Early Childhood


Coonley -- CPS Ready to Learn Preschool Program--information at Ready to Learn

Preschool Curriculum

Coonley's preschool is a play-based preschool model with a focus on developing literacy and math skills through the use of rich children's literature, centers, small group activities, and outdoor play which are centered around a focused theme or unit of study (Five Senses, Apples, Plants, etc).

Daily Schedule

Our daily schedule includes an opening and closing circle time, self-select or center time, small groups, and outdoor play/exploration. Preschool children also participate in weekly gym, library, and music classes.

Circle Time

During opening and closing circle time, literacy and math skills are informally taught using children's literature, finger plays, songs, and games. Children also have an opportunity to share important news during circle time. Opening and closing circle generally lasts between 15-20 minutes each.



We go outside everyday, weather permitting, for 30 minutes. During this time, children and teachers interact on the playground or explore our neighborhood.

Center Time

During our 60 minute center or self-select time children are able to choose from the following centers: blocks, table toys, manipulatives, board games, writing/journaling, discovery (science), sensory (sand and water), art, dramatic play, computers, play dough, dramatic play, listening center, and library. Children are encouraged to participate in more than one center during this time.

During center time teachers will work in small groups of four to six children to focus on a specific literacy and/or math skill such as letter/number recognition, rhyming skills, letter sounds, counting skills, one-to-one correspondence and other developmentally appropriate skills. These skills are taught within the context of the current theme or unit of study. Small group time is limited to 10-15 minutes. We use a variety of literacy and math manipulatives and games to teach skills; NO worksheets are used to teach or practice skills. We believe preschool children learn best through play, so we "play" with our students and encourage their use of play in the classroom.

Classroom Make Up

Our preschool classrooms at Coonley are a mix of ages and genders because children learn not only from us, but from each other as well. We have found that mixing ages and genders provides the best growth for most children. 
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