The following is a breakdown of our basic care and curriculum goals for each classroom. We use The Creative Curriculum (www.teachingstrategies.com) as a base for what we do. The curriculum is based on a monthly theme which helps guide us as a center in offering a wide variety of experiences for our little learners.
We combine the theme of the month with the kids’ interests surrounding that theme to develop our lessons and activities. For our three older classrooms, we also incorporate specific learning goals each week such as a letter, color, number, shape and texture of the week.
BABY BOBCAT ROOM (6 WEEKS AND UP)
The Baby Bobcat room is based on individualized care because of the wide variety of needs that change during a child’s early months. The number one goal in the baby bobcat room is to meet all of the needs of each child with love and comfort. Teachers focus mainly on natural environment learning: speaking and reading to children to promote language development and very early literacy, working on physical strength and growth, helping them identify objects and learn that objects have names, talking with them about what color, size, shape things are and how many there are no matter what a child is playing with. Older infants may be involved in specific “lessons” each day, working on an art project, exploring water, doing a structured physical activity, etc. The classroom focuses on early learning language skills to help build early communication. Many children develop sign language skills as well to begin communicating their wants and needs.
WONDROUS WILDCATS ROOM (15 MONTHS AND UP)
The Wondrous Wildcats use The Creative Curriculum differentiating the lessons according to what kids are ready to learn. The teachers use these materials as a guide to plan specific activities for the kids as well as incorporating their own ideas and knowledge of the kids for lessons. Some kids will work on very basic skills, while others who are ready, will be challenged with slightly more difficult tasks. In addition, the teachers will introduce a letter, number and color of the week. The structured activities generally take place in small groups and the children rotate to different groups to participate in each activity. Very importantly, though, is that children in the Wondrous Wildcat room still have a lot of free time to explore their environment and play alongside their classmates. Some other focuses in the Wondrous Wildcat room are learning to communicate in appropriate ways and beginning to learn how to share and play with friends.
TERRIFIC TIGERS ROOM (2 AND UP)
Terrific Tigers also follow The Creative Curriculum (please see above in the Wondrous Wildcat explanation). In addition, Terrific Tigers have circle time after breakfast and have a strong focus on learning to recognize their letters and letter sounds, counting, shapes and colors, and beginning to recognize and write the letters in their first names. A copy of the assessment used for them is available under Assessments. Appropriate communication, sharing with others and empathizing with others continue to develop.
LEARNING LIONS (3 AND UP)
A continuation of The Creative Curriculum is integrated in a pretty structured day for the Learning Lion students. Our main focus is preparing kids for success in Kindergarten and beyond. Students will still have some free time during the day, but it is more limited than in the other classrooms. A large part of their morning is spent on structured learning activities: circle time, calendar, weather, classroom jobs, seated activities related to the theme and/or letter, number or color of the week. They have some free time in the middle part of the day and one more time period in the afternoon with structured learning, usually having to do with math (numbers, graphing, etc). A copy of the more detailed assessment for preschoolers is available under Assessments.