The Elisabeth Morrow School's shared purpose is to provide exemplary academics and character development in a diverse and inclusive child-centered community, inspiring students to become curious scholars, ethical leaders, and global citizens.

The early years of a student’s education are among the most crucial, because they set the stage for future success. The curriculum for Elisabeth Morrow School’s threes and fours program incorporates extensive literacy and mathematics activities as well as social studies, science, music, art and physical education. Our programs for three- and four-year-olds open young children’s naturally inquisitive minds to learning possibilities, encouraging their curiosity and creative growth, along with their language, cognitive, physical, social and emotional growth.

Art

Students are introduced to a variety of performing and visual art genres, techniques and media and encouraged to share thoughts or feelings about their own work or the work of others. They are exposed to a variety of materials and activities to foster process-based creative experiences.

  • Explore creative expression through a variety of two- and three-dimensional media, including painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpting, making patterns and collages
  • Experiment with design, size, weight, symmetry and balance through block building and other open-ended materials in the classroom
  • Engage in a variety of singing activities, including a weekly sing-along led by a music teacher
  • Explore basic elements of music such as beat, tempo, dynamics and timbre
  • Explore different musical instruments and how to care for them
  • Gardening

    Children explore our beautiful campus to learn about and actively engage in activities that support the concept of sustainability. In addition, they experience a variety of simple gardening activities in the fall and the spring.

  • Plant and care for seasonal vegetables, flowers and bulbs
  • Learn about respect for the Earth and the environment
  • Learn about the harvest

  • Library

    Children may visit the Chilton House library daily. This fosters a love of literature and a strong sense of independence as they choose and care for books to bring to their classroom or home. Parents are invited to volunteer to read to the children throughout the year and cocoa parties with the librarian are a treasured EMS tradition.

  • Engage in puppet play
  • Tell stories with flannel board
  • Explore bookmaking
  • Enhance listening skills through story time
  • Introduce basic concepts of research and basic library skills
  • Learn to care for library materials

  • Literacy

    The language arts curriculum in our early childhood division helps students create a solid foundation upon which to begin their educational journey. Students acquire literacy skills and a love of reading through meaningful experiences with oral language, quality literature, comprehension and self-expression.

  • Increase vocabulary and language
  • Enhance listening and communication skills
  • Build phonological awareness
  • Increase oral comprehension and expression: sequencing, story recall and story elements
  • Begin reading development: rhyming, syllabication, phoneme identification and deletion
  • Develop and increase letter recognition
  • Expand knowledge of print and print awareness
  • Develop the ability to write letters and words using elements of the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum
  • Strengthen phonemic awareness using elements of the Sounds In Motion curriculum
  • Math

    Students explore basic mathematical concepts such as number sense, geometry and spatial sense, measurement and data, pattern and algebraic thinking.By using high-quality manipulative materials in concrete and hands-on ways, students are encouraged to examine their environment mathematically by comparing, measuring, counting, grading, making patterns, sequencing and problem solving. Additionally, teacher-guided activities engage the children in using mathematical thinking in their daily school experience.

  • Develop an understanding of numbers and quantity
  • Experience linear counting and one-to-one correspondence
  • Begin to recognize and create patterns
  • Develop an understanding of the concepts of addition, subtraction and sets
  • Develop an understanding of the concept of place value
  • Develop an understanding of parts of a whole
  • Begin to learn basic geometric shapes
  • Develop an understanding of the relationship between various unit blocks
  • Experience spatial relationships, rotation and reversal of materials
  • Begin to learn concepts of relativity and relationship: greater than, less than, equal to and estimation
  • Relate mathematical concepts to everyday classroom experiences
  • Use measurement techniques (measuring height, weight, distance)
  • Begin to understand sequencing, sorting and graphing
  • Begin to experiment and innovate with design and construction

  • Movement

    Physical education focuses on students’ achievement of gross and fine motor control. Gross motor activities include running, jumping, hopping, galloping and skipping and physical manipulations such as throwing, kicking and catching. Fine motor control activities and materials increase students’ ability to use and coordinate the small muscles in the hands and wrists with dexterity. In addition to physical education classes and their playground time, students utilize patios attached to each classroom for motor play.

  • Develop locomotor skills
  • Develop upper and lower body
  • Gain small muscle strength and control
  • Music

    Arts (Visual and Performing)

    Students are introduced to a variety of performing and visual art genres, techniques and media and encouraged to share thoughts or feelings about their own work or the work of others. They are exposed to a variety of materials and activities to foster process-based creative experiences.

