Preschoolers are feeling especially independent at this point. Teachers encourage this by offering the children more choices of activities. This is also the beginning of an academic focus that introduces children to letters, numbers, colors and shapes. A monthly theme allows teachers to introduce ideas in a variety of methods to reinforce and build upon skills they have already achieved. More emphasis is also placed on social and emotional development, and children are strongly encouraged to use their words as a means of communication with adults and peers. Communication between parent and teachers is essential.