Early Childhood Grades
PK3 - 2nd Grade
When we accept your child into our early childhood classrooms, we begin a relationship which we hope to foster and continue through eighth grade and beyond. We create a platform of future success for your child in education as well as in faith formation. What we teach our children each day cannot be measured on a price tag. Our DMCA alumni succeed and thrive throughout high school, college, and adulthood.
We employ developmentally appropriate practices and recognize the importance of pretend play and recess. We recognize that children must be active learners, and we acknowledge the importance of developmental readiness in learning. Through differentiated and small-group instruction, we can empower all of our students regardless of where they are in their development. Centers and group study provide both extra support and enrichment. We focus on higher-order thinking skills and problem solving techniques, ever mindful of individual learning styles. We also recognize that the jobs of tomorrow will require cooperative learning skills, and we ensure that our students learn to work together so that they can achieve success now and in the years to come.
We learn to read, practice fluency, and stimulate phonological awareness in the domain of language development. In math, we identify numbers, add, subtract, and begin facts fluency. Programs such as STAR, DIBELS, and EasyCBM as well as running records and other standardized assessments help us to track progress. At DMCA, we use the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), a nationally-normed standardized test, in order to offer our educators a comprehensive view of individual as well as group progress and needs in various academic areas. These tests begin in second grade. We do not use Florida standardized tests, and our educators do not teach to the test; instead, we foster test-taking skills throughout the year with the end goal of enabling our students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills on all types of assessments.
Family involvement is an important part of the early childhood years; we consider ourselves partners with parents. Teaching teams maintain close relationships with families via regular newsletters, email, reports, and conferences. We encourage and appreciate parent volunteers to enhance our school family. We believe that children need a safe, caring, and stimulating environment in which to grow, and here in our early childhood classrooms, we strive to provide just that each day as we prepare each and every one of our young learners for a bright and wonderful future.