» Classrooms and Programs
Classrooms and Programs
The curriculum that we use at TCP is a collaboration designed by our director, our teachers, and curriculum coordinator to follow both the children’s interests and developmentally appropriate practices. The TCP curriculum is a melting pot of ideas and theories from Creative Curriculum, Highscope Curriculum, and the Regio Emilia approach. The Creative Curriculum promotes the use of interest areas as a way of providing experiences that promote cognitive, social, physical, and language development. Each classroom is divided into learning centers and the materials are rotated each week. The Highscope Curriculum emphasizes adult-child interaction and a plan-and-review teaching/learning process. The children make plans before entering into free play centers and sit down at the end of the day to review what they did and learned during the day. The Regio Emilia Approach is one that builds upon the interests of children. Topics for themes are captured from the talk of children, through community or family events, as well as the known interests of children. Team planning is an essential component of the Regio Emilia approach. Lead teachers collaborate with assistant teachers to create weekly lesson plans that are theme based.
These themes can last from one week up to four weeks based on the children’s interest in the topic. Lessons plans are a combination of large group times, small group times, and materials and activities added to children’s choice centers. For example, a Safari themed unit could last several weeks in the Toddler classroom if each week was dedicated to a different safari animal. Large group times can include reading safari stories and looking at animal pictures, small groups can be pretending that a drinking straw is an elephant tusk and practicing sucking and blowing water through the straw, additions may be setting up the dramatic play center with hanging vines, trees, and safari puppets.
Teachers allow changes to lesson plan activities throughout children’s play and will often follow along with a teachable moment instead of the scheduled activity. We have created a set of assessments for each classroom infants through Prekindergarten. The assessments are based on age and developmental milestones and are completed on each child twice a year. The lead teachers use the assessments to guide their lesson plans. Anecdotal notes are also taken throughout the day and are used as guides for theme topics and concepts. The Children’s Place curriculum is a hands on approach based on research and theories of development.
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