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Preschool Curricular Activities & Daily Schedule - (adapted from Bunce, 2008)

8:30-8:45 Arrival Time

Will opens the door to the preschool.

It's time to unpack Will's stuff for the day.

High-five and goodbye!

Aidan's grandfather says goodbye!

This is primarily a teacher-led activity.

Children arrive at the school. Most are transported by a family member.

Families drop off students’ backpacks and supplies & say “good-bye”. 

Families may provide teachers with quick updates. 

Students are transferred into adapted seating. 

During this time students may go directly to the Circle Time area to sing the arrival song while personal care routines and seating transfers are completed.

Aidan gets into his chair to get ready for Circle Time.

Abigail is getting in her chair for Circle Time too.

Who's at school today?

8:45-9:00 Circle Time

Greetings, discuss helper roles, introduce theme-related concepts, vocabulary, and letters of the week

This is primarily a teacher-led activity.

Children are seated in customized floor-level seats that are arranged in a semi-circle and are positioned so the children can see the faces of their classmates, curricular materials, and the SLP (Speech-Language Pathologist) or teacher leading the activity.

Access to simple VOCAs (Voice Output Communication Aids) are provided through switches as needed.

The SLP “takes attendance” by holding up name cards and children signal using gestures and vocalizations upon seeing and hearing their name called. 

The SLP leads the activity introducing and reviewing “letters of the week.” As past weeks’ letters are reviewed, new letters are introduced and contrasts among letters are highlighted. This activity provides our preschoolers with exposure to the concept that letters have different sounds and shapes.

This activity also includes a brief calendar review, a good morning song, and review of “helper of the week” responsibilities, and overview of upcoming “centers” options.

Aidan is saying, "I'm here."

All support staff quietly work in back of the students to provide support or make adjustments to seating/assistive technology if needed, in ways that minimize distractions and maximize each student’s ability to focus on the leader, peers, and salient materials.  

During circle, students are encouraged to:

  • Actively participate
  • Orient to the curricular materials
  • Sustain their attention as a member of a group
  • Selectively attend to the leader and relevant materials
  • Regard their peers
  • Help direct the teacher in following the circle time routines
  • Take turns
  • Practice counting and calendar skills
  • Make choices regarding activities
  • Ask and answer questions
  • Listen to others

At the end of circle time, students are transferred into supportive walkers, choose a center, and then independently go to the center of their choice.

Abigail is here!

The letter of the week is D!

9:00-9:40 Center Time

Students choose one of four centers (kitchen/pretend play, computer/quiet area, constructive play, adapted art)

Chef Joey is making a feast.

Abigail is reading a story at the computer.

At The Bridge School, Center time is split between teacher-led and child-centered activities, depending on each child’s familiarity with the current curricular “theme”.

This activity lasts approximately 40 minutes.

There are four carefully engineered centers in the preschool classroom:  kitchen/pretend play, computer/quiet area, constructive play, and adapted art.

Center time requires significant planning, engineering and supports to enable children to become increasingly independent and self-directed in choosing their level of participation at the various centers.

The staff follows each child’s lead and interests, while providing communication supports and language models.

Will decides to work at the art center.

During Center time, children are encouraged to:

  • Move throughout the classroom and each of the centers independently
  • Explore the environment
  • Explore own interests
  • Independently ambulate to desired locations
  • Explore environmental control
  • Practice access skills
  • Explore simple and mid-level voice output devices
  • Practice new and familiar communication skills
  • Interact with new and familiar communication partners, both adults and peers
  • Make choices and ask for help
  • Gain exposure to environmental print on signs, labels, books, etc
  • Practice using scripts
  • Become creative
  • Engage in familiar and new play routines
  • Gain confidence

9:40-10:00 Clean Up & Story Time

Students assist in putting things away and then listen to a story

Will's job is to water the plants in the classroom.

Will waters the plants by hitting a simple switch set up by the AT (Assistive Technology) Specialist.

This is a teacher-led activity


The “helper of the day” announces that it is clean-up time by activating a switch to play “the clean-up” song.

The “helper of the day” is responsible for watering the plants during clean-up.

Students assist the adults in putting at least one thing away.

During cleanup our preschoolers are encouraged to:

  • Help with cleanup
  • Follow the routine
  • Help others
  • Remember where things belong
  • Direct adults to put items in proper locations

Students are transferred from supportive walker to floor-level seating.


Story time lasts 10-15 minutes.

Ms. Holly and Abigail read to the group.

For story time, students are seated in a semi-circle at floor-level on the rug.

Teacher allows children to choose a “role” during the story reading.  Student can be a “reader,” a “listener,” a “page turner,” or a “prop” holder.

Occupational Therapist/Assistive Technologist (OT/AT) may unobtrusively adjust seating and positioning devices/supports/equipment.

