At Bucktown Academy, our curriculum is driven by the Illinois Early Learning Standards. All units of study are based on student interest and integrate literacy, mathematics, science, and art standards. On a daily basis, students participate in authentic learning experiences by engaging in centers, small groups, and whole group instruction. Throughout the year, students are assessed by observations and formal assessments. At Bucktown Academy, we believe that children learn best when they are immersed in meaningful and authentic activities, which will develop a life-long love of learning. You will not find high-stake assessments or developmentally inappropriate mandates at Bucktown Academy. Our director and lead teacher is a National Board Certified teacher who has taught preschool children for over fifteen years. Our goal is that your child leaves Bucktown Academy kindergarten ready and with a passion for learning.

Learning Centers: 

Learning centers provide a classroom structure that facilitates the active learning of children. Centers provide opportunities for children to learn through concrete experiences with real objects. Through learning centers, children have opportunities for: 

  • Social interaction with peers leading to cooperative learning, peer teaching, and the development of social skills
  • Language development as they verbalize their actions and discuss problems and solutions with others
  • Cognitive development as they experiment, explore, manipulate, compare and contrast, ask questions, and solve problems
  • Physical development as they move and are actively involved in making choices
  • Motivated learning
  • Creative development through art, music, and writing activities

Materials and activities in the centers reflect a variety of skill levels so that the children may choose those appropriate to their own level and achieve success.   

Through the art center, children: 

  • Explore differences in colors, line, texture, and shape by painting, drawing, molding, cutting, pasting, and constructing
  • Express their thoughts, ideas, imaginations, and creativity through picture making, puppetry, modeling, constructing, and printmaking
  • Enhance fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
  • Critique his/her own work
  • Focus on the process of discovery rather than the product
  • Students also receive weekly art classes by Easel Art

Through the block center, children: 

  • Discover patterns, gravity, shapes, sorting, measurement, spatial sense, and counting
  • Have opportunities to construct and deconstruct and engage in symbolic play
  • Feel a sense of accomplishment in constructing and creating
  • Act independently and make choices
  • Engage in cooperative group play
  • Solve problems related to physical principles  

Through the writing center, children: 

  • Become aware of speech sounds and patterns of rhymes, poems, and chants
  • Learn to identify sounds of speech  
  • Use language in a variety of situations
  • Write & draw using a variety of writing tools and paper sources
  • Dictate stories to adults
  • Journal
  • Enhance fine motor skills by manipulating a variety of writing materials

Science & Sensory:
Through the science & sensory center, children: 

  • Explore their environment by using inquiry and discovery
  • Consider logical relationships within and among objects
  • Weigh, measure, and compare and contrast objects in their environment
  • Plant seeds, grow, and nurture plants
  • Use simple machines and understand how they function
  • Stimulate curiosity, exploration, and problem solving
  • Make inferences and predictions about cause and effect relationships
  • Focus on the process of discovery rather than the product
  • Develop compassion for living things

Dramatic Play:
Through the dramatic play center, children: 

  • Learn about themselves and their families by playing dress up and imitating things they observe in their environment 
  • Play cooperatively with others, take turns, and share
  • Apply knowledge to new situations
  • Classify according to common characteristics
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the social expectations and attitudes of others

Through the library center, children: 

  • Develop an appreciation and love of books
  • Learn how to handle and hold books
  • Develop emergent literacy skills 
  • Participate in story telling activities
  • Attach positive, emotional feelings to their experiences with books  
  • Retell or dramatize stories
  • Play with words
  • Engage in a variety of print activities

Through the math center, children: 

  • Develop perceptual, conceptual, and fine motor skills
  • Sort, classify, and sequence objects according to attributes of shape, color, texture, and size
  • Work independently and feel a sense of accomplishment
  • Create and duplicate simple and complex patterns
  • Demonstrate emergent logical-mathematical knowledge
  • Consider logical relationships within and among objects

Students will participate in learning centers daily but will also engage in small groups and whole group instruction.