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The Early Learning Center Curriculum Snapshot

The Early Learning Center Curriculum Snapshot

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The Early Learning Center

(Toddlers-Pre-Kindergarten) 

Social/Emotional:

  • Awareness to self in relation to the class.
  • Expression of emotions, ideas, needs, and desires.
  • Development of concentration, planning abilities, and attention span.
  • Respect for individual contributions and differences.
  • Group dynamics and democratic problem solving.

Physical:

  • Fine motor skill acquisition through regular use of clay, paint, sewing, puzzles, and other miscellaneous manipulatives.
  • Gross motor skill development through Music & Movement and daily outdoor and indoor play times.

Art:

The Art Program actively engages children in using a wide variety of sensory materials to make and create things from. Children explore and discover each medium has unique potential for making personal meaning about the world, quite apart from what can be said in words. Using hands, eyes, and minds, children learn to express and communicate their ideas and feelings in concrete expressive forms.

Art is a vital part of the curriculum at The Early Learning Center for children of all ages. Through art, children can recreate and integrate curriculum experiences, including Language Arts, Judaic Studies, Science, and Math concepts. They create art in their classrooms or Art Studio where they share their wonderful ideas both visually and verbally. They learn to value their uniqueness as creative individuals and learn from and respect the diversity of other's artwork. We believe that all children have the potential to develop the competencies necessary to make objects and create images of their experiences.

Above all, the Art Program is concerned with personal and creative growth. As their mastery of tools and materials grow, children critically observe the emerging work and art becomes a self-discipline of the highest order.

Emergent Literacy:

When you enter The Early Learning Center’s classrooms, you see and hear the industrious sounds of children's active engagement with language and materials. Literacy is integrated and learned across the curricula, in conjunction with social studies, art, music, movement, science, and math. Picture books are prominently displayed and read in the various areas of the classroom and embody children's interests and ongoing investigations.

Over the span of Toddlers to Pre-Kindergarteners, we focus on the following goals:

  • Communication and expression about self, others, and the physical world.
  • Appreciation of other points of view.
  • Acquisition of a sense of story.
  • Making the connection between the spoken and the written word.
  • Interest in and use of symbolic representation (e.g., drawing, numbers, letters, sounds, print).

Toddlers - Nursery Program:

They have many opportunities to support speaking and listening abilities, such as, listening to stories read aloud, dictating messages and stories to the teachers, singing, rhyming games, labeling, writing recipes, experience charts, and block play.

Pre-Kindergarten Program:

The 4s are developing emergent literacy skills and print concepts in all areas of curriculum. They have a strong interest in books and enjoy looking at books sequentially from the front covers to the end. They learn visual tracking from left to right; they learn to recognize picture cues and patterns; and they predict what will happen next and share their understandings of the stories. They learn to identify and write the letters of the alphabet, both upper and lower case; they learn to read their names; they learn to read the names of other children in the class; and they develop phonemic awareness and a beginning understanding of symbol/sound correspondence, especially common consonant sounds. Children are eager to write signs and simple stories using invented spelling or using their beginning vocabulary of sight words.

 

Mathematics:

Mathematics in The Early Learning Center is embedded in the daily experiences and core curriculum of each age group. Concrete and active experiences in math provide children with a solid foundation from which, at an older age, they can build an understanding of abstract mathematical ideas. Beginning in the Toddler Programs, we strive to ensure that children continue to develop and enjoy mathematical experiences rooted in their lives. A wide range of concrete materials is used to support children's curiosity as they explore:

  • numerical relations, counting, ordering;
  • one-to-one correspondence;
  • measurement;
  • patterns;
  • geometric understandings about space, volume, and shape;
  • estimation;
  • sorting and classifying;
  • pictorial representation of data.

In their work with materials, including unit blocks, pegs and pegboards, Cuisenaire rods, pattern blocks, design cubes, dice and board games, and playing cards, children are actively involved with math learning every day. Math is integrated into the school day; there are no specific math periods.

Toddlers - Nursery Program:

They learn about number and ordering when they count the children participating in an activity; the sequential steps in a recipe that has numerical, verbal, and pictorial directions; the number of eggs needed for a cooking experience and how to take turns to beat them. They experience one-to-one correspondence when they set the table for snack or place a large animal on a double unit block and a smaller one on a single unit. Children measure their heights on long strips of paper and pour different volumes of water and sand from containers of many sizes. They learn to make simple patterns as they work with pegs, blocks, colored cubes, and art materials for painting, collage, and printing. They learn to sort and classify according to size, shape, or color as they find, use, and put back their various play materials. They also might try to estimate how many pretzels are needed for all the children when setting out the snack.

Pre-Kindergarten Program:

The 4s continue to develop their mathematical thinking through experiences embedded in the life and curriculum of the classroom. They begin to understand decade marks and count patterns as they work with mathematical materials, such as the unifix cubes and pegboards. They can understand and conserve the number of small groups of items without having to count them. Their block work involves more sophisticated understandings of size, volume, shape, and pattern as children measure, add, and remove the different blocks that comprise their complexly designed and sturdily built structures. They learn how to record mathematical data when they measure their bodies with Unifix cubes and write the results on simple graphs. They learn to read the measurements for simple recipes that they make many times over the course of the school year.

 

Judaic Studies:

Jewish studies are intertwined across all curriculum areas.   Students will have an Introduction to Torah concepts and vocabulary, chagim (holidays), months of the year, fundamentals of daily functioning, understand and love the mitzvot and customs that pertain to the yearly Jewish cycle. School events and special projects give families the opportunity to become involved and familiar with Jewish culture and traditions.

  • Shabbat: Shabbos parties are celebrated on Fridays to give the children the opportunity to experience the rich traditions of Shabbat. Challah baking is a weekly ritual that the children enjoy and look forward to taking home to share with their family.
  • Chagim/Holidays are explored through all centers in the classrooms. Through various art mediums and block play, the children represent the ideas and knowledge learned this enables them to make concrete connections to the concepts.
  • Tefillah/Prayer: Daily songs of Tefillah/prayers are sung everyday. The children are introduced to the concept of Hashem/G‑d and his presence everywhere.
  • Brachot/Blessings: The children say a bracha/blessing before they eat and drink. They become familiar with the blessings pertaining to the various holidays.
  • Mitzvot: Mitzvahs connect us to Hashem. Mitzvahs are concrete actions that are reminders to do good deeds. Children are encouraged to do mitzvahs and understand that acts of good kindness make their classroom space, school community, and the world at large a better place.
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Science:

The Early Learning Center’s teachers encourage children to develop an attitude of inquiry and respect for their natural and physical environment. Science is integrated and is integral to the daily life of the classroom. Children investigate, manipulate, discuss, record, and predict based on their observations on trips or their work in the classroom. They explore how living and nonliving organisms change over time, cause and effect relationships, and relationships between form and function.

Teachers use many strategies to support these explorations. In their study of living things, children grow plants from seed and keep simple records of their growth over time. They make trips around the neighborhood where they collect natural materials and gather data about seasonal changes.

In their classrooms, children have daily opportunities to discover the physical properties of the various materials they work with, such as sand, soil, water, blocks, paint, collage, clay, and wood. They use all their senses in their work with these open-ended sensorial materials, and learn how their efforts produce change and possibly a final product. In their dramatic play in the block area, they discover how changes in form and structure can affect the function of the play in their buildings. Chemical changes are experienced through the abundance of cooking in the classrooms. Children investigate and learn how to use simple tools, machines, batteries, bulbs, and magnets.

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