The director Irina Faulise is a licensed ELL /ESL K-12 teacher with 7+ years of experience teaching ESL / ELL to elementary students. She uses lots of ELL methods to teach English both as a 2nd language and as the 1st language. Irina knows all Minnesota Kindergarten Readiness standards and our well-rounded curriculum is well aligned with the Minnesota standards for Kindergarten readiness.
At Sunflower Bilingual Daycare we focus daily on listening, speaking, reading and writing. Our literacy-rich and literature-rich curriculum invites children to ask questions and explore ideas through discussion and dramatic play. Since our children come to Sunflower Bilingual Daycare with differing levels of understanding and speaking English, we have lots of daily read-alouds and discussions in English to develop active listening, to teach listening comprehension, to speak using details and learn new vocabulary.
We start each class time with a simple "hook" questions, which all children are given a chance to respond to, which is very similar to sharing. They also learn to listen to each other, wait for their turn, raise hands ask questions, and not interrupt. As children become older, we teach them to improve their speaking - from phrases or short sentences in a toddler group to longer related sentences with interesting details in preschool. Our children LOVE daily story time.
In addition to listening and speaking in English, we teach foundations of Reading and Writing. Our children graduate from Sunflower knowing all capital and many lowercase letters and sounds in Russian and English. Some exceed by trying to read short vowel words and knowing many sight words!! All our kids know how to write their name, so they are ready to start reading, learning sight words and writing in Kindergarten.
Cultural immersion element - in our diverse setting our children experience music, dance, food, poems, celebrations, and cultural traditions from throughout the Russian speaking world that create a broader world view and sensitivity to differences!
Each day is a learning adventure!