Early Childhood

We believe young children are active, capable learners who grow and develop at their own rate in an environment that promotes inquiry and instills a passion for wonder and active exploration. We value a child centered curriculum that is supported by standards with an emphasis in learning through play. We focus on the concept of the whole child and foster parent partnerships. We understand children are best understood in the context of their family, culture, and society. We strive for children to develop a love for learning to become independent, lifelong learners.

The Early Childhood program is based on a play-based, emergent curriculum. Within this approach, teachers use a scope and sequence of the TAISM EC Standards as the foundational backbone of the classroom. Children will be challenged and supported throughout their learning by teachers and assistants who are knowledgeable on these standards and the individual goals of each child.

Please find more information about EC at TAISM and frequently asked questions below.

Early Childhood Essential Agreements for Teaching and Learning
  • We will provide clear behavior expectations.
  • We will ensure a positive social climate
  • We will develop clear and thoughtful communication.
  • We will provide children with meaningful feedback about their learning and exploring.
  • We will foster children's beliefs about their intelligence and abilities.
  • We will model and promote high expectations for all children.
  • We will provide a safe and secure environment.
  • We will maintain a structured classroom within a flexible, child-centered environment.
  • We will promote and model appropriate social interactions.
  • We will build positive, collaborative relationships with parents and children
  • We will collaborate, plan, and communicate effectively with colleagues.
What do TAISM aims look like in our Early Childhood classrooms?
  • To prepare students for academic and personal success in higher education
    • Support social-emotional learning
    • Build a strong self-belief
    • Promote a love for learning
    • Instill grit, determination, and perseverance
  • To engage students in the learning process
    • Provide active, hands-on learning opportunities
    • Develop learning experiences around the interests of the children
  • To create an environment in which students, staff, and parents cooperate in an effective partnership
    • Establish productive relationships
    • Value trust
    • Establish effective communication
  • To provide a safe and secure school environment
    • Ensure effective classroom management
    • Maintain an appropriate child-teacher ratio
    • Provide developmentally appropriate materials and furnishings
  • To offer student activities which cultivate self-discipline, respect, and cooperation
    • Establish effective expectations
    • Maintain positive behavior supports
    • Provide opportunities for independence and choice
  • To foster an environment in which cultural and individual differences are valued
    • View each child as unique
    • Celebrate cultural and individual differences
    • Invite parents and children to share about their own culture and countries
  • To create a challenging intellectual program for exploring the arts, humanities, and sciences
    • Extend children’s thinking through exploratory art
    • Promote music and movement
    • Encourage scientific inquiry
  • To build self-esteem by providing opportunities for students to experience success and develop leadership skills
    • Promote independence through routines and responsibilities
    • Build and model perseverance and pride
  • To foster a high regard for physical and emotional well-being
    • Provide time for children to engage in physical play
    • Ensure relationships for trust and safety are established
    • Encourage children to develop independence with self-help skills
  • To develop, teach, and continuously assess a curriculum which emphasizes mastery of basic skills and promotes critical thinking
    • Teach deep understanding of skills
    • Encourage children to problem solve on their own
  • To help students develop standards of good judgment and respectful behavior
    • Model decision making and empathy
  • To value intellectual curiosity and encourage students to take ownership of their education
    • Encourage children to ask questions and to wonder
    • Support children to find answers to their questions and share findings
  • To help students understand the complexities of humanitarian and environmental issues, and to encourage them to accept the responsibilities of good citizenship
    • Promote well-being for humanity
    • Draw an awareness to the environment
    • Model decision making while considering the thoughts of others
  • To develop programs that enable students to learn about and appreciate Oman’s history, culture, and environment
    • Arrange field trips to find out more about Oman
    • Invite guests to share their Omani experience
What does the day in the life of an Early Childhood student look like?

The Early Childhood staff understands and embraces the importance of knowing each child’s developmental level and being able to individualize the scope and sequence of skills appropriate for your child. We utilize a variety of instructional strategies and structures to support all levels of learning.

We will establish consistent routines within our schedule. We will use these expectations in our classroom for children to learn respect for themselves and others, to be dependable, and learn empathy.

Let’s walk through the day….

