- Updated: 06 October 2016
- Published: 31 October 2015
- Hits: 1789
Welcome to The Renaissance International School preschool (known as “Primary”) classrooms. Our preschool is on our Oakland campus. The classrooms are for children age 3 to 6 years old. You will notice that at The Renaissance International School, what is traditionally referred to as ‘kindergarten’ takes place in the last of year of our Primary classrooms.
We have three Primary classrooms:
Spanish Primary I: In this classroom there is one Spanish-speaking Montessori teacher, one English-speaking Montessori teacher, and one Spanish-speaking assistant teacher.
French Primary II: In this classroom there is one French-speaking Montessori teacher, one English-speaking Montessori teacher, and one English-speaking assistant teacher.
Spanish Primary III: In this classroom there is one Spanish-speaking Montessori teacher, one English-speaking Montessori teacher, and one Spanish-speaking assistant teacher.
There are no more than 27 students in each Primary classroom. While each classroom is slightly different, in accordance with the personalities present in each classroom, our core curriculum is consistent across the classrooms. Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Literature, Art, Music, Mathematics and Cultural work are the core components of the preschool curriculum. It is important to understand that each of these areas is delivered in the languages present in each classroom.
Practical life involves activities which develop and strengthen the child’s independence, motor-coordination, concentration, sequential memory and socialization. During these primary years, children move from simple tasks like pouring and polishing to more complex exercises which each involve an hour or more of the morning’s work.
By way of example, because each primary classroom studies a particular continent each school year, group cooking experiences become an extension of practical life, as the students preparing and serve lunch once a week based on a recipe from the classroom’s continent of study.
hands-on learning materials that make abstract concepts clear and concrete.
Students can literally see and explore what is going on. Our approach to teaching mathematics is based on the research of Drs. Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget. It offers a clear and logical strategy for helping students both understand and develop a sound foundation in mathematics and geometry. Since quantities larger than twenty rarely have any meaning to a young child, Dr. Montessori reasoned that we should present this abstract concept graphically. Children cannot normally conceive of the size of a hundred, thousand, or million, much less the idea that a thousand is equal to ten hundreds or one hundred tens.
preschool level are placed in either a Spanish/English or a French/English immersion classroom. They are in an environment where at least one of their three classroom teachers speaks to the children in the second language at all times.
Lessons are given in both English and the second language. Students have an opportunity to acquire new vocabulary during lessons and in the context of conversations. Words that are new today are familiar tomorrow, building on the child’s confidence to understand and express himself in the second language. Because teachers are native speakers, children acquire excellent accents and language patterns. The written form of the language is introduced based on the readiness of each child.
lacing our youngest students in classes in which the older students are already reading. All children want to do what the big kids can do, and because the intriguing work that absorbs the older students involves reading, there is a natural lure for the younger children.
The process of learning to read and write at The Renaissance International School comes naturally and begins with a child’s first interest.
Our students begin by learning the phonetic sounds of the alphabet, then going on to phonograms, and then to puzzle words. Mastery of these basic skills normally develops so smoothly that students tend to exhibit a sudden explosion into reading that leaves our young students, not to mention their families, beaming with pride.
Once our young students have made their first breakthroughs into reading, they tend to proceed rapidly.
There is typically a quick jump from reading and writing single words to sentences and stories. At this point, we begin a systematic study of the English language: vocabulary, spelling rules, linguistics, and grammar. We begin to teach the function of words to students as young as kindergärtners, just as they are first learning how to put words together in writing to express themselves. This leads them to master these vital skills during a time in their lives when it is a delight, rather than a chore. Before long, they learn to write naturally and well.
They are also introduced to Art Appreciation, via exposure to creations of great artists and the art and beauty of nature. Some children will begin modeling animal and human figures using new types of clay and carving tools. Older primary children begin making more detailed images and may begin to create sculptural group/composition, using various tools and techniques. In addition, older primary students learn about various genres of art; portrait, landscape, still life. They begin creating artwork in these genres, as well as learning how different art can be architecture, sculpture, design, etc. Children begin to see a connection between real life and artwork, and to see the beauty around us and truly appreciate art. Every Primary student has one to two art sessions per week. Lessons are given to each child individually but within a group setting during one of the sessions. Each student chooses the day and time to go to art spontaneously. Younger students have a one hour session; older primary students (usually 4.5 years old and older) have a one and a half hour session. We continue working with the basic art materials listed above. But as students get older their concentration and fine motor skills improve. They begin to explore new, more challenging art materials and techniques.
offers a comprehensive program that addresses the musical needs of children beginning in early childhood. The program is based upon the Kodály Method of teaching, founded in Hungary by Zoltán Kodály. The philosophy behind our music program is to foster the child’s educational experience through sound ability, to utilize and control the first musical instrument known to mankind, the voice, and to develop a basis to stimulate and enhance learning in academics.
As the children continue to develop their abilities, they advance to The Renaissance International School’s various ensembles, private lessons, and subjects within our music program.
The current music program comprises several facets:
• Introductory small group lessons using the Kodály method
• Introductory choral ensemble for children who have learned to reproduce and identify notes with clarity and precision
• Introduction to performance etiquette
• Second level choral ensemble for those children who are ready to sing two-part music
• Third level choral ensemble for those children who are ready to sing multiple-part music
• Introduction to performance with non-parent audiences
• Private instrumental lessons including the piano and the recorder, to be followed by the flute, the violin and the classical guitar
• Music appreciation and music history.
what is traditionally referred to as “kindergarten” is the last year of Primary. Here is a list of our considerations regarding readiness for that last year of Primary:
Emotional and Social: having the ability to work with peers for an extended amount of time i.e. ability to work on a project with another child and complete the project.
1) having the ability to plan a work period with the guidance of a teacher
2) having the ability to separate easily from parents at any given time
3) having the ability to speak to a teacher without the help of the parent if a problem arises.
Intellectual: learning the idea of using work time effectively to meet goals and deadlines with ease.
Concentration: having the ability to concentrate on any single or multiple-step task, without loosing focus, for a 2 to 3 hour work period.
Consistence: having the ability to consistently choose work that enhances his or her level.
Problem Solving: having the ability to follow through with a multi-step task independently and having the ability to recognize when help is needed
Oral Comprehension: having the ability to comprehend, retain and follow through with a multiple-step command.
Reading: having the ability to read short phonetic books, ready to be introduced to phonograms.
Writing: having the ability to copy a list of words or numbers.
Math: addition: 4 digit problems with material.