Preschool & Prekindergarten

The McClelland School’s youngest students approach each day with enthusiasm and excitement! Within the structure of a warm and nurturing environment, our preschool and prekindergarten students thrive. Units built around science and social studies themes help bring learning to life! Field trips are regular events with excursions to Beulah Mountain Park, the Pueblo Zoo, and the fire station… just to name a few! 


Students are introduced to letter recognition and writing through our curriculum Handwriting Without Tears. Multisensory activities and manipulatives appeal to all learning styles and provide a hands-on approach to handwriting. They begin to learn how to form letters, learn letter sounds, and eventually put them together to build words. By the end of the second semester in prekindergarten, our students begin learning to identify sight words and have the prereading foundation they need to be successful in kindergarten and beyond.


Math is also taught in preschool & prekindergarten using the Learning without Tears program. Multi-sensory activities and manipulatives are used in the classroom to teach lessons for geometry, counting, math vocabulary, measurement, time, and problem solving.


At The McClelland School, all our students receive Spanish, music, art, and P.E. from specialist teachers who are experts in their field. In preschool and prekindergarten, these teachers collaborate with our early childhood team to develop lessons that are age-appropriate and reflect the other learning in the classroom. For example, during a Community Helpers unit, they will not only learn who the helpers are in our community (police, doctor, teachers) but also learn what the community helpers are called in Spanish. They may also do an art project about community helpers with our art teacher and learn a song about the community in music class!


Through our social-emotional learning curriculum, Harmony, our students begin learning skills such as sharing, communication, and empathy. Using age-appropriate materials, teachers facilitate lessons and activities that enhance students’ communication and relationship-building skills. The five themes of Sanford Harmony are Diversity and Inclusion, Empathy and Critical Thinking, Communication, Problem-Solving, and Peer Relationships. Each of the Harmony themes addresses an important need in schools to create positive and proactive environments that support student success.


Play remains a major component of our preschool and prekindergarten program. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, “Research demonstrates that developmentally appropriate play with parents and peers is a singular opportunity to promote the social-emotional, cognitive, language, and self-regulation skills that build executive function and a prosocial brain.” We are intentional about giving our children time to play and plenty of opportunities to develop these skills. Time throughout the day is set aside for indoor free play, outside playtime and during center time.