Our program runs from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday.  The children will begin to arrive around 8:15 in the morning by being greeted by the teacher and assistants.  They will then begin their day at school by signing in and doing table activities with their peers.

Typically after all the children have arrived there is a morning large group meeting.  At this time, the children will talk about what their day will look like, do a read-aloud story, talk about who is present and absent, discuss classroom jobs, and lots of discussion.

During small groups and learning centers, teachers are engaging children in a variety of activities.  These are planned to meet the needs and interests of the children, while expanding on previous inquiry and projects that are ongoing in the classroom.  They can be targeting a variety of Standards in any of the developmental domains we teach through (Approaches to Learning, Social-Emotional Development, Literacy, Language Development, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Creative Art, Physical Well-Being, Health, and Motor Development, and Technology).

The children will then work as a contributing community member by helping their peers and teachers to clean-up the classroom. All the children will then independently use the restroom and have their snack together.  

In the classrooms there is then another large group opportunity to target some of the Social-Emotional curriculum Second Step, incorporate music and movement, and connect ideas and experiences that have occurred in the morning to the class as a whole.

Towards the end of our day, the children will then expand their learning to the Early Learning Outdoor Environment.  The purpose of this space is to continue learning in all the developmental domains outside in the natural environment where we know children grow and learn best.  Children have access to a variety of materials and equipment to deepen and further their learning.

Wrapping up the busy day, teacher and children sit down at their last large group meeting to discuss and reflect on their day as well as talk about what is to come tomorrow.

There are other aspects of the TAISM Early Childhood Program that occur weekly. Those include:

  • Library
  • Cooking
  • Community Time
  • Social Group with the Elementary School Counselor
The Learner Profile in Early Childhood

Reflective: I think about my play and how I can make it better!

  • How do you think it works?
  • What do you think about that?
  • How did that happen?
  • What do you like about your work?
  • What can make it better?

Balanced: I like to do lots of things!

  • You share so well!
  • I like how you are creating and thinking about your friends idea.
  • Let’s do it together!
  • I like how you take turns.
  • Have you tried the solution cards?
  • You are so active!
  • You look calm.

Creative and Critical Thinker: I use my imagination to create and think!

  • I see you are thinking!
  • Tell me about that.
  • I wonder how you did it?
  • How did you do that?

Inquirer: I wonder about everything!

  • I like how you ask so many questions!
  • I can tell you are really thinking about ____.
  • What do you think?
  • What do you think will happen?

Contributing Community Member: I help take care of my friends and my school!

  • You help in our class so much!
  • You are a super helper!
  • Can you use the solution cards?
  • I like how you help cleaning up!

Collaborator: I play and work well with my friends!

  • You make a good team!
  • You two work good together!
  • You all are working together!
  • Nice taking turns.
  • Oh! Nice team work.

Risk Taker: I try new things!

  • Do you want to try?
  • You can do it!
  • Have a go!
  • You are so brave!
  • Go for it! Just do it!
  • Is that new for you?
Staff Backgrounds

The Early Childhood Staff at TAISM is a highly qualified, caring group of teachers!  Their experiences include:

Our Lead Teachers have been working in Early Childhood Education for over 20 years.  They come to TAISM with Master’s Degrees in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education as well as Undergraduate Degrees in Anthropology and Communication Sciences and Disorders.  Our Early Childhood Assistants bring over 40 years of experience working with young children as well as Diplomas and Bachelors Degrees in Early Childhood Education and Masters Degrees in Chemistry and Special Education!  Our staff has also had Adaptive Schools Training.

Specials in Early Childhood

Library - Each classroom has library time once a week in the elementary library. The librarian shares a story with the children and they are allowed to check out a book to take home in a bag which is provided. Parents are responsible for the proper handling of the books and returning them.  

Music - Each classroom integrates music into the daily routine and within large-group settings.

PE - EC students are not enrolled in PE but the class will enjoy the gym space many times throughout the year when it is available. Children will participate in a swimming unit towards the end of the year.

Cooking - Once a week, each classroom will go into the EC kitchen and learn to read a recipe and cook on their own.

Counseling Session - The Elementary School Counselor will come into each classroom weekly to co-teach a social-emotional lesson with the children.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Early Childhood?