  • Explore creative expression through a variety of two- and three-dimensional media, including painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpting, making patterns and collages
  • Experiment with design, size, weight, symmetry and balance through block building and other open-ended materials in the classroom
  • Engage in a variety of singing activities, including a weekly sing-along led by a music teacher
  • Explore basic elements of music such as beat, tempo, dynamics and timbre
  • Explore different musical instruments and how to care for them

    Science

    Our early childhood science program inspires inquiry and wonder in the children. Students develop an understanding and appreciation for the natural and physical world around them — on our campus and in our classrooms.

  • Explore weight, shape, size, color and temperature
  • Formulate questions
  • Make hypotheses and predictions
  • Interact with and care for the environment
  • Learn to interact with and care for living things
  • Examine and test observations
  • Explore air, water and the Earth
  • Use the five senses to learn about the world
  • Explore the concept of change (seasons, cooking, life cycle, physical self)
  • Explore form and function
  • Develop classification skills
  • Explore concepts of physics through age-appropriate materials such as ramps, slides, vehicles and found objects
  • Begin to experiment and innovate with design and construction
  • Participate in the gardening program in the fall and spring

    Social Studies

    In early childhood, social studies focuses on learning about self, others and being a part of our community. It includes both social and emotional areas in child development. As individual members of their classroom community, as well as through guided instruction, students’ sense of self and belonging are nurtured and explored. In all classroom areas, students begin to identify and practice the basics of the 4 C’s. As their facility with language increases, students are given more autonomy to work through social conflicts. The teachers empower the students to resolve difficulties on their own using the tenets of Responsive Classroom through direct instruction and modeling. Experiential learning and collaborative work help the students develop the ability to empathize with the feelings of others and to show growth in dependent and independent interactions. Ultimately, the goal is to develop emotional competence and to learn to recognize, articulate and label emotions without adult intervention.

  • Engage in cooperative and collaborative play
  • Participate in Morning Meeting
  • Develop positive social interaction and reading of social cues
  • Develop an understanding of self and family
  • Develop an understanding of the diversity of the classroom, school community and larger world
  • Develop an appreciation for the various customs and cultures in our community
  • Utilize conflict resolution strategies
  • Increase appropriate risk-taking
  • Enhance independence and self-help skills
  • Develop self-regulation and self-awareness in order to be available to learn
  • Increase articulation and understanding of feelings of self and others
  • Gain understanding of logical consequences
  • Begin to foster connections with students in the elementary and middle school through the All-School assemblies and the Buddy Day programs

  • Spanish

    Children in the early childhood program begin to explore sounds and words in spoken Spanish as the teacher works with the students while they explore in classroom centers or during Morning Meeting. Building upon the natural curiosity and readiness of young children to embrace language acquisition, the teacher joins the class and balances immersion with introductory language lessons. At this age, this offers exposure to the language to all of the early childhood classes.

  • Begin to understand simple words and expressions through introductory context-driven units
  • Introduce essential vocabulary such as greetings, colors, family members and farm animals
  • Begin to develop appreciation for the Spanish language and culture

  • Early Childhood Program Distinctions

    Events and Traditions

    In our early childhood program, treasured traditions offer children a wonderful sense of belonging and community, while at the same time creating educational memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it is the Mary Hawkins Fair, in which children transform our playground into a fun-filled carnival, weekly sing-alongs, Buddy Days, in which our older students partner with the youngest members of our community in creative activities, or our Watermelon Picnic where we celebrate the end of school, these activities are remembers by graduates for years to come. Learn more about our Traditions here.

    Handwriting without Tears

    Handwriting is a critical communications skill and EMS uses the evidence-based program, Handwriting without Tears, to ensure that our early childhood students learn how to write well in a multi-sensory, developmentally appropriate manner.

    Responsive Classroom

    At Elisabeth Morrow, social growth is as important to us as intellectual development. We follow the guiding principles of the Responsive Classroom, an evidence-based program that promotes better learning through student engagement in both academic and social-emotional activities.

    Sounds in Motion

    Sounds In Motion is a program designed to support the development of early literacy skills. We use this program to further develop students' listening skills, articulation, vocabulary skills, auditory memory and phonemic awareness.