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It is the goal of the ASCDL to provide an integrated, experiential, and developmentally appropriate curriculum that meets the needs of young children cognitively, socially, emotionally, and physically. In addition, we are strongly committed to providing a bias-free curriculum and environment.
Curriculum planning in all classrooms is primarily the head teacher’s responsibility. However, it is the entire teaching staff’s responsibility to ensure that the curriculum is implemented, is safe, and is meeting the children’s needs.
Classroom environments are divided into learning centers. The materials in the learning centers are changed periodically depending upon the interest, individual needs, and developing skills of the children. Curriculum experiences (planned, spontaneous, and child-initiated) include, but are not limited to dramatic play, language and literacy, pre-reading, pre-math, science, psychomotor, art, music movement, opportunities for large and small motor development, sensory, cooking, nutrition, literature, multicultural, cognitive and social-emotional.
Curriculum within the ASCDL classrooms is divided into two categorie: the planned environment and the planned curriculum. At the ASCDL we believe that the prepared or planned environment has a strong influence on children’s learning. Therefore, careful attention is paid to the classroom in terms of the physical set-up, space, and aesthetics. In addition, the planned environment incorporates those materials that are placed in the classroom for a set period of time perhaps a week, a month, or even an entire semester. An example of this would be blocks, cars, people, books, posters, displays, dolls, stuffed animals, manipulatives and/or science collections. Changes in the planned environment are made to reflect children’s interests, individual needs, promote development, and facilitate learning.
The planned curriculum on the other hand, is curriculum that is brought out for the day or a set amount of time on any given day. It may also include activities that are expanded on and occur over a few days or an extended period of time.
The planned curriculum and planned environment provide for a balance of teacher-planned and child-initiated activities within a free choice setting. Our objective is to provide an environment and activities that maximize learning and facilitate development.
All curriculum within the center is geared to provide a wide assortment of hands-on experiences so that children have the opportunity to learn through a variety of modalities (visual, auditory, sensory). The center staff offers children the freedom to explore and the opportunity to choose from many daily activities. These activities may be either teacher-planned or child-initiated. A wide variety of activities are always available for child-initiated use each and every day.
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Circle time is primarily held in the Blue, Purple, and Modoc Rooms. However, that is not to say that the Infant Room may not have their own gathering at some time. The times that circle time is held and how long it lasts varies from room to room. Circle time is a time for the class or large group to come together to participate in singing, movement activities, finger plays, or read a story. Materials such as music, instruments, felts, puppets, or special visitors may be used at any time.
Circle time is an adult-led activity and calls for participation from all other teachers who are in attendance. Children are strongly encouraged to attend circle time and generally enjoy participating in the experience. Those who choose not to attend or are asked to leave circle for some reason may be asked to move to a specific area where alternate activities are available.
While the teacher is leading circle it is important for all the other teachers in attendance to model through active listening and participation. It is imperative that all staff help children use their bodies to participate in and follow along with circle time activities and refrain from distracting other children.