The three year old year builds on the skills learned in the two year old class. Because three year olds are more confident of being "left" in the classroom, they can focus their energies on learning new things. Three year olds are also learning self control and how self control can extend to better peer relations.
Patience or waiting is a necessary school skill that moves right along with taking turns. Three year olds begin to understand that we cannot do everything all at the same time, and that by using proper social and language skills; we can navigate the complex world of adults and peers. At the same time, threes are being taught to identify and correctly act upon their emotions.
The three year old daily schedule is more structured than that of the two year olds, with small groups of 3’s in learning and play centers for longer periods of time. Threes also enjoy learning to work independently, without interruption from other children or adults. Threes begin to be critical of their own work, and we encourage them to create their own scale of expectations. They begin with everything being "super" or "terrible", then are shown that effort can improve outcome.
Three year olds work very hard on scissor skills, number recognition, and beginning writing skills. While a two year old recognizes that he can make a mark, the three year old child begins to understand that his "marks" on paper can have meaning, sometimes only to them, but eventually to others as well. Counting and patterning, matching and pairing are skills that are practiced daily. Manipulative activity becomes more important as muscle tone improves in the hands for better control of the pencil and scissors.