Creative Curriculum® for PreSchool
At the core of the Creative Curriculum® lies the belief that all children can learn and benefit from developmentally appropriate practice. By providing meaningful experiences and productive play, we are stimulating a child’s social/emotional, physical, cognitive and language/literacy development.
The Creative Curriculum® is a research and theory based educational tool that takes into account the whole child. It focuses on the four areas of child development:
Social / Emotional Development
- Achieving a sense of self
- Knowing oneself and relating to others
- Taking responsibility for self and others
- Following rules and routines, respecting others and taking initiative
- Behaving in a pro-social way
- Showing empathy and getting along in the world. For example; by sharing and taking turns.
- Listening and speaking….use of spoken language to communicate with others, develop vocabulary and use of language to solve problems
- Reading, writing, speaking, gathering information, using information, thinking critically, understanding others and expressing oneself
- Gross motor development leads to fine motor development.
- Use of small muscles in hands and wrists. Children will be able to perform self-help skills such as using writing tools and scissors.
- Balance, stability, running, jumping, throwing, catching.
- Achieving gross motor control…moving large muscles.
- Refers to the mind and how it works. It involves how children think; see their world, and how they use what they learn. Cognitive growth in preschool is remarkable to witness.
- Learning and Problem-Solving
- Being purposeful about acquiring and using information, resources and materials as children observe events around them
- Ask questions, make predictions and test possible solutions
- Learning reaches beyond acquiring facts.
- Thinking logically
- Gathering and making sense of information by comparing, contrasting, sorting, classifying, counting, measuring, and recognizing patterns
- As children use logical thinking, they organize their world conceptually and gain a better understanding of how it works.
- Representing and thinking symbolically
- Using objects in a unique way. For example, using a cup as a telephone or pretending to be a firefighter.
- Using pictures to draw a character in a story.
The Creative Curriculum® takes into account the different types of learners and understands that in order to have an effective classroom, the teachers must set up an environment that stimulates all learning styles. Classroom instruction is differentiated so that auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners all receive well-rounded instruction.
Auditory learners are children who learn best by listening; they are attuned to sounds and words. They are able to solve problems by talking about them. Auditory learners can follow verbal instructions and explanations. You can build their knowledge base by describing in words what they do. The more opportunities offered to auditory leaners to hear and verbalize concepts, the more knowledge they will gain.
Visual learners are children who learn best by looking; they are drawn to color, shape, and motion. These children actually think in images or pictures by taking in what they hear and see and transform it into images in their brain. They learn best when they are shown how things are done. Visual learners also remember ideas and concepts better when they are attached to an image. Children who learn by looking need to make visual representations of their thoughts and feelings to learn.
Kinesthetic learners are children who learn best by movement. They are generally well coordinated and confident in their bodies. They learn best by using hands-on manipulatives to physically touch or move pieces. For example, a tactile letter system to teach the alphabet or moving actual pieces to portray addition/ subtraction concepts.
The classroom is set up into learning centers, each of which is dedicated to a specific interest area. Interest areas include: Blocks, Dramatic Play, Toys and Games, Art, Library, Discovery/Science, Sensory, Music and Movement, Cooking, Computers and Outdoors. Each interest area has a connection with the Goals and Objectives of the Creative Curriculum®. During free choice times, children choose the areas and activities they’d like to participate in. Throughout the day large group time will take place and the children can participate in activities as a class. During large group, the children are introduced to new ideas and concepts. Small group times also occur daily. Small group provides children with the opportunity to interact directly with a teacher while participating in an activity. Small group activities allow for the teacher to track children’s progress on a particular goal or objective from the Developmental Continuum.
Productive play-based and center organized classrooms create a community in which children learn how to get along with others. The positive environment encourages children to problem solve. Teachers use a guided sequence to help children resolve any issues that arise. Children are assigned classroom jobs to help in the daily activities in their classroom.
The Teacher’s Role
Teachers are the facilitators of learning. Their job is to encourage the children to question, problem solve, and gain knowledge. Teachers establish a stable learning environment that welcomes all learners. Teachers interact with children during in-depth learning studies such as large and small group times, as well as while children are exploring interest areas. They ask purposeful questions of the children in order to spark curiosity and wonder as children carry out their productive play.
Teachers document observations of children as they work independently and as a group in order to track children’s progress through the Developmental Continuum. Several times a year, teachers invite parents to a formal conference to discuss children’s progress.
Creating a Classroom Community
A stable environment for the children leads to a positive learning experience. Teachers relate to the children in positive ways. By setting the example, the teacher encourages the children to treat each other with respect. A positive social climate helps children feel good about school, themselves, and one another. This enables them to learn to the best of their ability.
The Family’s Role
Norwood PreSchool encourages partnership with families of the center. We firmly believe that children’s optimal development and learning occurs when teachers and parents work together. Norwood Preschool has an open door policy. We encourage parents to take part in family activities and events. Communication is a key component in creating successful and confident learners. Teachers have conversations with parents on a daily basis about their child’s day. We ask parents to keep the teachers informed of the progress children are making, or perhaps problems they may be having at home