We believe children learn through experience. When children encounter new information, play with materials in differing ways, and have meaningful exchanges with other children and adults, they are making sense of the world. Children have preferred strengths, unique learning styles, different interests, and likes and dislikes. As educators, we provide appropriate learning environments and arrange learning opportunities that match children's strengths and preferences.
We have 4 classrooms for the preschool ages, ranging from 3 to 4 years. Children are separated according to age and typically travel together with their class throughout their time at ITC.
Preschool 1: 3 years by August 31st; Up to 14 children per class with a minimum of 2 accompanying teachers throughout the day.
Preschool 2: 4 years by August 31st; Up to 16 children per class with a minimum of 2 accompanying teachers throughout the day.
Nature is woven throughout our program, and preschool groups have an additional nature opportunity with our on-staff naturalist. Our naturalist visits each preschool class weekly from mid-September through June for a weekly lesson and nature walk. Sessions typically include a short lesson followed by an excursion. Topics include animal tracking, the food chain, camouflage, wildflower hunts, frog catching, scavenger hunts, tree identification, and more.
Teachers fold musical experiences into daily Circle Times, including exposure to a range of rhythm instruments, such as rhythm sticks, egg shakers, bells, drums and castanets.
ITC is proud to partner with Indian Hill Music's Music for Aarvarks program as an enhancement for preschool children. This innovative program is led by Indian Hill’s highly-qualified and engaging teachers, who introduce learners to the diverse world of music through upbeat and relatable original songs paired with traditional songs from around the globe. Sessions include games, singing, dancing, storytelling, instrumental “jam sessions,” and other activities that will build a foundation for a lifelong love of music.
Sensory exploration is vital to early childhood exploration, and perhaps no where is that more visible than in art. At ITC, we offer daily opportunities for children to express themselves through art, believing that this expression is a critical medium for expressing feeling, analyzing and interpreting the world, and developing skills to see the world through other points of view. Art activities may include structured activity where children are led in small groups to create a project such as binoculars made from paper towel holders to open-play, choice activities where teachers offer various mediums (paper, beads, pipe cleaners, water colors, and more) to allow free expression. On any given day, you may find ITC's preschool groups painting masterpieces hung on the fences outdoors, creating unique tie-dyes, or constructing a near life-sized cardboard castle as teachers extend children's natural interest. Each year, a piece of every child's art is showcased in our Annual Art Show, bringing together friends, family, and community to celebrate our children's contribution to the arts.
Whether it's nurturing and harvesting from our community gardens, slicing cucumbers, preparing soup, or making muffins, the children of ITC are no strangers to the kitchen. Children are served group snacks each morning and afternoon, sourced from a selection of ITC provided and parent donated items that range from yogurt and fruit to hummus and vegetables. This community time encourages children to experience new and familiar foods together as they learn more about keeping their bodies healthy and strong. With a shared in-house kitchen facility, teachers and students also partner together in cooking. They create nutritious (and delicious) recipes throughout the year - ranging from zucchini muffins for afternoon snack to a hearty fall soup for a community lunch day. Our love of cooking together runs deep at ITC, where you'll see even our older infants stirring and scooping. We are incredibly fortunate to have our own community gardens on campus, where each class - from infancy to school age - is in charge of growing 2 vegetables from seed to harvest. Watching the process of a seed sprout and grow, and ultimately bear fruit, intimately connects our children to their food source. In summer, you'll see an extra sense of pride when our children are preparing zucchini from their own garden.