White Center Co-op Fours / Pre-K


Teacher Bio:  Kylene Ushimaru

I started teaching 4 and 5 year olds in 1986 at what was Arbor Heights Co-op Preschool (now White Center Co-op Preschool) and have loved it ever since. Writing and setting up the curriculum for 4 and 5 year olds is one of my passions and a lot of fun. The children keep me challenged, as well as motivated, in finding new and fun ways to set up an environment for children to learn, socialize, and play. My Early Childhood education was through Central Washington University. I enjoy continuing my learning through professional seminars and conferences throughout the school year. Along with teaching a 4 and 5 year class I have also had the opportunity to be a Parent Education Instructor since September 2000.

White Center Co-op Fours Children’s Program

4 and 5 year olds are preparing for Kindergarten in so many ways. They continue to learn best through hands-on play, but new opportunities for pre-academics are added to preschool:

•    Literacy–writing center for dictating stories, traveling books that go home for dictated installments, opportunities for identifying and writing words
•    Science–experiments that challenge predicting, comparing, and problem solving
•    Math–calendar, charting, math processes in stories and games
•    Fine motor–expanded art projects, free creation with varied materials, opportunities to write
•    Social studies–expanded curriculum themes
•    Rich curriculum–the high adult to child ratio allows for more curriculum activities and options
Social and Emotional readiness still top the list of requirements of Kindergarten teachers:
•    Extended Circle Times–kids practice listening and regulating their own bodies
•    Facilitated Problem Solving–adults are ready to guide kids to their own solutions
•    Empathy–Second Step curriculum to teach children to read social situations
•    Self Regulation–learning to wait, follow teacher directed instruction, handle frustration
•    Friendships–ways to engage friends in play, appropriate ways to say “no”

All this and the kids just think they are playing!

Daily Routine

12:30 – 1:00: Welcome, then Large Outdoor Movement (Weather permitting)
1:00 – 1:10: Meeting Time Connections.
1:10 – 2:30: Free Choice Time. Art: 1:10-1:45; Climber/Carpentry 1:45-2:30pm; Snack.
2:30 – 2:40: Clean up
2:40 – 2:45: Circle Time
2:45 – 3:10: Small Group Activity
3:10 – 3:25 Movement and Music
3:30: Good-Bye

Parent Involvement

Parents assist in the classroom one day a week.

  • You choose whether your day each week will be either Mon/Tues/Wed/Thursday afternoon.
  • If you cannot come in due to illness, etc. you ask another parent to trade with you.
  • We teach you ways to interact with the kids using our “positive discipline” philosophy.
  • You provide and prepare healthy snack for the kids (on a rotating basis)

Parents get to:

  • attend a monthly, evening parent meeting to discuss business and parenting topics
  • help with the running of the preschool and fundraising
  • choose a co-op job that fits your interests, skill, and time
  • be part of a supportive, friend filled community
  • conference with your parent educator about kindergarten readiness

Is my child ready for Kindergarten?

  • The Parenting Educator will do an individual developmental screening with each child
  • Parents attend a Parent Teacher Conference in the spring

Parent Education is an important part of our Four Day Preschool

  • A Parenting Educator attends class one day each week (alternating Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs) ready to check in with you to offer tips that will help at home and at school
  • The class chooses one night a month for Parent Meeting–time to learn about guidance and discipline AND as an adult night out together (example: first Tuesday of each month 7-9:00)
  • To personalize your learning, choose from a list of free talks on topics such as: Guidance & Discipline, Raising Boys/Girls, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, Siblings, Raising an Only,  First Aid and CPR

“The move to kindergarten was a breeze after our time at Co-op! My son was so well prepared–and so was I even though I miss the nurturing I got at Co-op….”

White Center Co-op Fours