The teacher reads a story related to the current theme of the week.

Teacher uses props, manipulatives, communication supports, gestures, and actions to support comprehension and model ways to participate.

Preschoolers are encouraged to:

  • Listen to and enjoy the story
  • Take active role
  • Join in using voice, gestures, body movements, assistive technologies

10:00-10:45 Mid-morning Meal

Nourishment, self-feeding and social communication

Aidan chooses pudding during snack time.

During mealtime, our students receive much needed nourishment and hydration while seated around a low table.

Our staff is trained to implement feeding protocols provided by the family including g-tube feeding, which is a physician-authorized, specialized physical health care procedure.

During mealtime:

  • Some children work on aspects of self-feeding
  • All students are encouraged to participate in many aspects of the feeding process including making choices, expressing preferences, and directing adults to locate utensils and food-related items brought from home

Following mealtime, preschoolers are transferred to supportive walkers.

Abigail is taking the baby for a stroll.

10:45-11:15 Outside Time

Individual games and organized small group games

Outside time is a child-centered activity.

All students participate while in supportive walkers.

Our outside environment and equipment are significantly engineered to maximize access, participation, and interaction.

Engineered activities include sand area, water area, go-bot games, and inflatable cars that can be placed over the walkers.

Outside time usually occurs in our backyard garden area that is located away from the hustle and bustle of the shared playground in front of the building.

Ready to take a dip in the pool.

Sometimes outside time occurs in the front play yard where Bridge School students can interact with same-age peers who attend the North Hillsborough preschool. 

Peer interactions and group games are supported by Bridge School staff.

During outside time, preschoolers are encouraged to:

  • Experience upright, independent mobility over varied terrains
  • Ambulate independently to, from and all around the garden
  • Play cooperatively, with assistance
  • Observe changes in nature, including plants, insects, birds, and weather
  • Move around, explore and have fun!

Will is bowling!

Will and Ms. Tike check out the garden.

11:15-11:45 Sharing

Students share information, toys, items, and experiences from home

This is a teacher-led activity.

Everyday, students share their "home to school" news with peers and staff in a supportive small group.

In addition, each week, children bring an item to share with their peers to demonstrate, describe and show off.

The previous night, in preparation for sharing time, a family member prepares a scripted voice output message on a simple VOCA, such as a Step-by-Step.

Each child has the opportunity to be both questioner and sharer.

During sharing time, preschoolers are encouraged to:

  • Ask and answer questions
  • Make comments to the group
  • Listen to classmates
  • Notice shared or novel experiences and toys
  • Experience new toys, photos, ideas, and concepts
  • Practice AAC system use
  • Take turns
  • Practice briefly “holding the floor” in front of a group
  • Call on classmates to ask questions
  • Share family traditions, culture and familiar experiences

Joey is telling the group about a family outing.

Who's next to share?

11:45-12:00 Music

Songs, instruments, dance

Music is a teacher-led activity.

The children participate at their own level but as a member of a small group.

At music time preschoolers are encouraged to:

  • Enjoy a variety of music, sound effects, accompanying toys and props
  • Practice using body movements, gestures and vocalizations
  • Practice technology access skills
  • Express preference for songs and music
  • Learn and enjoy different rhymes and rhythms

The group sings a song about trains.

The group learns about the guitar in music.

Joey waits to ask his question.

12:00-12:20 Group Time

Activity or project for full group participation

This is a teacher-led activity that lasts about 15-20 minutes.

All children are seated around a low table facing the teacher who leads the activity.

Instructional assistants are positioned behind the students and only interact with students in ways that maximize each student’s ability to participate and attend to the teacher and instructional materials.

On a special day, Drew visits the preschool and shares her new toy.

Activities often relate to the weekly theme and are designed to address direct instruction and practice in basic concept and vocabulary development, following directions, and emergent literacy.

At group time, students are encouraged to:

  • Pay attention to the teacher
  • Listen to and comprehend spoken information
  • Respond to the teacher in unison or “wait” to be called on to take their turn
  • Explore concepts such as sizes, shapes, numbers and colors
  • Actively participate in activities involving sorting, matching, and sequencing

They learn essential concepts, ask and answer questions, play games with simple rules, and have fun during instruction as a member of the group.

Ms. Lindsay helps Joey record on the Step-by-Step what happened in Art.

12:20-12:30 School News & Dismissal

Students participate in recording their "school to home" news. Students and staff co-construct a brief message on their Step-by-Step that reflects something that happened at school.

They also participate in packing up personal items to go in their backpacks.

The “helper of the week” is the line leader as students lineup by the door.

When everyone is ready, the “helper of the week” gets to hit the wall switch that automatically opens the classroom door and is "first" to go out the door to greet the waiting parents/family members.

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