Mrs. Crystal Gerken, Pre-K

My name is Crystal Gerken and I have been teaching at St. Cecilia for 13 years.  I have five children of my own all of whom attend St. Cecilia school or childcare.  We are blessed to be a part of such a wonderful community.  I’ve taught a variety of grade levels, but enjoy Pre-K the most!  My goal for Pre-K is to provide a nurturing environment of love and respect that promotes the development of the whole child and prepares students for Kindergarten.  


Welcome to PreK

The goal of our Pre-K curriculum is to meet the needs of the whole child with learning opportunities for social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development.  Students that attend Pre-K are well prepared for the transition to Kindergarten.  The curriculum introduces basic reading, math, science, and social studies concepts in an age appropriate manner.  Students also receive an introduction to Spanish and sign language.  We offer a five day morning program from 8:00-11:15 and a five day afternoon program from 12:00-3:15.  We also have an extended care program to accommodate working parents. In addition to classroom learning, students attend various classes such as Music, PE, Computers, and Library.  Please feel free to contact the school at 402-556-6655 with any questions you may have.  You are also welcome to schedule a tour to visit our classroom. 


PreK Curriculum

Language Arts

We will be using the Houghton Mifflin Alphafriends curriculum.  It is a collection of various characters used to teach children phonemic awareness.  Each letter has its own song and take-home book.  The students will be working on:  alphabet recognition, print awareness, oral language, and vocabulary.

Learning Centers- Through learning centers children learn to make choices, become active learners through hand-on experiences, and it provides opportunities for individual learning styles.  Learning centers will also foster the following:

·        Children will develop social skills through interaction with others.

·        Children learn to share materials and take turns

·        Centers allow children to learn in ways that are natural to them

·        Children learn responsibility through the clean up routine


Math- Most of what the students will learn about math is not from worksheets, but from play and daily activities.  For example, when we sing “Five Little Monkeys,” they are counting.  Throughout the day the students learn math in ways that are natural to them.  We will introduce the following concepts through various activities: patterns, sorting and sets, counting, number meaning and recognition, shapes, comparisons.



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Religion - We will be learning how to pray through both formal and informal prayer.    In addition, we will learn the importance of treating everyone with love and respect through our actions and words, so that we can be like Jesus.  The students will learn various Bible stories that are applicable to their age level. Throughout the year we will also meet with our 4th grade prayer partners to complete various activities according to the Liturgical year. 

Student Portfolios - Throughout the year students will create work samples to be kept in their portfolios and will be shared with parents at conferences.  At the end of the year the portfolios will go home as a memory book of work the students completed while in Pre-K.     

Yoga - Yoga is integrated into our curriculum to promote a healthy mind, body, and spirit.  Our daily yoga practice also reinforces the letters of the alphabet by fostering creativity and imagination.  Yoga in the classroom has many benefits and the children absolutely love our daily practice. 


Music and Movement- Music is very important to early childhood and allows the children an opportunity for natural expression.  Music contributes to children’s learning in the following ways:

·        Helps to develop listening skills

·        Involves both large and small motor skills

·        Encourages cooperation and social interaction

·        Aids in developing speech and language

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