In our programs for children, the curriculum is the classroom environment, the equipment and material, and the teaching staff. The curriculum is based on understanding the unique developmental stage of each child and the subsequent implications for appropriate learning experiences. At the Infant/Toddler and Preschool programs we use The Creative Curriculum for Infants/Toddlers and Twos and The Creative Curriculum for Preschool. This research-based curriculum has a framework for planning a high quality learning environment for young children.
This framework includes How Children Develop and Learn – characteristics of development, The Learning Environment – the structure of the classroom including designated learning centers and daily schedules, What Children Learn – the knowledge and skills essential for children to learn in all content areas: literacy, math, science, social studies, the fine arts, and technology, The Teacher’s Role – keeping the curriculum goals and objectives in mind when they plan for and set up the classroom, and The Family’s Role – participating in a healthy partnership with the teacher to support and extend the learning experience for the child.
Monthly, the teachers plan together to create a focus of study for the month. This focus is based on the interests of the children or particular events occurring such as seasonal changes, the birth of a baby, etc. We integrate the various curriculum areas such as art, science, math, music and movement, dramatic play, block construction, literacy, to help deepen the understanding of the child as they explore the focus. In addition, teachers observe children to see what new skills and interests are arising that need to be incorporated into the curriculum. In this way an “emergent” curriculum evolves that responds to the child’s development and explorations. Parents are invited to share their observations of their child’s emerging interests and skills so that can also be incorporated into the curriculum planning.