Early Childhood is a time period from birth to age 8.  It is a time of rapid, remarkable growth for children. At TAISM, Early Childhood defines our children who are 3 years old- 5 years old. Research in Early Childhood continues to tell us how the quality of a child’s Early Childhood experience affects their success for later school achievement and leads to higher outcomes regarding their resilience, communication, and adaptability.

What is EC1 and EC2?

Early Childhood 1 (EC1) is considered the classroom for the 3-year-olds who will turn 4 during the school year.  Early Childhood 2 (EC2) is for the 4-year-olds who will turn 5 during the school year.

How does EC1 differ from EC2?

In the EC1 classroom, children will begin to understand what school is about.  It’s a place where children are free to explore at their own pace while teachers begin to embed expectations within a school setting.  Children learn to use their voice and understand that their thoughts and ideas have value. We promote an inquiry based approach by prompting questions for further, deeper thinking.  In all the children do, they are taught to believe they are readers, writers, scientists, and much more.

When children move to EC2, we take the foundational skills they have developed in EC1 and begin to form those ideas and exploration into deeper understanding. Children are sitting within small groups and taking their ideas and beginning to expand on them through their drawing and writing with more detail.  We work to develop empathy in their play skills as their play schemes include their peers more at this stage. We start to see children using foundational literacy skills such as letters and letter approximations in their drawings and writing and having more concrete understanding.

What does learning through play look like?

TAISM believes children learn best through play.  We take research based evidence to support the idea that teachers should follow children’s interest and have the skills to embed standards and individualized goals into those ideas.  When children are taught rote skills through worksheets and flashcards, they lack the capability to generalize the information into meaningful knowledge they can use in their world. Our teachers understand how children learn Literacy, Math, Science, Language Arts, Motor, Social Studies, and much more during playful opportunities in the classroom.  Then children can take the skills they have learned in those domains and generalize them to their homes and their communities. We know that the outcomes from learning through play go beyond rote learning and build their curiosity, problem solving, and social emotional development. Please see the TAISM Early Childhood Standards by clicking HERE.

How are the EC classes aligned with Kindergarten?

There is an Early Childhood, Kindergarten, and Grade 1 Team that is collaborating together to ensure alignment EC1 through Grade 1 in the areas of Literacy, Math, Science, Handwriting, Social-Emotional Development and more!  The TAISM Early Childhood Standards were created and adapted from the New York State Prekindergarten Foundation and the Kansas Early Learning Standards in August of 2017. They are also aligned with our Kindergarten AERO Standards.  The Early Childhood-Grade 1 Team will continue to have ongoing collaborative conversations to make for smooth transitions throughout a child’s path at TAISM.

What should I think about when considering moving my child up a grade level?

TAISM believes children should move throughout their educational career with their same aged peers.  Children are most successful when they are at a grade level that matches their maturity and have expectations put on them that are age appropriate.  At times, children are academically ready for the grade level above them but socially are successful with the other peers around them. As educators and caregivers of children, we first want to put children in a classroom and environment that sets them up for success.  And this is what TAISM does when placing your child with their same aged peers. We know and are capable of individualizing and building upon already accomplished milestones for each child. Therefore, if a child is academically ready for more, we are able to document current levels and scaffold learning to deepen understanding and expand knowledge.

What is a child centered curriculum look like through play?

A child centered curriculum is a philosophy of teaching and way of planning curriculum that focuses on being responsive to children’s interests to create meaningful experiences. It prioritizes active participation, relationship building, inquiry, and learning through play. Teachers are required to observe, document, brainstorm, be flexible, and reflect on each child’s insights and interests. The classroom will consist of learning centers that expand and facilitate children’s learning and encourage independent learning and problem-solving skills.  Teachers continue to scope and sequence developmental skills as children are demonstrating understanding and readiness.

We also implement Second Step Social-Emotional Curriculum throughout the year.

What are the learning centers present in the early childhood classroom?

Blocks, Dramatic Play, Sensory, Art, Manipulatives, Library, Math, Literacy, Science, Music. In addition to these centers, our children are developing Literacy skills by reading and writing throughout the day in various activities and locations.  We also incorporate Literacy and Math components in all experiences the children are engaged with through play.