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Open Monday – Friday  6:30 am to 6:00 pm 

Pre-Kindergarten (Four-Year-Olds) - Blue Class Room

Children at this age enjoy learning about their uniqueness and what makes them special. The world of sounding out words, reading and writing are emphasized. Self help skills are also encouraged (zipping their own coat, tying their shoes (this skill takes some practice and they will need encouragement at both home and school) and learning to be responsible for their personal belongings between home and school. With kindergarten right around the corner, our teachers stay very busy preparing their students for this next journey. Books, science and block time allow their imaginations to grow and soar.

Pre-Kindergarten 4 Yr Olds - Blue Class Room Teachers

Shelly Nickel

Owner Director of By Leaps and Bounds Childcare

Classroom: Blue Room ~ Float Teacher

Education: Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Madison Area Technical College and Level 12 on Wisconsin Registry for Childcare Professionals

Experience: Started Teaching 1995 and came to By Leaps and Bounds January 2005. In 2013 became Assistant Director and in August 2015 purchased By Leaps and Bounds

Professional Statement: I love to watch the children’s reaction when they complete something for the first time. It is my job to nurture and teach each child to grow and develop at their pace. I enjoy reading and leading circle time with the children. I like to have fun!!

Dawn Rasque

Classroom: Blue Room ~ Preschool Teacher

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education for UW-Platteville and Level 14 on Wisconsin Registry for Childcare Professionals

Experience: Started Teaching 1993 and came to By Leaps and Bounds August 2008

Professional Statement: I enjoy working with Pre-K age children and getting them ready for Kindergarten. I love reading stories with animation and excitement and my students love listening to stories. Every day is a fun new adventure teaching Pre-K.

Pre-Kindergarten (Four-Year-Old) Curriculum

Our goal is to have every child’s day filled with learning experiences while meeting the needs of each child’s individual development. We have combined some of the best curriculum to deliver an all encompassing learning experience.

Our curriculum provides teachers with the opportunity to teach to a child’s individual needs. It encompasses learning style preferences, multiple intelligences, thematic approach, developmental domain; which includes; cognitive, communication, social emotional; and developing small and large motor skills.

Assessments and Parent Conferences

We believe that assessing individual and group progress is the key to planning programs that respond to the needs, interests and abilities of children in any classroom.. With ongoing assessment, our teachers can focus on all aspects of a child’s development. At the beginning of the school year curriculum goals and objectives are set in place and re-visited throughout the school year, particularly in the spring and fall when the teachers are doing individual evacuations for their students. Parents may request a formal conference if they would like to discuss their son or daughter’s evaluation with the teachers. Staff are also willing to meet with parents throughout the year.

Program Curriculum

Our curriculum brings an environmental approach to learning through daily exploration. This allows children to learn through exploring the world around them through creative centers. Teachers provide child-guided instruction in centers including blocks, house area, table toys, art, sand, water, library corner, music and movement, cooking, and the outdoors. The curriculum’s foundation is based on the belief that children learn through play.

Story Time/Quiet Area

Develops a strong foundation for early literacy in children through highly interactive and event oriented reading processes. It focuses on language and teaches children to be emergent readers. Each book, finger play and flannel story provides visual art, language development and engages children in active communication and literacy. This age group enjoys asking questions and giving their opinions about what we have read or learned. It is wonderful being a part of this discovery process and watching the children build confidence and self esteem in their abilities.

Music and Movement

Music and movement takes place throughout the day. It is an integral part of circle time, transitions, free play and story time. It enhances language development, rhyming, hand-eye coordination, musical tones and introduction of simple instruments brings a smile to every child as they create their own music. Music has the potential to expand children’s creativity and promote early learning skills. This age group loves to dance and use expressive movement, which often leads to simply being silly.

Singing Times

Allows young children the opportunity to expand their world through the art of communicating and using their own unique voice. Each child is encouraged to express his or her unique vocal sound to inspire their individual creativity. Singing can be silly, fun and a wonderful way for children to express their creativity in a safe nurturing environment.

Dramatic Play

We place a priority on giving children several opportunities for dramatic play during the day. Dramatic play is central to children’s healthy development and learning during the preschool years. The children explore a large number of themed play areas that change throughout the year; house area, dress up, restaurants, medical and vet clinics, pets and many others thematic units to expand their imagination.

Large Motor and Block Area

Non gender specific cars, trucks, trains, planes and farm play equipment for physical and social role play. Coincides with dramatic play through the use of role playing on a farm, construction site, airport, community and emergency situations.

and so much more… Blocks of all types, sizes and colors to construct, manipulate, design and build to develop children’s imagination and eye hand coordination. Children are always so proud of something they have built themselves or with a group of friends. What a wonderful way to build self esteem.


This uses multi-sensory techniques for early drawing, letter building and recognition to teach handwriting to children of preschool age. Instruction begins by first introducing and reinforcing the pincer (proper grip for holding a writing instrument) before moving into letter formation. Handwriting reinforces the child’s self image and portrait. Those beginning scribbles, lines and shapes have put them on the path to become emergent writers. They take pride in telling you what they have written such as a letter, note, story or a song.

