Typical Class Day
The children at Cherry Hill Nursery School are able to thrive within the comfortable and predictable routine of their daily classroom schedules. Schedules are occasionally altered by teachers as necessary to meet the needs of the children, the weather, special projects or off-campus field trips.
The schedule for each day is as follows:
|Arrival & Free Play
At drop off, the helping child and their parent open the classroom door at 9 am and invite the rest of their classmates in to join them. Each child finds their name and puts it in the pocket to show they are present for the day.
After coming in, each child is free to choose from a variety of activities which the teachers choose for that morning. These activities can include manipulative materials such as pegboards, puzzles and small toys; blocks and train sets; housekeeping, dress-up and toy food and dolls, providing the opportunity to practice practical life skills and role playing; easel painting, printing, finger painting, sand table; book corners for quiet reading time; as well as other teacher-prepared activity involving art, cooking, science, or coloring.
During circle time, many important activities are shared: talks, stories, music, and more. The children complete the daily calendar under the leadership and direction of the teachers and that day's helping child, who serves as the teachers' "little assistant". Discussion time or "show and tell" allows each child an opportunity for individual expression as well as an experience in listening. The children love to hear their teachers read them a story and then reflect back what they have listened to. Teachers engage the children in music and creative play through songs, guitar playing, dance and movement. Group participation is always encouraged, but never forced.
Each class has at least one outdoor play period, and some have more. The fenced playground provides ample space for active running, jumping, climbing, bike riding and games. The children love to find the little "treasures" that their teachers sprinkle throughout the sand playground, and often collect them to bring home, so don't be surprised if you find many sparkly tiny items in your child's cubby at pickup!
The children are given 5-10 minutes to finish their activities unhurriedly before they clean up. The helping child assists with playing or singing the clean up song, and the teachers encourage all the children to work together to tidy up the classroom for the next activity.
Snack time is a time for the helping child and their parent to share a trio of special favorite snacks from home, while enjoying time to talk to each other while they eat. After snack, the helping parent assists with putting away placemats and tidying up the room, while the helping child can choose to help their parent or join their classmates in the adjoining classroom for the next activity.
A short calming time during an active morning is essential for young children. Listening to music or a story helps the children to relax. Children often enjoy looking quietly at a book while listening to soothing music, sometimes played on their teacher's own guitar.
Our curriculum is enhanced with many opportunities for our children to be exposed to wonderful and enriching experiences.
Since Cherry Hill Nursery School is located adjacent to Mountain Lakes and Witherspoon Woods in Princeton, the classes frequently take nature walks on the trails to see local wildlife habitats and the outdoor world up close.
In addition to the weekly enrichment classes such as music, all-school programs and assemblies are scheduled several times throughout the year. They have included visits from the local fire and police departments, storytelling, science demonstrations, traveling animal exhibits. Our holiday celebrations are a special time to share food, sing songs and make crafts together.
Field trips help expand the children's knowledge through hands-on learning. Trips are scheduled periodically throughout the year and have included visits to Doyle's Farm, Terhune Orchards, Princeton University Art Museum, McCaffrey's Supermarket and the Princeton Public Library.