Programs

The Pineapple School functions as a community where caregivers, parents and children play key roles in the educational process. That is where our name originates, as the pineapple is a Southern symbol representing friends and family. The pineapple is also a sign of welcoming. We want our little amigos and their families to feel welcome at The Pineapple School, from the moment they are carried, crawl, wobble or walk into our center.

Infants (6 weeks to 12 months)

For this age group, it is most important that the infant feels safe and his/her are needs are responded to in a caring and consistent environment. When this occurs, the infant is ready to explore the emerging world, to use self-initiated repetition to practice newly acquired skills, and to develop speech and communications skills. Based on ongoing individualized assessments, activities will be planned to assist each infant in achieving his/her developmental potential. It is known that by ten months of age infants can distinguish between two languages. Throughout the day our interactions with them are in Spanish, as we speak to them and expose them to songs, finger plays, music and dance.

Toddlers (13 to 24 months)

At this age, children further explore their enlarging world using newly attained cognitive and motor skills. Depending on individual readiness, toilet training may begin during this period. Within a structured and predictable environment at The Pineapple School, toddlers take part in planned activities that provide challenges, choices and opportunities for success. Children of this age begin to participate in small group activities, such as singing, creative movement, finger plays and stories. As language rapidly emerges during this period, activities and interactions will be in Spanish to enable the toddler to master both English and Spanish simultaneously.

Two’s

During this period, the child is becoming more independent and self-sufficient. Toilet training is an important component of our 2-year-old program. Within a more ordered day, individual and group activities are planned to promote more complex problem solving, reinforcement and refinement of newly acquired physical skills and increased social interaction between children. As the two-year-old‘s ability to listen and to speak improves, our program facilitates language acquisition by talking, singing, reading and playing with the sounds of the Spanish language. Studies show that by age two-and-a-half, the bilingual child can function effectively in both languages.

Preschoolers

In the preschool classes, children explore and learn through play, real life experiences and teacher-guided activities in the Spanish language. Choices with open-ended play materials such as blocks, water and clay will be available to support creativity, exploration and problem solving. Cooking activities, science experiments, and interactions with visitors from the community provide invaluable real-life experiences. Learning is facilitated with “hands on” activities planned to meet educational goals in the areas of math, language and literacy, science and social studies. By encouraging the children to describe and to enhance what they are doing, and by assisting them to work through challenges they may encounter, teachers further facilitate learning and problem solving skills. Self-expression is supported through art, music, creative movement, and dramatic play in a Spanish-rich environment. In preschool, children develop lifelong skills as they learn to work and play together as valued members of their classroom community.

Pre-Kindergarteners

Our pre-kindergarten program utilizes a “project approach” for classroom learning. With this approach, children are guided by the teacher through in-depth explorations of real life topics of interest and relevance to them. Project focus may be such things as light, books, rocks, restaurants, textiles or bones. Current research shows that student interest, creativity, cognitive skills, and social & emotional development are encouraged with this approach. As children explore, experiment, and gather data and information on the topic of interest, they learn the true value of reading, writing and numbers in real life of the adults around them. Social-emotional skills are developed as children work together as a community to identify their topic of interest, conduct their fieldwork, and then document what they have learned to share with others. With these lifelong skills, children are equipped for successful relationships in future educational and work environments. Curriculum goals outlined by TEKS (Texas Essential Kindergarten Skills) and Creative Curriculum are integrated throughout the projects, creating children well prepared for kindergarten. Teachers guide and interact with the children in Spanish only, recognizing that concepts and skills learned in one language transfer to the second language, and that exposure to experiences rich in two languages is an advantage for the developing child. With this approach, we are assured that our students will be more than adequately prepared for Kindergarten.

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