Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the whole child (social, emotional, physical, cognitive and creative) and the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards developed by the Connecticut Early Childhood Education Cabinet to prepare children for kindergarten. The learning progressions within the Early Learning and Development Standards promote:
* Equity for all children, through the setting of high, but appropriate, expectations;
* High-quality early learning experiences, by providing clear goals and trajectories of learning;
* Provision of individual support, based on each child’s growth and development;
* Families’ understanding of what their children are learning and how they can support them;
* Teachers’ understanding of age-appropriate content and approaches to children’s learning; and,
* Communication across sectors, based upon these common goals for children.
Weekly planning is done around monthly themes that stimulate the children’s awareness of the world around them and inspire their curiosity about the outside world. We use topics that will be part of their family and life experiences, as well as activities and information that will broaden their awareness of current events and the world at large.
In addition to these topics, each month will include activities and information about safety issues. Children will gain knowledge on how to handle emergencies and how to keep themselves and their families safe.
Helping the children to learn self-control, how to handle conflicts, making friends, good manners and sensitivity towards other people’s feelings and differences will be covered as topics each month under our good citizenship themes.
Children enrolled in our one-year old program through preschool will participate in the themes and activities appropriate for their age level. Information on specific themes and activities will be included in the monthly newsletters. Infant planning will be based upon the child’s individual developmental stages. Infant activities will be conveyed to parents verbally and through “My Day” reports.
What children learn through play...
SENSORY – Many activities such as: sand, water, ice and finger painting with paints and or shaving cream offer sensory experiences. These can be calming and soothing activities, but at the same time, give the children the opportunity to learn through touch. Children learn concepts such as smooth, hard, soft, wet, dry, heavy, light, warm, and cool and sizes and shapes.
DRAMATIC PLAY – Kitchen corner, wood working, dress-up, trucks, cars, trains and dress up clothing all offer children time to use their imagination to play. Children also experience social interactions, problem solving and taking turns.
ART – Supplies are plentiful to allow children to develop their own creative outlook. Children are encouraged to create and explore the use of different materials. We often use common household items or treasures collected outdoors to create collages. Art also helps children strengthen their muscles in order to control use of pencils and writing tools.
FINE MOTOR SKILLS – Puzzles, beads, manipulated toys, easel painting, cutting with scissors and molding with play dough/clay. Fine motor activities help children develop the skills they need to write, dress, feed and care for themselves. As children become more proficient in this area, they build confidence and positive self-esteem.
LARGE MOTOR SKILLS – Active children need many opportunities to stretch and develop their large muscles. This is why most or our sitting or quiet activities are followed by more physical activities. Outside is also a great time to allow children to uses their large motor skills such as running, jumping, climbing, balancing, swinging and pedaling a bike. Also, perceptual coordination is developed when children kick or catch a ball.
LANGUAGE - We have many opportunities during the day to encourage language. The staff talks with the children throughout the day as they go thorough routines, activities and chores. Using flannel and magnetic board stories allow children to participate in story telling in a fun and creative way to promote language, and imagination. Learning songs, and finger plays also introduces new language such as inside/outside body parts, animal names, new sounds and more.
MUSIC – This is something that is heard throughout the day. Music welcomes the children to school and relaxes them for sleep. Introduction of musical instruments gives children a sense of rhythm. Listening, dancing, clapping and swaying to the music on tapes, CD’s, and videos give children an appreciation for music. We like to say we “sing” our way through the day.
SCIENCE – The children sort and classify different objects and examine objects such as plant, animal and mineral. Discussions take place regarding our five senses and different experiments are conducted. Children learn about the earth, space, transportation and more through hands on activities, experimentation, reading, and planned activities and presentations.