St. Madeleine Sophie
Ms. Karen Madden
My name is Karen Madden and I am excited to be teaching Pre-K this year! I earned my BA in Early childhood Education (P-3) from City University of Seattle. I also have an endorsement in Literacy. For years, I have run a licensed daycare out of my home, but now I limit my hours to school holidays and breaks. After spending several years teaching preschool and kindergarten, I decided that I prefer the challenges and rewards of teaching in a classroom. I thoroughly enjoy the St. Madeleine Sophie community and am thrilled to be a part of the school team.
Teaching is a second career for me as I graduated from Santa Clara University with a BS in Biology and a minor in English in my early 20’s. I moved to Seattle to work in the biotech industry, but eventually “retired” to stay home and raise my three wonderful boys. My second career allows me to work in a field I love while remaining actively involved in my boys’ lives and activities. I am excited to bring my passion for science to the Pre-K classroom.
Education for the Pre-Kindergartener involves the whole child as a very active learner. At this age children need a safe, nurturing environment to foster individual development. Our curriculum supports whole child development and learning.
Pre-Kindergarten children learn best through play and interactions. They are constantly on the move, curious about their environment and things in it. They are developing their motor, social, and communication skills and are acquiring the foundation for academic skills and a basic knowledge of religion on which to build.
Pre-Kindergarten Child Development
Spiritual: A Pre-Kindergarten child’s faith and spiritual development relies on tangible experiences:
- Starts with the family and what has been modeled
- Prayer and tradition is learned through repetition.
- Bible stories are heard, but recalling and articulating them may be challenging.
Social/emotional: Pre-Kindergarten children are typically egocentric but have the capacity to learn how to care for others and demonstrate caring behavior.
- Play is usually solitary or in pairs.
- They will learn and practice how to have positive peer interactions and resolve differences with peaceful resolutions that are taught and modeled.
- Interest is sustained if the activity is something they like.
Physically: Pre-Kindergarteners’ development relies on good health, proper nutrition and a safe environment:
- The ability to do simple tasks gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment.
- Large motor skills involve using the large muscles of the body and small motor skills involve the use of wrist and hand.
Religion: This is at the core of Pre-Kindergarten. Children are on the brink of discovering God and His importance in every aspect of their lives. Positive social interactions and stewardship go hand in hand with daily learning. It is important that the child hears stories from the Bible, learns religious songs and participates in service to others.
Language Arts: Interest in the spoken and written language is maximized through daily activities which include stories, poems and writing challenges. Pre-K children will be writing at least 20 minutes every day.
Math Readiness: Opportunities to count, sort and categorize are abundant in our Pre-K. We will skip count and work with manipulatives like Unifix Cubes, Polydrons, Geoboards and graphing.
Art: The emphasis is on open-ended art that allows the children to explore with tools and materials in a variety of ways.
Music: Throughout the week, children have the opportunity to dance, practice new songs, learn about keeping the beat and play simple instruments such as rhythm sticks or bells.
Motor Development: The children participate in P.E. class twice a week and daily outside recess. Small motor activities and the use of a variety of manipulatives help form the basis for pre-writing skills. Large motor activities promote the development of muscles for walking, running, jumping and skipping.
Self-Help: Children have opportunities to feel empowered by the many things they can do independently such as; carry their own back pack, zip a coat, set the snack table, wash hands, manage transitions, and many more.