Oconto Falls Elementary School (Oconto Falls, WI). The Oconto Falls School District was one of the first in Wisconsin to develop a 4K program for all children. The OFES Early Childhood (EC) and 4K program curriculum is tightly aligned to the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS) and provides children with a play and sensory-based learning environment. In recent years, as the academic rigor of K-12 education has increased, the EC, 4K, and 5K teachers have collaborated to ensure that CCSS-based learning targets inform the WMELS-based instruction at the EC and 4K level so that children are well prepared for subsequent grade-levels. The positive impact of our EC and 4K programs is most apparent as children are transitioning to 5K with higher level skills and readiness to continue learning. In relation to basic reading skills, 1st through 5th grade teachers devote approximately 20-30 minutes per day to word study instruction. Pre-kindergarten (4K) and kindergarten (5K) devote approximately 20-30 minutes daily to explicit phonological awareness instruction/activities, using the Literacy Link Program. This instruction is reinforced by specialists during interventions to target areas of phonological need.
Tool Elementary School (Tool, TX). TES offers a Pre-K class for four year olds. The curriculum is aligned with the Kindergarten TEKS and includes academic, listening, social interaction, and communication skills. This curriculum gives each student the tools to be ready academically, physically, and mentally for kindergarten. The students learn by exploring and manipulating activities with a focus on motor skills. The beginning stages of stations are set up for technology, hands-on, and group interaction. Breakfast and lunch times provide a family setting so the teacher can provide guidance on nutrition and fine motor skills. In 2013, the Pre-K program received the Texas Pre-K Center of Excellence award.
McCook Elementary School (McCook, NE). Little Bison Preschool uses the High-Scope curriculum to develop children’s intellectual, academic, physical, social, and emotional development, which vertically aligns with Kindergarten entry skills. This process occurs continuously through “play” because students apply the skills they learn. Four principles guide our children’s growth and learning: 1) children are active learners, 2) children learn in unique ways, 3) learning is more meaningful when it is integrated across all areas of development, and 4) learning is continuous.