Easy as 1 2 3? I wish…but it IS a good song!
As you know, we are currently working through our Bread Study. On the surface it can seem pretty basic, but when you break down the curriculum attached…there is SO much learning that happens during this study. Math, science, critical thinking, language development and fine motor skills are just a few examples.
One of my favorite things about being an educator is curriculum development. My brain loves the process of linking child development, student motivation and learning goals with meaningful teaching activities in the classroom. It requires thinking like your students which fosters personal connections which leads to successful learning. Here’s what you might witness when I’m on a typical curriculum development bender:
While I love it, curriculum development is HARD WORK and always evolving. A common misconception about Early Childhood Education (ECE) is that there isn’t any specific planning or academic rigor. Quite the contrary – ECE is the foundation for layers upon layers of academic learning AND it must address essential areas of child development. What this means is that ECE teachers be knowledgeable about the science of child development, current best practice AND be skilled at implementing teaching activities that target those things in way that is fun and engaging for students. If you haven’t hugged a teacher lately, I recommend it.
So, how can you tell what your child is learning at preschool? Let’s break it down using our Bread Study as an example:
Investigation 3 is themed: Who works with bread?
Targeted Vocabulary: baker, delivery, pastry chef, transform, responsibilities, pizza parlor, mozzarella, marinara, pizza stone
Large Group Activities: Echo Clapping activity, Discussion & Shared Writing, Step Up game, The Green Grass Grows song, Find the Letter Sound movement activity, Hi-Ho Derry-O song and activity
Small Group Activities: Making Bread, Experimenting with Bread, Alphabet Books, Jumping Beans Activity, Rhyming Chart, More or Fewer Towers, Ping-Pong Pick Up, Modeling Clay, Biscuits, Cube Trains, Patterns Under Cover
Read-Aloud: Stone Soup (each week specific books are targeted for literacy development activities)
Physical Development: Catching with a Scoop Activity
Each activity targets specific developmental and academic goals. For example, the Large Group activity Step Up asks students to match letters to letter sounds. The Small Group activity Rhyming Chart builds literacy skills by having students help create a chart of rhymes. During each activity, teachers are observing each student to see where they are at developmentally and using that information to guide future learning activities.
When you are talking to your child about the school day, instead of asking: What did you do today at school? Ask:
- What was your favorite or least favorite thing about school today?
- Did you learn something new about bread?
- What did you do outside or downstairs during play time?
- What story did you read today?
If you haven’t looked at our Creative Curriculum Parent Handbook, consider checking it out. It may answer questions you have about why we format learning the way we do and how you can recognize your child’s academic and developmental progress. And of course you are always welcome to ask the Teachers and Directors here for more information.
On Thursday, November 7th and Friday, November 8th I will be setting up some of our curriculum materials in the music room upstairs. If you would like to pop in after you drop your child off in the classroom you can enjoy a cup of coffee and learn a little more about the Bread Study.
A B C, easy as 1 2 3? Dedicated ECE teachers sure make it seem so.