An interview with Finley, age 5
Hinckley-Big Rock’s early childhood program has offered an inclusive blended learning environment as an option for students since the fall of 2019. This classroom provides students with developmental delays the opportunity to learn alongside typically developing preschool-aged children, who serve as social and language models. We took a minute to talk with one preschooler about her perspective.
So, Finley, what do you like most about preschool?
“I like playing with my friends outside - there’s just so much things I like about preschool! I like about preschool that I get to play with friends like in pink and orange and yellow and purple [stations]…”
In our preschool classrooms, children learn developmentally appropriate skills through play, exploration, and direct instruction. We meet each learner where he/she is and create opportunities for them to learn and to grow.
Finley, what do you learn in preschool?
“[I learn]...my ABCs and counting to 20… I can count to 100, so…whoa”.
In addition to early reading, math and STEAM skills, the children learn essential non-academic skills, such as waiting, taking turns, sharing, sustaining attention, emotional control, how to be a friend, and how to be a learner.
Finley, you said you like trying new things in Preschool. What new things do you like to do?
“Well, sometimes the morning time, it changes. I like that, sometimes, ya know sometimes, I get to go to music class…but also, sometimes that changes [music schedule]”.
Finley’s right. Sometimes, the schedule changes and that’s okay, because it’s those changes that teach our kiddos to be flexible.
There are many benefits in attending HBR’s blended program. Our youngest Royals get to experience being in the building, meeting our staff, playing on our playground, and trying new things.
Our kindergarten teachers report, “Not only do the children come [from HBR Blended EC] prepared academically with early literacy skills and number sense, they also socially benefit from small class sizes and a small student to teacher ratio. Students come to kindergarten already familiar with the school building itself and many of the staff members. This helps ease any potential anxiety they may have coming into kindergarten.”
Parents see benefits of having their young ones at HBRES for preschool as well:
“I love that the transition to kindergarten is going to be seamless for my child. She already feels comfortable within the building.” ~ Finley’s mom
More information about our blended program can be found here.