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Purposeful Play in Pre-K: How Kerr Teachers Help Students Develop Important Skills

Kerr Elementary School has taken great strides to better serve families. Kerr is once again excited to provide a pre-k program. Now that Kerr has a pre-k program, parents can send all their young kids to the same school.

“Anytime you can streamline the placement of children in a family at one location it’s helpful. Parents don’t always have the means to take their children to multiple locations,” said Allison Geary, who has served as assistant principal at Kerr for two years.

Linda Holcomb has granddaughters at Kerr and loves the pre-k program. She stated, “We are very fortunate to have it. We live in the neighborhood and not having to travel far makes things easier.”

Having pre-k close to home helps families streamline their morning routine – ensuring that everyone has time to have breakfast and get to school on time.

Pre-K is very structured and although some see it as a daycare, it is far from it. The teachers work to make play purposeful. At this age, students learn through play, and teachers use that to help them develop the fundamental skills they will need in the years to come.

“I encourage the students to cook a turkey over an open fire and then to sit and eat with each other. It’s playing to them but in reality, they are learning how to work together and converse with one another,” said Angela Weaver. Angela Weaver is one of the Pre-K teachers at Kerr Elementary. “My focus is for my students to be able to use their words and understand how a class works.” 

Angela also shared she wants the students to develop their social and emotional skills. Students being able to understand their different emotions and how to deal with them will help them in all aspects of their lifeShe also has plans to advance their communication skills next semester.

“I noticed my students are having trouble communicating with each other, they rather play by themselves and not talk. I want to build their vocabulary and encourage them to have conversations,” said Angela.

Ana Ponce is the other Pre-K teacher at Kerr and is in her first year of teaching. She wants to foster student independence and understanding.

“I want the students to become independent and be able to set their own goals,” Ana said. “They have been making amazing progress; they understand how the day is structured. They know what’s next and what is expected of them throughout the school day.”

Ana knows that Pre-K is setting basic foundations for a student’s education. What they learn in Pre-K, they will carry on into Kindergarten and so on. 

Ana believes the students learn by example at this age, just explaining something to them won’t always get the job done.

“I created a visual learning community,” she said. A place where students can learn what a chef is by cooking in the kitchen station. Where they can learn what a store is by shopping at Walmart in the block area. 

Kerr’s Pre-K program is not about testing or strenuous work. It is a place for the kids to have purposeful play in an organic environment. A place for the kids to explore and experience things with teachers who know how their minds develop. A place where Allison says the teachers, “Craft experiences that provoke children to interact in many realms." Also, a place where the kids can learn about their emotions and what they should do with them. It is a place of love and purpose.

For more information on how to join the Pre-K family, please visit our Pre-K page