Academics
Preschool

Little Dragons

Make every Day Count

In Little Dragons your child will be welcomed into a nurturing and supportive classroom environment focused on play-based learning. Each child’s creativity, independent spirit, and imagination are fostered during our daily activities. Through an interdisciplinary curriculum with thematic units of study such as seasons, animals and animal habitats, our place in space, and many more, the children begin to learn about the world. Little Dragons center time is organized to support our thematic units and build upon the children's natural curiosity for investigation, exploration, and play. Literacy, math and problem solving skills are incorporated in ways that make learning fun and interesting everyday. We promote the development of the whole child through social interactions and play while building friendships in the classroom and wider school community. Our students enjoy special events like Pajama Day, field trips, Spanish class, dancing in the classroom, and time with our older buddies.

Core Learning

List of 7 items.

  • Listening & Speaking

    Being a part of a classroom group interacting with one's peers as well as attentive adults, allows students to sharpen their speaking and listening skills. Everyday classroom routines and activities such as circle time and singing specifically challenges students to:
    • Speak in complete sentences
    • Express ideas clearly
    • Use the correct pronouns when speaking
    • Listen attentively
    • Appropriately participate in class discussions
    • Formulate thoughts and meaningfully contribute to class discussion 
  • Math Readiness

    Creatively using everyday objects and the world around them, the students explore shapes and patterns, count, classify, and arrange items in various ways. Through these activities they begin to:
    • Recognize and order numbers to 20
    • Match numbers to 20 to sets
    • Count to 50
    • Count by 5’s and 10’s
    • Apply simple patterns
    • Apply spatial relations ( up/down, above/below)
    • Identify basic geometric shapes
    • Independently complete 24 piece puzzle
  • Personal Skills

    Gaining independence and caring for oneself are explicit goals of the K-Prep program. Children gain a sense of responsibility for themselves and their belongings. With assistance from their teachers, they develop the ability to:
    • Demonstrate appropriate control of one's body
    • Execute and apply verbal directions to complete classroom activities
    • Engage appropriately in lessons and activities
    • Transition appropriately between tasks
    • Respectfully manage classroom supplies
    • Put materials and personal items away with teacher instruction
    • Regulate emotions in an appropriate manner
    • Show respect for one's peers
    • Chooses suitable behaviors in interactions with peers
    • Perform basic self-care skills
    • Pack up belongings and put on coat independently
  • Reading Readiness

    There is dedicated time, multiple times per day, where the following skills are fostered and reinforced through active lessons, group story times, and one-on-one instruction:
    • Discern print word versus letter
    • Read left to right
    • Identify initial sounds in words
    • Associate letter/sound connections
    • Identify capital and lowercase letters
    • Identify rhyming words
    • Retell parts of a story (beginning, middle, and end)
    • Establish purpose for reading: make predictions, connect important ideas, and link previous experiences
    • Identify parts of a book: cover, author, and illustrator
  • Science

    Students are naturally curious.  Capturing their natural desire for exploration, we teach them how to be gentle observers of nature and how things work. Building upon topics that are of interest to the children, we introduce the scientific method--making a hypothesis,  doing research, conducting an experiment and analyzing results--all in ways that are age and stage appropriate. Topics vary from year-to-year but may include:
    • Five Senses
    • Seasons
    • Energy
    • Weather
    • Magnetism
    • Plants and Animals
    • Human Body
  • Social Studies

    In Little Dragons and K-Prep, the classroom community itself is part of the social studies experience. Meeting new friends, navigating the classroom, and learning daily routines are all a part of learning outside of one's home.

    Beginning with the world children know, we explore places such as home and school, and then expand into neighborhoods, cities, and states using maps and globes. The children learn about community helpers and the ways in which all people contribute in a community. The goal is to create enthusiasm for the diversity in the world through the exploration of artifacts, books, music, and holidays.
  • Writing Readiness

    Writing readiness is embedded within the curriculum and occurs not only when the children are engaged with paper-pencil tasks but through creative projects, use of the sensory tables, and other materials. Among other skills, they develop the ability to:
    • Identify first and last name
    • Write first name legibly
    • Demonstrate consistent hand preference
    • Control pencils and scissors
    • Express ideas in drawings
    • Label simple drawings
    • Write numbers to 20 with prompts
    • Write capital and uppercase letters with prompts

Enriched Learning

List of 5 items.

  • Art

    Art instruction at Harford Day School is interdisciplinary and related to topics being studied in social studies, science or other subjects. This holistic approach is no different in K-Prep and Kindergarten. Using different mediums from clay to paint, students learn about a subject from many different perspectives in an age appropriate manner. Apples, lady bugs, snowmen, trees--you name it. Amazing works are created as the art teacher skillfully breaks down each project into fun, creative steps that hone the children's fine motor skills.
  • Media Studies

    The K-Prep 3 students learn how to use the library by reading wonderful books, discussing them as a group, checking out their very own selections, and enjoying a little quiet time to read with a buddy or teacher.  They begin to learn our library rules and routines and enjoy visiting the Media Center every week.
  • Music

    Early Childhood students experience the elements of music through singing, movement, playing instruments, and creating. They learn to read and write rhythms and pitches by playing games and improvising.
  • P.E.

    Early Childhood movement is so important to development.  In Physical Education classes, students engage in activities that develop their gross motor skills, spatial awareness, and knowledge of different sports and games. Students use balls, hoops, bean bags, blocks, play running games, and enjoy building age appropriate obstacle courses. Good sportsmanship and teamwork are always emphasized.
  • Spanish

    The K-Prep 3 students leap into learning Spanish. Each class begins with the children singing and dancing to upbeat greeting songs. Children are introduced to colors, numbers, and family vocabulary through games, songs, and movement. Significant cultural celebrations such as  “Los Días de los Muertos” and “Las Posadas" are also discussed.  Classes read stories and complete fun practice activities to learn new vocabulary. 
Harford Day is the only PK3 to Grade 8 independent school in Harford County accredited by AIMS (Association of Independent Maryland/DC Schools) and a member of NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools).