group, the younger children learn from the older ones, while older children have the opportunity to mentor, thus reinforcing recently acquired skills and building their confidence as they prepare for kindergarten.
Chickpea kids also explore subjects of mutual interest as a class, with teacher assistance. In recent years, for example, the kids have chosen to study big cats, predators of the sea, outer space and cooking. These units introduce the foundations of learning: curiosity and questioning that leads to knowledge.
Field trips are another important aspect of our curriculum, with visits to neighborhood establishments, such as the firehouse and a bagel store. The trips are planned to widen the scope of the children's interests. We may also attend special performances, such as at Puppetworks.