Our curriculum is based on the widely used and research based Creative Curriculum. We have created a curriculum that is environmentally-based with an emphasis on “active learning,” and educators who are teacher-researchers that fits the needs of each child, individually.
Environmentally-based curriculum means that the physical layout supports learning. The environment is set up to give students a taste of home. We believe that when students are in a comfortable environment they learn better. Each classroom is uniquely designed and may include items like a couch for reading, lamps for softer lighting, real plants, etc. Within the home like environment, a minimum of 7 centers are set up (block, fine motor, writing, art, dramatic play, science, and library). The materials in each center are changed and new materials introduced to enhance and promote the interest of the children as well as new ideas for exploration. Current technology is also readily available for students to explore. The environment will reflect opportunities for child directed exploration, as well as teacher oriented experiences.
Additionally we believe that children learn best through “active learning.” This means that children have direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, events, and ideas. Children are encouraged to “construct” their own knowledge by pursuing their personal interests and goals. Children retain more knowledge when the things that they are learning are the most important to them.
Lastly our educators act as teacher-researchers that observe children in play and guide them in their exploration. The teacher is the researcher, the data gatherer, the learner, and the strategic contributor to the child’s capacity to learn. The responsibility is on our community of teachers to provide the contexts for learning for each student.
- Math and Science Enhancements- math and science are incorporated into the daily routine, and classroom centers providing the children with time and space to discover on their own. Enhancement activities such as cooking and gardening allow for children to discover the connection between math and science in their daily lives.
- Second Step- Using music and videos, take-home activities, and stories kids relate to, the Second Step lessons help instill social-emotional skills. Our youngest students will benefit more from preschool and be better prepared for kindergarten with self-regulation and executive-function skills that help them pay attention, remember directions, and control their behavior.
- Literacy- a strong background in literacy is the beginning of a lifetime love of learning. Classrooms will revisit one particular book throughout the month in their Dialogic reading. This is designed to give students the opportunities to learn vocabulary, draw conclusions, expand memory, and enhance a student’s ability to communicate.
- Spanish – Spanish is taught weekly to all children infants through Pre-k. Research says that all children are born with the ability to speak any language and that ability is best reserved when students hear those languages early in life. Throughout the year students will be learning how to count in Spanish as well as colors, shapes, and other vocabulary relevant to them.
- Lifetime Sports-sports are an integral part of a child’s development, teaching teamwork, large motor coordination, and hand-eye coordination. Each month students will learn the rules, scoring, and technique of a different sport. Sports include but not limited to soccer, golf, and tennis.