"Our son, Noah, loves his time with Miss Brooke and in the Learning Time Classroom! He is always excited to go and loves to show and tell me about what he learned, the craft(s) he made, and the fun he had with Brooke and the other students. Brooke’s passion and education shine through her and you can see that in the faces of her students. Everything she does is hands on, tailored to his age and level and fun! Noah says he loves everything about Learning Time Classroom!"
- Kayla T., Clifton Park parent
"Our son absolutely loves going to Learning Time Classroom. He looks forward to class each week. Brooke is amazing with the kids. She makes learning so fun and engaging. We love that all the activities are hands on and focus on age appropriate developmental skills. Brooke is very knowledgeable and passionate about what she does. We couldn’t be happier with Learning Time Classroom."
- Luka K., Clifton Park parent
Afternoon Explorers! is an enrichment preschool program that provides play-based, developmentally appropriate and research-based literacy and math instruction to our youngest learners. Afternoon Explorers! classes are play-based and designed with the "whole child" in mind! Each class includes lots of play, a lesson and activity with a sequence and progression of skills.
The literacy component of the class focuses on building the child's vocabulary (an important early step on the pathway to literacy) through interactive read-alouds and guided discussions. Read-alouds offer an excellent opportunity to provide exposure to rich language and engage in fun activities to build language as part of a daily routine. Learners will also engage with the sounds in words (phonemic awareness). The ability to identify, blend, segment, and manipulate the sounds in words is important for learning to read.
Engaging in activities for developing phonemic awareness is integrated into every Afternoon Explorers! class. Many pre-reading skills are easier to learn in the early years. For example, young children learn the letter names and sounds of consonants easier when they are mastered earlier in the children's oral language development. Afternoon Explorers! focuses on building background knowledge of key skills and information that will assist your child in moving into the school setting. This includes alphabet knowledge, and phonemic awareness; understanding that letters are a building block and tool for reading.
Children are natural mathematicians! They push and pull toys, stack blocks, and fill empty cups of water in the bathtub. All of these activities allow young children to experience math concepts as they experiment with spatial awareness, measurement, and problem solving. The math component of Afternoon Explorers! allows children to actively engage in activities that will encourage them to describe, explain, and consider ideas from their immediate environment. During Afternoon Explorers! your child will be sorting, predicting, learning about shapes, measurement and number sense. They will also learn fine motor skills, gross motor skills, art and participate in sensory based activities.
Early math is not about rote learning or discrete facts like how much 5 + 7 equals. Rather, it's about children actively making sense of the world around them. Unlike worksheets with one correct answer, open-ended, playful exploration encourages children to solve problems in real situations. Because the situations are meaningful, children can gain a deeper understanding of number, quantity, size, patterning, and data management.
Each class is unique and consists of the following:
Morning PLAY! -- This is an opportunity for students to explore, create, and communicate. Students get excited about the day and are encouraged to collaborate with their peers.
Circle/Calendar Time -- This includes reviewing the morning schedule, singing a welcome song, discussing the weather, and a brief sharing time. The main purpose is to set the tone for the class and help your child feel safe and secure in a routine.
Interactive Read Aloud -- Stories will be read with the engagement of the students. This encourages students to think about, talk about, and respond to the text as a whole group.
Snack Time -- Children can bring a small, healthy snack and water bottle.
Activity Centers -- focused around new skill or concept.
Free Play/Sensory Bins -- This time at the end of class provides the children with the opportunity to explore and learn through hands-on tactile play that engages their senses.