Welcome to Little Hearts, Stone Ridge’s co-educational Early Childhood Program (Infants & Toddlers through Kindergarten).
Little Hearts is where the love of learning begins in our Sacred Heart family.
Little Hearts Philosophy
The Stone Ridge Little Hearts classrooms engage the hearts and minds of young children using developmentally appropriate practices based on information about how children develop and learn, their individual strengths, interests and needs and their family cultures and community. They learn to ask questions, solve problems, respect themselves, and care responsibly for others. Our cognitive expectations, taught through researched-based best practices, The Creative Curriculum and The Project Approach, promote exploration within a structured and nurturing learning environment.
Our teachers create opportunities for child-centered inquiry, for purposeful play in support of essential learning, for building community with children in the classroom, and for children to construct their own knowledge. Constant and close student observation and assessment guide the teachers in reflective and purposeful planning and teaching. When children move on from the Early Childhood classrooms at Stone Ridge, they are able to transfer their social, emotional, and cognitive skills to their future school and life experiences.
The Project Approach is a series of teaching strategies that guides children through an in-depth study of a real world topic. Children pick a topic that is of interest to them and then delve into a variety of exercises to become experts in the topic. They read books about it, paint and draw it, make models of it, study its characteristics, learn about its history, taste and cook with it if it’s a food, hear presentations from experts who come in for visits and then, at the culmination of the project, share their knowledge with parents and friends. The beauty of project work is that it is cross-curricular; incorporating literacy, communications, numeracy and science. To see the children grow in self-confidence and pride as they become experts in their project work is truly satisfying.
Centers of Learning
- Building - Children construct, create and represent their knowledge and experiences using a variety of building materials.
- Dramatic play - Children deepen their understanding of their world by recreating real-life experiences where they learn to cooperate and share.
- Creativity - Children have many opportunities to explore and use materials to express how they feel and what they know.
- Games and Puzzles - Children explore and learn to problem solve while using manipulatives, puzzles and other games. They gain confidence by strengthening their fine motor skills as they sort, create, stack, match and classify.
- Book Nook - Children develop the motivation and skills necessary for reading and writing. As they look, listen to, retell and make up their own stories, they strengthen skills in all areas of development.
- Exploration - Children find the answers to questions, They are exposed to materials that spark their curiosity and learn to investigate and explore them. They use their senses to touch, feel, smell, taste and see.
- Sensory - Children are exposed their senses using a variety of materials that challenge their sense of wonder.
- Cooking - Children develop basic problem solving and math skills. They learn how food is prepared and how it contributes to their health.
- Writing - Children are presented with materials to write for different purposes where they construct understanding about print conventions, illustrations and functions of print and develop phonological awareness.
- Outdoor Classroom - Children explore the outdoors with excitement and curiosity where they develop their social, physical, language and cognitive skills by asking questions, running, jumping, building, sharing, and problem solving.
The Infants & Toddlers program is comprised of our youngest learners, ages three-months through two-years old. The focus of our curriculum for these early years is to meet the developmental needs of the children in our care within a safe and loving community. This includes fostering secure attachments by building trusting relationships with each child and by providing an environment that stimulates and encourages the critical areas of the brain that are developing at this time to prepare children for their emerging independence. We believe that children learn best through play, hands-on activities and rich interpersonal relationships. There are daily opportunities to explore, experiment, interact, imagine, create, and problem solve. Activities are designed to promote and support the attainment of developmental milestones with special care and attention given to the individual pace of each child.
Our Infant class program attempts to closely follow a child’s home schedule. Our Toddlers begin to develop class routines, eating, playing and napping at scheduled times. An important aspect of our curriculum is the building of strong partnerships with the families of the children in our care. We rely on daily communication between parents and teachers to ensure a healthy transition between care at home and at school.
Director of Early Childhood Program, Infants & Toddlers
Philosophy for Preschool
The Preschool classroom provides a child-centered environment, promoting inquiry, exploration, and social-emotional development of three and four-year old children. The focus of our Preschool program is to meet the developmental needs of the children within a safe and loving community.
Preschool Sample Schedule
Art, Music & Movement, French
Philosophy for Pre-Kindergarten
The Pre-Kindergarten program promotes exploration within both a structured and nurturing learning environment. Our child-centered program promotes and supports inquiry and exploration, and social-emotional development through The Creative Curriculum, and The Project Approach. Children are met where they are in their development, and they develop intellectual curiosity as they unfold their God-given gifts.
Pre-Kindergarten Sample Schedule
Art, PE, Music & Movement
Philosophy for Kindergarten
The Kindergarten program is a special place where children engage their hearts and minds in their learning every day. The program is designed to meet the developmental needs of children through purposeful play and inquiry-based exploration. The learning environment is arranged for children to make choices and to learn responsibility for maintaining the classroom as well as the materials. Responsive Classroom strategies for social-emotional learning are used to create and promote a cooperative community culture where children are involved in the creation of, and thus invested in, setting the rules and resolving disputes. The social curriculum is as important as the cognitive curriculum, and it is the relationship forged with the teacher and among the children that best fosters key pre-social skills. The children learn cognitive skills in a cooperative model using the Reading and Writing Workshop, and math workshop, based in Cathy Fosnot's Contexts for Learning Mathematics, and construct understandings through guided academic inquiries. The Project Approach which allows for an in-depth investigation into a certain topic. Continuous and close student observation and assessment guide the teachers in reflective and purposeful planning. Our teachers make decisions about the education of the children and the classroom space on the basis of how Kindergarten children learn best; the individual strengths, needs, and interests of each child; and the culture of each child’s family and community. Teachers and Learning Strategists believe that children are capable of high level numeracy and literacy work when they are allowed to construct their own understandings through guided cognitive inquiry. Carefully planned lessons and classroom environments make these philosophies a daily reality in the joyful and industrious Stone Ridge Kindergarten.
Kindergarten Sample Schedule