05 Sep Especially for Parents: The Creative Curriculum at Especially for Children
DeeAnn Besch, VP of Operations
Alli Zomer, Director of Operations
For several decades, Especially for Children has used The Creative Curriculum® as the foundation of our early childhood programs. The Creative Curriculum® is a play-based learning curriculum that focuses on interest areas and fosters creativity in both children and teachers. Being creative means thinking of new ideas, obtaining information by asking questions, and learning through trial and error.
Beginning this fall, you will see additional elements of The Creative Curriculum® taking place in your child’s classroom. Our teaching staff has spent the past several months, including at our most recent Professional Development Days, revisiting the foundational basis of the curriculum and engaging with new teaching materials; they are excited to bring even more of these research-based methods into the classroom to build on what our programs have always aimed to do: develop the confidence, creativity, and life-long learning skills of each child in our program.
Infant and toddler classrooms will follow The Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers & Twos, which emphasizes the importance of the child/caregiver relationship. The Creative Curriculum® emphasizes a classroom environment filled with responsive daily routines and meaningful, individualized experiences that nurture your child’s learning and development.
The routines will sound familiar to you: hellos and good-byes, diapering and toileting, eating and mealtimes, sleeping and nap time, and getting dressed. These routines are the foundation of your child’s day; they are also the foundation of learning. The consistent and nurturing interactions that children experience during everyday activities build trust and allow them to learn through experiencing the world around them.
In addition to daily routines, The Creative Curriculum® will support your child’s teacher every day as she engages your child in meaningful experiences, such as playing with toys, enjoying books and stories, creating art, and going outdoors. In each of these experiences, teachers observe what children do and select materials that match their growing abilities and interests.
The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool is based on 38 objectives for development and learning that focus on all the areas that are most important for school success: social–emotional, cognitive, math, literacy, physical, language, social studies, science and technology, and the arts. These objectives are built into every activity that happens in the classroom, which means that all day long, the teacher is helping your child build skills and knowledge in these important areas.
In The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool, learning happens through studies. Studies, which span several weeks, are in-depth, project-based investigations of topics that are part of your child’s everyday life. They feature topics such as trees, buildings, clothes, and balls. In a study, children raise questions about the topic and find answers by exploring, experimenting, and investigating in a hands-on way—through activities that take place in the classroom and outdoors.
Importantly, teachers will follow the lead of the children and pursue the questions and investigations within each study that are most interesting to the children in their classroom, thus promoting a love of learning. Teachers will also continue to have the freedom to add their own “handprint” when lesson planning, utilizing their personal experience and passions to shape the studies.
We are thrilled to have new curriculum materials in each of our classrooms that will support our teaching staff as they guide your child on this journey of early childhood. We have always been proud of the gifts our teachers bring to the classroom, and we are thrilled to be able to support their passion and creativity with this curriculum. In addition, we look forward to connecting with families in new ways as we engage with these materials and methods. Please let your directors know if you have any questions.