Upper Pre-K

Ages: 3 to 4 years Child/Staff Ratio: 9:1 NC Regulation: 15:1


We have a five day program in our center for children ages 4 to 5 years old with hours from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Learning through Play is the fundamental work of childhood and an important part of developing cognitive, social/emotional and physical skills. Our curriculum focuses on the concept that children learn best through play. It is important for children to have opportunities to construct their own knowledge through creativity, interaction, exploration, and imitation of role models. Every child is unique, therefore; our curriculum offer different learning styles.

The weekly thematic approach guides our developmentally appropriate planning for three, four and five year olds. An interdisciplinary teaching approach that organizes instruction on weekly basis and delivers basic curriculum through a broad choice of topics, e.g., Community Helpers, All About Me & Family, Body Parts …etc. Teachers select topics of interest to their children and use these ideas to support developmental objectives for children’s need. Teachers create lesson plans based on the weekly theme and incorporate language, math, science/sensory, small motor, large motor, creative, social and emotional objectives and are integrated with the learning centers.

The classroom arrangement is well organized and stocked learning areas sets the framework for our preschool curriculum, where learning through play is the focal point. The daily schedule allows for an appropriate balance of active and quiet, large and small group, child-initiated and teacher-facilitated activities. Daily teacher-directed lessons focus on early reading and math concepts. Reading activities address early literacy skills such as rhyming, phonemic awareness, basic vocabulary, listening comprehension, and reading for enjoyment. Math activities provide opportunities to explore concepts such as counting, one-to-one correspondence, and number sense. Foreign Language program focuses on learning basic Spanish vocabulary. Teachers prepare weekly reports so you will know what your child’s week was like.  Our emphasis is on children’s interests and participation in their learning and on their capability to make positive choices. Teachers set up an enriched environment, plan activities based on children’s developmental need and then monitor, evaluate and expand their learning. Our goals and objectives for this age group are taken from Mecklenburg County Public School Kindergarten expectations.

The children are encouraged to be curious, competent learners making choices and building on previous knowledge and experiences. As children play, they expose their skills and understandings, and providing signal for teachers to connect with them in ways that will be significant.  Young children mature and develop skills at different rates and each child is given the opportunity to develop at his or her own pace in a setting that is challenging, pleasant, and lasting love of learning.

Each day the children are encouraged to explore their world and interact with one another in the different learning centers. We offer low student-to-teacher ratios that allow specific teaching to support individual learning needs. Teachers provide daily teacher-directed lessons to focus on early reading, science and pre-math concepts based on thematic unit and structures lessons. Our program helps children develop language, pre-math, science as well as build social sills and self confidence in a nurture and enriching, trusting atmosphere. Children usually use different techniques to resolve conflicts in a positive way by ignoring, distracting, reasoning, negotiating, compromising, or cooperating in situations. Some activities are student-directed and teacher-directed, including circle time, language, math, art, science and social studies, so teachers will help children to be ready for his/her primary school years. Shining Stars Academy acknowledges a child’s need for consistency and structure throughout the day.

Music & movement, language, art, block, sand/water play, manipulative, housekeeping/dramatic play, outdoor play, snacks and daily routine activities are planned daily and computers, math, Spanish and science are planned at least 3 times a week.

Every day, teachers provide you with a weekly report on your child’s development and daily activities. We include eating, sleeping, and information on activities/special moments during the day. Each month you will receive a parent newsletter that contains your child’s classroom news, to keep you informed of school event and weekly report to inform you of your child’s progress.

Curriculum Objectives

Language and Speaking Skills

  • Tell first and last name and some personal information
  • Retell a short story
  • Recall details of a short story
  • Participate in group discussions

Reading Skills

  • Listen to stories
  • Become interested in books
  • “Read” books to self or others
  • Handling of books

Writing Skills

  • Use abstract symbols as letters in name
  • Hold crayon, marker or pencil correctly
  • Cut with scissors

Social and Emotional Skills

  • Follow simple rules
  • Use creative thought process to solve problems
  • Work cooperatively with and show respect to others
  • Develop rational and critical thinking
  • Respect others personal space
  • Exhibit self-control
  • Accept and trust others
  • Initiate entering into play with others
  • Develop self-esteem & self-worth

Math- Number Insight

  • Meaningful count (0-3)
  • Rote count (0-10)

Math- Measurement

  • Compare quantities (more, less, equal, unequal)
  • Compare objects (size, height, weight, length)
  • Compare volume (more, less)
  • Compare area (big, small)

Math- Patterns

  • Observe and create different patterns involving everyday life
  • Identify and continue a pattern with materials
  • Identify basic shapes
  • Sort materials by common features
  • Create and experience graphs


  • Use colors that are real and imaginary in artwork
  • Explore and create individual projects with all types of art mediums
  • Experiment with creating different textures in play dough and clay
  • Express creativity

Science- Attitudes and Habits

  • Display a curiosity about the world
  • Cooperate with classmates to solve problems
  • Understand that questioning is a part of the scientific process
  • Discover ways scientists make observations and solve problems
  • Develop observation skills

Science- Development of Concepts

  • Identify and explain that descriptions about natural occurrences can be sorted in different ways
  • Identify that in the natural world cause-and-effect relationships exist
  • Recognize that in the natural world change occurs

Science- Health

  • Describe how different people and places can give us help when needed
  • Name ways to avoid germs
  • Give examples of nutritious snacks
  • Describe proper teeth care
  • Identify reasons for talking to an adult before using any unknown substance

Science- Physical Growth

  • Play simple, non-competitive games
  • Demonstrate understanding of simple concepts (up, down, high, low)
  • Display a sense of risk-taking
  • Balance body while doing simple stunts
  • Catch a large object with two hands
  • Jump hop (one & two feet)

Social Studies

  • Compare how clothing differs because of the change in weather each day/month
  • Recognize that accepting responsibility and having rules is important
  • Describe the different ways families celebrate special events or holidays
  • Demonstrate appropriate ways to communicate wants or needs


  • Use different movements (clap, stomp, pat, jump) and play a steady beat with a group
  • Sing, using voices that are fast or slow, loud or soft
  • Change voice to match different pitches

Daily Schedule for Upper Pre-K

7:00am-8:30am *Open Learning Centers- Free Choice
8:30am-9:00am **Transitional Routines
9:00am-9:15am Circle Time/Story Time
9:15am-10:30am *Open Learning Centers – Free Choices/ Individual/Small Group/ Teacher Directed Activities to encourage developmental skills
10:30am-11:30am Outdoor Physical Activity
11:30am-12:15pm **Transitional Routines/ Story Time/ Lunch/Listen to Classic Music
12:15pm-2:30pm Nap/Rest Time/Quiet Reading
2:30pm-3:00pm **Transitional Routines/Snack
3:00pm-3:30pm Outdoor Play Activities
3:30pm-3:45pm **Transitional Routines
3:45pm-4:15pm Circle Time/Teacher Directed Activity
4:15pm-6:00pm *Open Learning Centers – Free Choices/ Individual/Small Group/ Teacher Directed Activities to encourage developmental skills
*Click here to go to the page describing our Learning Centers
**Transitional Routines include bathroom, potty training, hand washing, and cleanup