Preschool & Pre-K

Tobin offers a Morning Preschool and Pre-K classroom from 8:45 am to 1:15 pm daily. Parents choose from 2 to 5 days per week in these classrooms. Those with older siblings at Tobin are also offered the chance for one drop-off and pick-up with extended coverage in these rooms from 8 until 2.

Early childhood education is what we know best at the Tobin School. These early years present an opportunity for children to develop language and literacy skills. Our Preschool and Pre-K programs expose your child to a variety of new ideas, places, and things, setting the stage for strong social relationships. Children at this age learn best in an balanced environment of fun, exploratory play with an introduction to letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Our Pre-K students take these beginning skills and build on them for Kindergarten-readiness.

Language Arts

Your preschooler will be in a language-rich environment—with lots of opportunity for sharing and encouraging conversation skills, introducing environmental and carefully prepared print, as well as exposure to lots of wonderful children’s literature.

  • Learning Letters: As they grow, your child’s simple scribbles turn into the beginning of controlled marks, and then to intentional forms and beginning letters.
  • Teaching Method: Our teachers use a variety of manipulatives, sensory play opportunities, and a variety of art and writing materials for fine motor practice and development of a productive pencil grip.
  • Pre-K Writing: Your child in Pre-K is working on making the connections between letters and sounds–the basis for future reading. Weekly letter practice focuses not only on how the letter is formed for writing, but also how the letter is formed in your mouth when speaking, and trying to make connections to other letters and sounds.
  • Daily Routine: Your child’s Pre-K classroom experience at Tobin will include: practice writing names, repeated exposure to print in the classroom, dictating a story to a teacher who will write it out, and expressing thoughts using art and beginning letter forms.
  • Daily Read-Alouds: Your child will have daily read-alouds and one-on-one reading with a teacher, as well as access to quality books throughout the day, providing the foundation for a love of reading!
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Science & Math

  • Exploration: Science and math are all about exploration in our Preschool and Pre-K groups. Your child will have different materials to build with, explore, count, sort, pattern, group, and graph. Teachers use everyday situations to lay the groundwork for STEM concepts: for example, counting fruit slices at snack, pouring water in the sensory table, and constructing an amazing block structure.
  • Monthly Learning Themes: Your child will have an organized way to learn about our world, the animals we share it with, and the way things work.
  • Animal Science: Tobin students explore nature and learn about respect for the animal kingdom through weekly Animal Science lessons.
  • Field Trips: Both our Preschool and PreK classes take field trips to get out and explore nature at farms and preserves and experience hands-on science at local museums.
  • Technology: Our youngest students are mindfully provided with some exposure to learning games on iPads to supplement hands-on learning.
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Foreign Languages

  • ASL and Spanish: Your child will learn both American Sign Language (ASL) and Spanish in our Preschool and Pre-K classrooms. With daily exposure and practice with familiar concepts, manner words, and new vocabulary, our students enhance brain flexibility by learning that a word or idea can be expressed in numerous ways.
  • Specialist Educators in both ASL and Spanish reinforce this daily practice with your child during monthly special language times.

Social Emotional Learning

  • Learning School Behaviors: Preschool and Pre-K set the stage for learning ‘school behaviors’ that go a long way toward future success. Children are encouraged to follow a structured routine, share toys with classmates, and work together with classmates on a group goal.
  • Emotions and Sharing: At Tobin, your child will learn about their emotions and how to share them in a safe, respectful way. Our teachers introduce self-regulation and executive function skills that will prepare your child for the school years ahead – while having fun in a nurturing, warm environment.
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Fine Arts

  • Music and Art Every Day: Our youngest learners explore visual arts and music daily in their classroom. Your child will model with clay, create sculptures and 3D structures, paint and draw, and glue and make collages. We sing songs as part of our daily routine and share opportunities to dance, play instruments, and move our bodies to rhythms.
  • Music: Your child will have a weekly visit with our Tobin music teacher, who further explores musical ideas and introduces new musical genres.
  • Art: Pre-K students also have a weekly lesson with our Tobin art teacher, who supports individual expression, while introducing art vocabulary and materials.
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Physical Education & Wellness

  • Get Moving: Moving is a way of life for our Preschool and Pre-K students, and we give them ample daily opportunity to run, climb, jump, bounce, dig and play! Come to our early childhood playground, which offers a wide-range of active play, along with large group games, seasonal water and snow play. We also have a large turf field. Your child has two outside periods per day, weather permitting, as we understand that young children have to move to learn.
  • Physical Education: Our Preschool and Pre-K students have a weekly class with our Tobin physical education teacher, who uses fun games and activities to focus on building gross motor skills.
  • Yoga: Your child takes a monthly yoga class – always a favorite.
  • Indoor Play Space: When it is too rainy or cold to play outside, our students can use our lower-level large motor space to get some exercise.
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Measuring Progress

At Tobin we respect each child as an individual, knowing that they learn and develop along their own timeline. As education professionals, our teachers are well-versed in child development and supporting children’s individual learning goals.

  • Assessment Tool: We are proud to use Teaching Strategies Gold at Tobin. This research and evidence-based assessment tool provides a thorough look at each child’s current development and allows teachers and parents to work together to set goals for future learning. Teachers make observations throughout their day using iPads to take photos and notes of children’s progress over time. These daily observations become a digital portfolio of your child’s learning during their time at Tobin. You are invited in for parent-teacher conferences three times a year to set goals and review progress. In addition, we encourage you to talk to us at any time – we want to build an active partnership with you throughout the year.