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The Sundance School - established 1977

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The Sun Room

4 & 5 Years

In our Sun Room 4 and 5 year olds are truly ready to be challenged in this Pre-Kindergarten. Every effort is made to fully understand the abilities of each child.

Developmentally appropriate activities that facilitate skills in reading and writing readiness, math and problem solving are provided. Sun Room children are becoming increasingly more adept at cooperative play. The Sun Room offers wonderful opportunities for meaningful social experiences. Friendships deepen and become more significant.

Activities in music, movement, dance, dramatics and art are also an integral part of the Sun Room program.

The Sun Room Readiness & Language Arts Language Arts Objectives:

  • To plant the seed and nurture growth of the love of reading
  • To encourage and expand the use of language
  • To offer both the whole language and phonetic approach to reading
  • To develop specific skills as they pertain to the developmental readiness of each child
  • To educate in a way that allows the social, emotional, and academic growth of a child in a positive and fun learning environment.

Pre-Reading & Literacy Skills

  • Exposure to the alphabet
  • Working from left to right
  • Working from top to bottom
  • Introduce the concept of rhyming
  • Introduce the concept of opposites
  • Basic sequencing
  • First and last name recognition
  • Name upper case letters
  • Name lower case letters
  • Associate consonants with sounds
  • Identify beginning consonant sounds (when developmentally appropriate)
  • Identify ending consonant sounds (when developmentally appropriate)
  • Introduce short vowels and sight words (when developmentally appropriate)

Whole Language

  • Participate in a shared reading experience
  • Use children’s experience and prior knowledge to extrapolate meaning and comprehension from books and thematic activities
  • Share experiences and share ideas
  • Oral listening comprehension
  • Understand main idea of story
  • Follow and retain sequence of story events
  • Begin to stay focused on a topic of discussion
  • Recall information from listening to stories and discussion

Active Listening/ Listening Comprehension

  • Listen and respond appropriately to simple oral directions
  • Actively listen to fully understand instructions or daily messages and agenda
  • Listen attentively when teacher speaks or reads
  • Listen to make predictions about stories read aloud
  • Listen to rhymes and songs to begin developing an understanding of letter / sound relationships
  • Connect messages heard to prior knowledge and experiences

Fine Motor Skills & Handwriting

  • Encourage the use of various writing tools (pencils, crayons, markers)
  • Tracing from left to right
  • Tracing straight, curved, or slanted lines
  • Hold pencil with appropriate three-point grip
  • Use ‘pinch and flip’ lesson
  • Begin to form letters correctly
  • Use of variety of Montessori based activities to exercise and strengthen muscles used in printing
  • Foster correct scissor grip and cutting skills

The Wizard Room- Math


  • Rote Count to 20
  • Recognize numbers 1 to 10
  • Sequencing 1-10
  • One to one correspondence
  • Concept of more/less
  • Addition: Concrete
  • Subtraction: Concrete
  • Ordinal 1 to 5
  • Tracing numbers
  • Introduce concept of a ‘dozen’, numbers 11 & 12

Fractions & Decimals

  • Identify whole and a half
  • Identify equal parts
  • Use manipulatives for halves of different wholes
  • Compare a whole with a half and identify whole is more than half (concrete)


Identify and create simple color or shape patterns: ABABA, ABBABBA, ABCABC


  • Identify objects by shape, size and color
  • Identify 6 basic shapes (diamond & trapezoid)


  • Introduce days of the week
  • Introduce time to hour to the hour
  • Identify big and little hands on clock
  • Non-standard measurements
  • Introduce: penny, nickel, dime

Data Analysis & Probability

Use a simple pictograph

Problem Solving

Simple problem solving in oral story form


Children have a natural love of shape, color, pattern and texture. All children enjoy the creative manipulation of materials. When children are encouraged to experiment with a wide variety of media under the guidance of an effective teacher they can benefit from increased self esteem and joy of self expression as well as a wide variety of other cognitive, physical, emotional and social skills.

Art activities include drawing, painting, clay, play dough, exploration with sand, water and other textures, collage (both individually and in a group) print making, and sculpture.

Children are gradually exposed to increasingly more challenging skills and experiences involving pleasurable sensorial activities. Teachers extend the children's natural abilities by acknowledging their efforts in a supportive, non- judgmental way and with descriptive remarks, i.e., "You used so many different lines and colors in your design", rather than "What is that?"

Creative Movement

Our Lower School Creative Movement Program is rooted in the belief that learning through the arts not only educates students by elevates them to a deeper awareness of themselves and of the world around them. Children work together during each stage class dancing, pretending, singing, sharing, and learning the value of teamwork!

Lower School Stage classes are formatted to help students explore the basic four elements of dance. Whenever a person moves, the body uses space, force, and time. The children enjoy participating in the different lessons designed to help them discover the exciting possibilities inherent in the combination of these elements.

Each week the stages become an indoor playground for your child's imagination as they dramatize, pretend, and 'become' everything from shy sea creatures silently watching the sunlight glitter on the waves as they glide gracefully through water, to determined ducklings braving navigating their way out from inside their shells, eager to see the world for the first time! We dance through the seasons, paint our favorite colors on the surface of the moon, help frowning frogs find friends, and even drive our cars (with caution of course!) to some delightfully dear destinations.

The Mat Room

The early childhood years are a critical time for the development of physical skills. At Sundance our developmentally appropriate Mat Room program is designed to help children build a foundation of basic gross motor skills (throwing, catching, kicking, balancing, skipping, galloping, etc.). These skills are invaluable lifetime tools that children need and use to successfully participate in regular physical activity. Our main goal is to help children strengthen the sense of what they can do and to challenge them to do even more!


The primary goal of early music education is to develop the ability to perform, to create, to listen to music with understanding and most of all develop a passion for music. At Sundance our students will develop the ability to sing on tune and tap out and recognize the beat or rhythm to a song. Similar to learning a language, musical ability develops during the first five years of a child’s life.




  • To overcome inhibition when speaking another language
  • To be eager to participate in class
  • To further develop listening and understanding skills
  • The children learn to speak and interact by singing traditional Spanish songs
  • To become aware of other cultures and traditions

Spanish Curriculum