Do you follow a certain curriculum?
Our curriculum is based on providing a developmentally-based environment and thoughtful interactions between children and teachers which enhances self-esteem and promotes problem solving skills.
The child’s day includes a generous amount of time for exploration and experimentation in the classroom learning centers. The basis of an early childhood classroom is that children learn through play. The children need the time to repeat activities and work with a variety of tools to build their skill sets. The classroom centers include block play, dramatic play, science center, sensory table, table manipulatives, and art (easel, collage table, and messy art table). We have a large, fully developed playground that serves as a part of our curriculum. It includes a play structure, boat, covered sandbox, covered play area, bikes and scooters, many child-created art pieces, raised planter beds and playhouses.
The teachers prepare the environment according to the children’s interests and developmental needs. Through the exploration of the classroom environment the children are naturally weaving cognitive activities into their social play. An example of this is building a house with the blocks. Socially the children are role playing the characters of a family. They work together, negotiating with each other, the design for the house. Cognitively, they are working with different shapes and sizes. They are experiencing spatial relationships, fitting and adjusting pieces to create a shape. They are counting, matching and sorting while in this process. They are developing language while discussing their roles and the building. Symbolism is used in the representation of blocks for a house and furniture. This entire activity is filled with prereading and prewriting development.
Independence is fostered by encouraging the child to make his/her choices throughout the day which include activities that are on the child’s level, using a schedule which is consistent and predictable, and trusting the children to make choices about how they use their time. The teachers work with the children during their play to develop the problem solving techniques that create the basis of our curriculum. Learning to negotiate with others is a life-long skill that will serve our children well into adulthood.
Opportunities for small and large group interactions are planned during the session. They may include time to check in with each other and discuss a project that the group is working on or perhaps share ideas on a developing project that the group is starting. Building community in the classroom promotes caring and confidence in each other.
Teachers share their curriculum planning with parents through calendars and newsletters. The daily schedules are posted in the classroom and the parents meet with the teachers twice a year for formal conferences. Parents are always welcome to volunteer in the classroom to see the children carrying out their work.