At Learning Circle Preschool we believe that it is by designing an enriching classroom environment, and making available guidance, stimulating materials, and motivating curricula, that the foundations for optimum development can be provided. Young children learn best through playful interactions with their environment, engaging in activities that are deeply meaningful to them. It is the teacher’s role to facilitate, plan, watch, listen, model, question, extend, observe, and help children make connections to both materials and the other children with whom experiences are shared. The Learning Circle Preschool curriculum provides children with the extended periods of time they need to play, to plan, to reflect on past experiences, to practice, and to connect new experiences and knowledge to that which is familiar and known.
Each child follows a unique timetable as his/her development unfolds. At Learning Circle Preschool, curriculum goals are highly individualized. We strive to offer each child the support, stimulation, and appropriate challenges necessary for a strong foundation for confident, life long learning.
Specific curriculum choices are based on careful observations of children in the classroom environment, and are informed by the Department of Education’s Guidelines for Preschool Experiences, which in turn are linked to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. In addition, our curriculum development is informed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) current standards reflecting best practices for the education of young children.
No short document can include all aspects of the curriculum. In preschools, curriculum is everything that happens – each interaction, conversation, and question posed offers engaging possibilities for learning. Since children learn in a holistic and integrated manner in early childhood, teachers plan experiences for children that offer opportunities across many domains (rather than as isolated subjects). The following areas of concentration have been outlined in this summary:
- Moving water through pumps and pipes
- Creating ramp systems
- Thinking about how things move – using wheels, air, or other means
- Thinking about how heat and water are delivered to our homes
- Creating buildings, road works, and houses with blocks
- Thinking about roads, bridges, ramps, and tunnels in block or sand play
- Creating constructions and road or river systems in sand
- Create and construct in three dimensions with mixed media in collage
- Investigate simple machines such as ramps, gears, wheels, pulleys, and levers through play experiences.
- Use a variety of simple cooking tools
- Thinking about what tools work best for specific purposes (for example, tape vs. glue or paper vs. wood)
- Using digital photography to document our classroom experiences
- Using computers for research, to hear a book or music, or to create a story