“Learning is the emergence of that which was not there before. It is a search for the self as well as for the other and others that surround each individual.”
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Tulip Tree Preschool is a state-certified Reggio-inspired preschool program for children ages 2 – 6 yrs.
Currently we are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Beginning in Fall of 2014 we will expand our hours slightly. We will be open from 8:30-4:30.
We provide a learning environment that is play-based, child-led, and project-oriented. Our curriculum, which is inspired by the work (play) of the children, is organized by the teachers, and is rooted in the common values of social justice, multimedia art, story telling, science, math, and multi-layered learning.
Play is important work. Children use play to test ideas, to try on roles, and to magnify the world around them. Play provides teachers at Tulip Tree with essential information about the children whom we work with. By offering the children many different types of media to play with, we allow them to experiment with their thoughts and ideas in various ways.
We believe learning is a cyclical process that begins with the inspiration of an idea, then into experimenting with the idea, conversing about the idea, feeling messy or disorganized, integrating information, and producing work (art, dance, song, etc), and eventually becoming inspired to have a new idea. We allow plenty of time for scientific inquiry, and connect children’s play and project-work to early literacy and numeracy.
Listening and Documentation
Listening is one of our daily joys as teachers. We use documentation and observation (listening) as reflection tools for our work.
Our documentation is an expression of love for the children, our work, and ourselves. It is our way of telling the stories of our community, and of letting the children know that their work (play) is valued. We listen for ideas, feelings, connections, and new skills.
We also listen to the child’s authentic self. We listen to honor the pulse of our community. Teachers take pictures, jot down conversations, and reflect daily on our preschool blog. Documentation also helps us to assess development. When we have records of a child’s journey, we can look back and project forward.
This is one of the ways we help individual children to grow.
Tulip Tree Preschool is an inclusive environment. We welcome diverse families and celebrate differences of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, or ability. We strive to have a thoughtful and friendly community. When we enter into relationships with children and their families, we are committing to a process of understanding and growth.
Parents have many opportunities to take part in their children’s learning in a meaningful way. We provide many opportunities throughout the year for parents to engage in our learning community, such as conferences, a book club, family events, and parent nights.
Nature is full of wonder, information and questions. As people, we seek out and create beauty (light, color, sound, movement, story), and are often influenced by our environment.
At Tulip Tree, we spend ample amounts of time outdoors every day, rain or shine, because it is our birthright to have a profound relationship with our natural world. The clothed or naked presence of the Tulip Tree, the coolness or warmth of the air, the changing light of shadows, the ferns, the birth and death of our yearly garden, the rain and the fleeting dry season, all help us to learn cycle at a core level, to embrace our delicate selves, and the ever-changing brilliance of life.
We also believe that the environment is a third teacher, a “living organism.” We are frequently assessing the environment to see where its challenges and strengths are, and implementing changes according to our observations.