The Gummibear Class

The Gummibears Class is designed for children ages 3 -5 years old. There is much to accomplish during these years just before entering Kindergarten and school-aged programs. Our program seeks to ensure that these accomplishments happen in a developmentally appropriate way that is best for the children.

The children in this class undergo a truly remarkable metamorphosis as they emerge from toddlers to preschoolers. The tentative steps toward independence taken in toddlerhood give way to increasingly autonomous individuals. Great strides are made in their social and emotional interactions, their cognitive capabilities and their physical development during the preschool years. A strong foundation has been set, and now the preschoolers can be further challenged with more sophisticated learning activities and projects designed to develop their pre-reading skills, mathematical reasoning and scientific thought. As their motor skills become more refined and more opportunities for writing for a purpose become available, children in this age group begin to demonstrate growing competence for writing and drawing. Additionally, their capacity to understand and follow a set of directions allows them to begin to participate in group and circle games. Their advancing verbal and cognitive skills lead to greater success in peer interactions and negotiations.

The preschool learning environment demonstrates a natural progression from that of the toddler environment. The activities and projects are geared toward facilitating their socio-emotional, cognitive and fine motor growth and reflect a higher level of capabilities. The children in this age group are active participants in their learning and work with the teachers on determining the topics of study. Children make choices with regard to which learning center activities to work on and for how long. Independent study and exploration occur as frequently as group discussions and activities.

The preschool class actively participates in an on-going research and curriculum development program called Preschool Pathways to Science, or PrePS, under the direction of Dr. Rochel Gelman. The program is implemented by Kimberly Brenneman with the assistance of several college students participating in the project. The children participate in weekly science activities based on their interests. The sessions are recorded by audio, video and through authentic documentation. The children benefit from the high quality, individualized science curriculum, and the researchers benefit from having a source of incredibly rich data.



For questions or comments about this site, contact dougpsy@rci.rutgers.edu.
Douglass Psychology Child Study Center
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
26 Nichol Avenue New Brunswick New Jersey 08901-2882
(848) 932-8881
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Last Updated: 07/12/2007