Pando Little School
A Progressive Preschool
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Program

Curriculum & Schedule

Our school’s curriculum is three interconnected parts:

explorations, inquiries, and projects.


Explorations

Explorations are opportunities for children to encounter a range of materials, experiences, and people with no pre-set outcome in mind.  

We support explorations by selecting a range of enticing materials so children, teachers, and parents can exchange ideas.

The teacher supports explorations by listening to and observing the children, asking open-ended questions in an attempt to determine what deeper themes the children may be investigating.


Inquiries

Inquiries are more targeted, facilitated explorations of a particular question, theme, or idea that arose during open exploration.

During an inquiry, children intentionally use materials over an extended period of time to respond to a question or cluster of questions.

For example, children who already have some familiarity with magnets may puzzle over the question,  “What makes them stick?” for days or weeks at a time.

The teacher’s role is to listen and document children’s theories, using statements, questions, novel materials, or peers to guide the children towards new, more sophisticated questions.


Projects

Projects are goal-oriented endeavors formulated and executed by children and teachers together over an extended period of time.

Projects are more linear than explorations and inquiries, often requiring that children work through a series of steps or stages.  

For example, children who have explored magnets and inquired into what makes them stick are now drawing connections between magnets and cranes.

Several children express a desire to make a crane with a magnet on the end of its arm.

The three children will need to work together to develop a plan, perhaps draft a model, and then master the skills necessary to build the crane themselves.


 
The patterns which connect...What pattern connects the crab to the lobster and the orchid to the primrose and the four of them to me? And me to you?
— Gregory Bateson
 

 

Daily Schedule

Our program's core hours are between 9am and 2:45pm.  Families are welcome to drop off their child anytime between 8am and 9am, and pick up their child anytime between 2:45pm and 4pm.

8:00-9:00    School day begins
Children and families gradually arrive at school, greet one another, and put away children's belongings.  Children begin to play with peers and teachers, and may elect to help set up the classroom.


9:00-10:30      Free Choice
Children and teachers engage in explorations, inquiries and projects using a range of materials. Children have ample time to connect with friends and play uninterrupted.


10:30-10:50    Communal Snack
Children come together for a nutritious meal prepared by their peers, and linger at their table, talking to friends.


10:50-11:10     Meeting
Children gather for the daily meeting.  Meeting is a time for children to express themselves, listen to one another, explore ideas, and collaborate.


11:10-12:00     Small groups
Children are dismissed from meeting into small groups.  Teachers plan these groups ahead of time based on children's relationships, personalities, and current projects.


12:00-12:30     Lunch
Children come together for lunch.


12:30-1:30      Rest Time
Children are given an opportunity to engage in a solitary activity.  Some may sleep, others may not.  Those who do not fall asleep within 30 minutes are invited to get up and take part in another, calming activity.


1:30-2:45      Free Choice
Children and teachers engage in explorations, inquiries and projects using a range of materials. Children have ample time to connect with friends and play uninterrupted.


2:45-3:00        Tea Time
We come together for a cup of tea, snack, and teacher-facilitated activity. We may read a story, share a memory from the day, express what we're grateful for, or talk about plans for after school.  Families are welcome to arrive at any point during or after tea time and may join us for a spot of tea before picking up their child.


3:00-4:00        School day wraps up
Families are welcome to pick up their child anytime between 2:45 and 4pm.  We use the final hour of the day to tidy up our space together, relax, and be together outside.