Nurturing growth for a strong educational foundation.
Our Little Hearts classrooms are places of engagement and wonder for the hearts and minds of very young children to grow in all areas: social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual.
This is where the love of learning begins in our Sacred Heart family.
Little Hearts is Stone Ridge’s co-educational Early Childhood Program
(Infants & Toddlers through Kindergarten).
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.