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Curriculum

The Creative Curriculum is a forward-thinking, comprehensive, research-based and research-proven curriculum that helps teachers to be their most effective, while still honoring their creativity and respecting their critical role in making learning exciting and relevant for every child.

In addition to valuing the individual development of children, the Center encourages growth of those who parent and care for children. Center staff are required to continue learning about different facets of their profession. Students from nearby universities are involved in the program, both observing and student teaching.

 

Curriculum Philosophy

Children learn by experiencing. Infants begin a lifelong process in which their natural curiosity and experimentation produce learning. Children are guided in making sense of their world. As their natural wills are nourished and nurtured, a self-actualized, independent being develops capable of living harmoniously within the world. The learning is developmental in nature; that is, knowledge is based on previous learning and continues to expand and grow with the child.

The teacher is the nurturer and facilitator within the child care center. This person prepares the environment to challenge and stimulate the child at their own level of development. The curriculum, or content of the environment, provides a wide variety of open-ended materials and experiences. Open-ended means that materials or experiences have as many uses, solutions, meanings, or sets of rules as there are children engaging in them. The processes of interacting with the elements in the child's environment are the focus of the curriculum - - the products are simply extras. The teacher as facilitator enables growth for each child in each developmental area.

The child's immediate environment includes space and equipment to enable the accomplishment of our goals. The standard equipment and areas are as follows:

  • dramatic play
  • block
  • art
  • book
  • manipulative and outdoor areas
  • water/sand table
  • tables and chairs
  • quiet/private space
  • bathrooms

The curriculum provides the child with situations that may safely test levels of development and independence. This is done at a pace and in an environment where the child feels comfortable and secure.

To encourage experimentation and mastery, the curriculum provides age and developmentally appropriate materials and equipment. The ability to make choices is developed from providing children with a limited number of alternatives in any given situation throughout the day. Making choices enables children to exercise their autonomy, to learn from self-imposed consequences, and to know the world as a place of alternatives.

Language

  • expression of needs
  • expression of feelings
  • expression of personally meaningful experiences
  • expression of humor
  • expression of creativity – dramatics, music, poetry & rhymes, storytelling
  • recognizing and imitating
  • description of objects, events, relationships
  • listening to others' use of language and sound
  • spoken language as written word

Art

  • appreciation and acceptance of one's own and others' creativity
  • creation with large muscles
  • creation with small muscles
  • creativity with language
  • experimentation with materials and elements of natural environment
  • appreciation of beauty
  • appreciation of music

Science

  • questioning and reasoning initiated by the child
  • understanding one's geographical place
  • understanding our natural world
  • conceptualizing change
  • concepts of spatial relations
  • concepts of growth - human and animal bodies, recycling, seeding
  • concepts of qualities of matter
  • concepts of interrelatedness within nature
  • concepts of time

Math

  • concepts of time and sequencing
  • concepts of numbers
  • concepts of classification – some/all, like/different, sorting, matching
  • concepts of serration - measuring, graphing, ordering

Physical Development

  • acquiring skill with one's body and it's function
  • appreciation of one's own body
  • acquiring skills with tools, materials, equipment
  • concept of growth and health of bodies
  • acquisition of visual discrimination skills

Social Studies

  • understanding one's geographical place
  • understanding other geographical places
  • understanding likenesses and differences among people
  • understanding interrelatedness of people

Emotional Health

  • appreciation of self as emotional being
  • respect for the needs and feelings of others
  • understanding self/body and its skills
  • self in relation to others - role playing
  • expression of needs
  • expression of feelings

Outdoor Play

The Center believes that children benefit significantly from having time outdoors every day. Many different kinds of growth can take place and an amazing freedom is felt outside of a building. Therefore, teachers attempt to take their groups out every day that weather permits. Whenever children are taken out they are dressed appropriately. The Center appreciates parents' cooperation and trust that the program is meeting their child's needs in this area. Playground safety guidelines are available from the office upon request.

In the summer, the children often play in wading pools on the playground. To ensure the health and safety of each child, a teacher stands at a filled pool continuously. When filled with water, an appropriate amount of bleach is added. The pools are emptied after use, cleaned with soapy water and rinsed.

Rain Play Policy

Children love to cool off in the rain, splash in the puddles, moosh in the mud. The Center wants to facilitate this as long as it's healthy and safe. Here is a set of guidelines the teachers will follow:

1. The children will stay inside when it's thundering or if lightning is present.

2. The children may play outside if the rain is not too cold and if the air is not chilly. The teachers will stay in the weather and keep a close lookout to ensure that the children are not getting too cold.

3. The children will not wear shoes in puddles. When it is raining, the children will be allowed to play on the yard without their shoes. Parents/guardians are encouraged to send beach shoes or flip flops, if desired, to be used for water play. Sneakers are better for active play in fair weather.

4. The teachers will ensure that the children have extra clothing to change into when they come in, or that the children wear their bathing suits in the rain.