Children learn best in the context of engaging hands-on activities and real experiences.
Children are active learners and the best learning happens in the context of doing meaningful and purposeful activities. In our classrooms, you can expect to see your child planting a seed, building with blocks, listening to stories, pouring scoops of sand, dancing to a variety of music, writing in journals, measuring the flour for a recipe, hammering a nail for woodworking, creating original artwork by drawing and painting, using a magnifier and discovering the fine details of a leaf, counting how many napkins are needed for snack, talking about their ideas during group time, singing with their friends, matching the pieces of a puzzle, sorting the cards for a game, reading in the book corner, comparing shells in the science center, sharing play-doh with friends, exploring real objects like shells or rocks, problem-solving how to fix something, acting out roles in dramatic play, pretending to be a community helper, working together to clean up the classroom, telling stories on the flannel board, naming the letters on the word wall, playing and having fun while learning!
Curriculum Content Areas
|Literacy & Reading|
|Alphabet Knowledge & Writing|
|Expressive & Receptive Language|
|Mathematics & Problem-Solving|
|Science & Nature|
|Physical Development & Health|
|Art & Music Appreciation|
|Symbolic Representation & Dramatic Play|
|Social Interactions & Community|
|Emotions & Self-Regulation|
The content of preschool curriculum should address all areas of development while focusing on academic learning and life skills.
Our teachers develop their learning plans using our Curriculum Goals & Objectives which are based on the best practices from early childhood education research and meet the Texas Education Agency’s Guidelines for Prekindergarten as well as introducing concepts from the TEA Kindergarten TEKS. Our teachers observe and analyze where each child is developmentally using our Curriculum Goals & Objectives which cover ten content areas and then plan to meet each child’s needs.
Discovering where each child is now helps us determine how to support their movement to the next step. As children vary as individuals, this means that teachers are constantly adjusting their curriculum and instruction to meet each child’s learning needs. Throughout the year, parents receive regular feedback about their children’s learning and developmental progress.
Preschool instruction should be based on best practices in the early childhood field and individualized to respond to children’s developmental levels.
The early childhood field is rich with traditional theories and philosophies that seek to describe and explain how young children learn and what are the best techniques to promote that learning.
Our program is based on the most robust of these historical contributions while utilizing the most current child development research. Our teachers have a multitude of options for promoting children’s learning. Some of the central tenets of our philosophy include:
- Multi-sensory approaches – For example, writing letters with their fingertips on a sand tray or bending pipe cleaners to make shapes.
- Process over product - For example, the act of painting on the easel is valued as much as the final product.
- Active learning - For example, children taking part in the cooking project or fishing for letters in the sensory table.
- Contextual learning - For example, using words from a favorite story to explore letter recognition and sounds.
- Real materials and experiences - For example, exploring real pumpkins and counting the seeds.
- Real photographs - For example, real images of wild animals as opposed to cartoonish drawings.
- Open-ended art and writing activities - For example, a variety of papers and mediums to inspire interest in drawing and writing as opposed to predetermined coloring sheets or workbooks.
- Child-directed activity - For example, opportunities for children to choose their own activities from a planned and prepared learning environment.
- Teacher-directed activity - For example, teachers working with small groups to play an alphabet matching game or sorting activity.
Emergent curriculum methods respond to children’s unique learning needs.
Our learning plans start with a concept and grow from there. Teachers begin with the children’s interests and then create their learning plans by choosing activities that tie the concept to their learning goals. For example, an interest in bird nests may begin when children get excited by the reading of a book about birds. The teacher notices the interest and then begins to plan activities related to the concept of bird nests. Perhaps twigs are added to the science center for measuring and an egg counting game is created. Teachers continue to create learning experiences related to this concept and connected to their curriculum goals until the children’s interests move in other directions and a new concept becomes the focus.
Several different focuses may be happening at the same time as children can be interested in a variety of topics at once. Units of study can last for several weeks or just a few days. This ensures our curriculum is unique and individualized for the whole group and for individual children. Teachers are continually assessing where the children are in their developmental progress, determining curriculum goals and planning engaging activities to reach those goals using the children’s natural interest as a springboard.