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Little Rockets

Little Rockets is a preschool program that combines best practices in both child development and gifted education to meet each individual child’s needs.

At first glance, our classroom for the youngest students looks much like a typical high quality preschool classroom, as it should. It is an inviting environment full of enriching activities.

What we have in common with other high quality preschool environments:

  • Greater emphasis is placed on the process of learning and creating than on the product.
  • Teachers are responsive to each child’s needs and adapt lessons to help individual students develop at an appropriate pace.
  • Teachers are highly involved with students throughout the day in a hands-on way.
  • Children feel safe and nurtured at school.
  • Children are only expected to sit as a group for lengths of time developmentally appropriate for their age and are given opportunities to participate actively during group discussion.
  • Play is an integral part of the curriculum, with frequent opportunities for movement.
  • Students have opportunities to learn and grow in all developmental areas.

FACULTY

lindsayMrs. Wagenhofer attended the University of Texas at San Antonio where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus in Early Childhood. In addition, she holds teaching certifications for Early Child Generalist, English as a Second Language, and Gifted and Talented Supplemental. While employed with the Houston Independent School District for five years, Lindsay taught grades second, first and kindergarten. The experiences of educating diverse, inner city students has been extremely rewarding and provided Mrs. Wagenhofer the skills and tools needed to impact children from various backgrounds. Mrs. Wagenhofer is thrilled to be in an environment that emphasizes individual learning styles and creative, hands-on approaches. Outside of school, Mrs. Wagenhofer enjoys cooking and outdoor activities with her husband and German Shepherd, Atlas.

How we are different:

  • High interest discussion topics and the introduction of sophisticated vocabulary allow students with more advanced language development to continue to progress, and students with more typical language development to be challenged. When studying a unit on bears, for example, vocabulary words may be “hibernation,” “mammal,” and “omnivore.” Both classic children’s literature and non-fiction books are presented.
  • Center activities are designed to allow multiple levels of engagement. One child may use a math game to work on numeral recognition, counting, and matching, while another child may perform addition and subtraction using the same materials.
  • Weekly science lessons
  • Centers are self-selected by students and not rushed, allowing deeper exploration.
  • Few worksheets: children use manipulatives for hands-on activities in academic areas instead, keeping activities more open-ended.
  • ACE teachers understand that giftedness often comes with special sensitivities, and approach students’ difficulties or concerns respectfully and reassuringly.
  • Children are only expected to act their age. Being gifted should not mean more pressure to grow up. Teachers encourage the development of skills in a positive and encouraging way.
  • Like-leveled peers: often, gifted children must modify their play to fit in with age-typical children who are not yet ready for the elaborate play that is common among gifted children. The children in this class are learning from one another as they each bring interesting ideas, information, and vocabulary.