Carnegie Mellon University

PreK/Kindergarten Program

PreK/Kindergarten Team Pictured (l-r):  Leah ClemensJulie Sweet and Enza Potter

Classroom Schedule

(Monday through Thursday)

Greeting at the Rotunda
8:30 AM


Morning Routine
8:45 AM

Wash hands, write name, answer Question of the Day and hang picture on the attendance chart

Each day the children are provided with a new Question of the Day on the question charts. Questions vary from simple Yes/No questions such as "Do you have an older brother?" or "Are spiders insects?" to theme-related multiple choice questions such as "What is the largest bone in your body? Tibia or Femur?" The children write their name (first name in the fall and last name in the spring) on a piece of paper and place their name under the appropriate answer. The Question of the Day fosters several skills: practice in writing their name, recognizing sight words, decoding simple words, reading simple graphs, counting using one to one correspondence, simple adding or subtracting.

Free Choice-Independent Learning Centers
8:45-9:45 AM

A student playing in the mud kitchen

Art, writing, loose parts, blocks, games, puzzles, extended projects, sensory play and roving snack

The children begin their day with an independent learning time. This hour allows the children time to socialize with their friends or simply warm up to the day. During independent learning time, a variety of activities are available to the children. Board games encourage turn taking and cooperation. A teacher may initiate play but the children are eager to play together with peers. Social interactions take place easily when the children build together in the block center. Cooperation and sharing are naturally fostered during this time. Architectural theories and problem-solving skills are tested through trial and error.


First Group Time
9:45-10:15 AM

A student and teacher in group time

Kindness Pledge, morning message, theme content and story

To start each morning group time and to reinforce our safe and kind classroom, we recite our Kindness Pledge. The Kindness Pledge is our promise as individuals and as a class to be kind to ourselves and others.

“I promise to try my best,
To be a kind friend, to cooperate with others,
Use kind words, and stay safe. “

Work Time
10:15-11:15 AM

A group of students plying with wooden vehicles on a table

Small group teacher-directed activities focusing on math, language arts, artistic expression, communication skills, discovery, and exploration. Daily work and challenge activities emphasizing individualized skills.

Each day, a Daily Work activity is explained and modeled by the teacher during morning Group Time. The children are then responsible to complete this activity independently during work time. Tracing and cutting, drawing a birthday page, and creating patterns are some of the simple tasks the children are expected to independently complete. When the task is complete, the child places the work in the Daily Work basket and makes an "X" next to his or her name on the Daily Work chart. The Daily Work activity helps children to follow multiple step directions and fosters independence.

Middle Group Time
11:15-11:35 AM

A student and teacher high-five

Question of the Day Tally, Mathematician Job, Story, Mindfulness or Movement

At middle Group Time, children have the opportunity to perform the jobs of Question of the Day Helper and Mathematician. The Question of the Day Helper counts, records and reports the answers to that day’s question. The Mathematician spins the math spinner on the computer to see which category of daily math question (numbers, shapes, patterns, read the graph, and how many) should be pulled and calls on classmates to help answer the question. Classroom jobs are an important part of PreK/K.  Jobs encourage responsibility, give children a sense of accomplishment, and promote teamwork and cooperation skills.

11:35 AM-12:15 PM

Students playing in the sandbox

Playground (Outdoor Exploration)
12:15-1:15 PM

1:15-1:30 PM

Journal Group Time
1:30-2:05 PM

Storytime followed by journal drawing

After a storytime, teachers model a journal prompt for the day, usually related to the monthly theme. Journals are done as a whole group with teachers helping individual children or small groups. Teachers help children to sound out words on their own to label their drawings. The journal serves as a valuable learning tool. The children are beginning to get their ideas on paper and learn first-hand the power of words. Research shows that journaling is one of the most effective ways to teach and learn phonics.

Reflection Circle
2:05-2:25 PM


Class sharing time of the day’s learning and goodbye

Dismissal at the Rotunda
2:30 PM


Friday Schedule

  • 8:30: Greeting at the Rotunda
  • 8:45-9:45: Free Choice, Independent Learning Center, Roving Snack, Bathroom, Handwashing
  • 9:45-10:15: Whole Group
  • 10:15-11:15: Outdoor Adventure, Project Time
  • 11:15-11:25: Bathroom, Handwashing, Pack Up
  • 11:30: Dismissal at the Rotunda