During the early childhood years children are working to make sense of the print around them. They are also developing communication skills in a social context, while making connections across all areas of learning. Our classrooms create a forum where students are immersed in a language rich environment. Through picture books, read alouds, a listening center, room labels, writing, drawing and varied opportunities throughout the day, they continually practice expressive and receptive language skills. Using a developmental approach to instruction and learning, literacy experiences in PreK and Kindergarten are closely linked.


List of 3 items.

  • Reading

    In PreK, we foster children’s natural interest in and fondness for stories and books through an eclectic book area, daily story time, author and illustrator studies, and storytelling and acting. A child’s first attempt at reading often comes from retelling a familiar story either while looking at pictures or through play acting. Children begin to create foundations for learning to read by recognizing letters and knowing their corresponding sounds along with the conventions of print.
  • Writing

    Scribbling or drawing is often a child’s first attempt to compose an idea on paper. Activities such as cutting and gluing, and playing in sand and clay, all help build and strengthen small muscles and hand coordination in support of drawing and writing. We teach letter formation through the Handwriting Without Tears program. PreK students regularly draw and sometimes write in journals kept throughout the year showing the developmental progression of skills acquired over time.
  • Listening and Speaking

    Listening and speaking skills are embedded in all areas of the day and the curriculum, especially the social curriculum. Our goals are to help students develop confident voices and to develop listening skills. To that end, children are encouraged to use their words to express thoughts and ideas to peers and adults in a variety of settings. Sharing in meeting, acting in role-plays, puppet shows or simply sharing conversation with peers are ways in which children develop their speaking voice. As listeners, children practice active listening in meetings and work on the give and take in conversations and problem-solving.


List of 3 items.

  • Reading

    The Kindergarten classroom is a language rich environment supporting an excitement and enthusiasm for written language, literature and cultural perspectives. The classroom has its own library and reading area with time set aside to look at books, read, listen to stories on tape and to share reading with their older Special FriendsChildren at this age are working to make sense of the print around them as they are engaged in a range of activities which help them develop early reading skills. These include sense of story and character, sequencing, predicting what happens next and the connection between the spoken and written word. They also develop skills through retelling, approximating reading, reading from pictures and through the use of repetition. Children build phonemic awareness, develop a recognition of sight words, and practice reading in multiple forms. Decoding print for meaning begins for each child at different times in their development.
  • Writing

    Our teaching approach recognizes that reading and writing are related and connected skills. Children begin by labeling their drawings, then move to using phonetic or inventive spelling to write sounds, words, sentences and, eventually, stories. Activities such as cutting and gluing, and playing with sand and clay all help children build and strengthen small muscles and hand coordination. Kindergarten students write and draw regularly in journals and are taught letter formation through the Handwriting Without Tears program.
  • Listening and Speaking

    Children learn to communicate clearly, actively listen to one another, and practice new expressive and receptive language skills. Class meetings are among the most important moments in the kindergarten day. They offer a public forum to discuss intellectual ideas, share personal concerns and stories, resolve conflicts, and make observations. They give children many opportunities to practice social norms and reciprocal language skills.

Curriculum Sample

List of 6 items.

  • Exposure to a wide range of literature

  • Beginning understanding of story elements

  • Drawing as literary expression

  • Upper and lower case letter recognition and formation

  • Invented spelling

  • Letter-sound and sight word recognition

Fayerweather Street School | 765 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 | 617-876-4746
Fayerweather is a private PreK, kindergarten, elementary and middle school. We engage each child’s intellect.