The American International School of Bamako
Teacher: Sira Diarra/Krishanthi Ekanayake
About the class
In Pre-K2 at AISB, we first and foremost aim to ensure a safe learning environment where children develop a strong sense of belonging and feel safe and confident to explore themselves and their interactions with the people and the world around them. We use a play-based, child-directed curriculum, as described in AISB’s Early Childhood Education Philosophy Statement. In Pre-K 2, a child who is happy and curious is on a great start to his or her unique learning path.
During a typical day of Pre-K2, children engage in a lot of free play outside, individual and group exploration and free play inside the classroom, short circle times (which includes book reading, puppets, songs, and dancing), exploration walks around the school campus, and other structured, fun learning experiences based on individual strengths and needs.
Throughout the year, we focus on balanced development of each child in the following domains: social-emotional learning, physical development (gross and fine motor skills), cognitive development, and language and communication skills.
Children’s Social and Emotional Development
As children play they learn to socialize with each other and also learn to identify and respond to the range of emotions that they experience through play. Through modeling and coaching from teachers as well as learned experience, children learn to respond to various emotions in an appropriate way and develop a range of other social-emotional skills such as expressing empathy for others, and sharing or taking turns.
Fine Motor Skills: Students develop their physical coordination by engaging in activities, such as stringing beads, molding with play dough, painting and using writing and drawing tools.
Gross Motor Skills: Students have plenty of outdoor play opportunities during the day and also in Physical Education periods once a week. This helps children build their gross motor skills like running, climbing, jumping, balancing, and throwing and catching balls through activities like bicycling and physical games.
Learning in Language Arts
Students are continuously exposed to oral and written language. In Pre-K 2 we focus on:
I. Listening and Speaking
II. Reading and Writing
Learning in Mathematics
Students will explore math by engaging in dynamic, hand-on games and play. We will focus on:
Numbers: children learn about numbers, start to count objects to determine quantity.
Shapes: Children identify shapes of different colors and sizes.
Spatial relations: Children flip and rotate objects and determine their location.
Measurement: Children start to understand the concept of measurement by comparing things that are small and big
Logic: Children learn to problem solve, for example when putting puzzle pieces together
Learning in Social Studies and Science
Students will learn about their place in the world and learn about the world by observing and experimenting. Our curriculum is responsive to students’ particular interests and is augmented accordingly; however our planned units of study include:
Me, Us, and My Family (August-October)
Introducing and getting to know each other, feeling safe and comfortable at school with our friends and teachers. In this unit we start to introduce self-awareness and awareness of others around us.
Where We Live (October-November)
Children start to learn about their surroundings including their homes (this may include family and pets), sights in Bamako including different types of people, homes, and animals.
This unit emphasizes social-emotional skills and learning from this unit continues throughout the entire year, particularly around identifying emotions, developing empathy which manifests in children’s play: for example, asking to use a toy someone else is using, sharing or taking turns, or saying “I do not like when you…” rather than hitting in response.
Sand and Water (February-March)
This unit is a fun exploration of the properties of sand and water through song, experiments, and a lot of play.
Together We Grow (April-June)
Children explore the notion that they and many things around them are growing, living beings. They will understand basic ideas of characteristics of living things and distinguish living versus nonliving things.
Student learning and development are assessed on an ongoing basis throughout the year, primarily through observation and recorded observations of different developmental milestones and capabilities. At the end of every quarter your child will receive a narrative report card; Parent-Teacher Conferences are held twice a year, in the first and third quarters.