Letters and Early Language

Through storytelling, finger plays and flannel board stories teachers will encourage children to develop their language skills through repetition and conversation. These are crucial tools to give children the opportunity to express themselves using language. Letters build visual recognition and children begin to associate letters with sounds and words through books, classroom posters and in the community.

Early Math

Is incorporated daily into our curriculum. Math helps children make sense of the world round them, develops reasoning and problem solving skills. Math activities include learning to count, sorting objects (toys, classroom materials and small manipulative objects), recognizing patterns and learning how to graph favorites. A favorite time to graph is in the fall when the children are sampling different varieties of apples and can visual see/read the graph to learn how many friends liked a particular type of apple.

Sorting and early counting are integral throughout children’s early learning experiences. We use everyday classroom materials that children are familiar with to teach sorting and beginning number concept recognition. Small motor development is improved when as we bring out the play dough and work with our hands to expand these concepts.

Social Studies

The scope and sequence begins by learning “All About Me” at the start of each school year and continues to expand out of the formation of friends and bonds with other children. It also involves learning how the decision making process works in a group setting. It covers development of social skills, personal responsibility, sharing, cooperation, dealing with emotions, accepting differences between people, and learning a sense of community and responsibility to the community.

Science and Sensory

Science is taught through observation and hands on activities. The children explore the world around them using cause and effect experiments throughout daily learning experiences within their indoor and outdoor classrooms. They discover texture, explore with their five senses, chart observations, and measure sensory objects and materials. Children also learn to care for living things in their environment. They enjoy the process of growing a vegetable garden and eating the fruits of their labor each summer.


Teachers encourage the children’s art awareness, appreciation, and ability by supporting open ended art projects to expand their imaginations and creativity. Children are more likely to take ownership of an art project when it is not cookie cutter or processed art. Children imagine, design and explore art through a wide variety of artist materials and techniques. We celebrate the children’s art work as “unique to them”. Art is incorporated on a daily basis into the classroom lesson plan, whether it is painting with brushes, sponges, twigs, water colors, sand mixed in paint for texture, or drawing a picture of an object; children learn that all of their creations are pieces of beauty.

Outdoor Adventures and Play Experiences

Children have ample time several times each day to play and explore the great outdoors on an age appropriate and well equipped play ground designed specifically for preschool exploration and open ended adventures and play. Teachers guide simple games and basic physical movement . Children learn balance, flexibility, hopping, skipping and coordination through daily play activities. Movement and physical stimulation actually improve focus, concentration, problem solving, speech, language, reading, writing and social emotional maturity.

Pre-Kindergarten (Four-Year-Olds) Schedule

Sample Schedule

6:30-8:30 *First 2 hours of Operation Classrooms Combine Mixed Age Groups for Early Arrivals

6:30-8:45 Creative Centers

  • Dramatic Play
  • Science / Sensory Play
  • Manipulative Play
  • Emergent Reading/Quiet Area
  • Large Motor/Block Area

8:45-9:00 Rest Room Break/Hand Washing/Transition to Morning Snack

9:00-9:20 Morning Snack

9:20-9:30 Clean Up and Transition to Circle Time

9:30-10:00 Circle Time

  • Calendar and Weather
  • Story Time (theme related)
  • Songs (theme related)
  • Finger Plays/Puppets
  • Flannel Board
  • Music and Movement

10:00-10:30 Art Activity

10:30-11:45 Creative Learning Centers (theme related)

  • Science and/or Sensory Play
  • Dramatic Play/Social Studies
  • Manipulative Play
  • Music and Movement
  • Early Math Skills
  • Early Science Skills
  • Early Literacy Skills

10:30-10:35 Transition to Outdoor Play/Community Walk/Nearby Park

10:30-11:45 Outdoor Play/Activities/Learning/Physical and Social Play

11:45-12:00 Transition Indoors/Restroom Break/Hand Washing/Transition to Lunch

12:00-12:30 Homemade Lunch (prepared on site)

12:30-12:45 Restroom Break/Hand Washing/

12:45-1:00 Relaxation Time/Prepare for Nap/ Transition to Rest Time/Individual Book

1:00-3:00 Rest Time/Quiet Time

245-3:00 Restroom Break/Hand Washing/Transition to Afternoon Snack

3:10-3:40 Afternoon Snack/Story Time/Letter of the Day/Hand Washing

3:40-3:45 Transition to Outdoor Play

3:45-4:30/5:00 Outdoor Play (weather permitting)

3:45-4:30/5:00 Indoor Play

  • Creative Learning Center
  • Creative Table Activities
  • Thematic Activities
  • Manipulative Play
  • Learning Table Activities

4:30/5:00-6:00 Multi Age Focus Boxes/Creative Centers/Thematic Activities/Manipulative Play

4:00-6:00 *Last 2 Hours of OperationDD Classrooms Combine Mixed Age Groups for Late Departures