Early Education Curriculum

The whole-child focus means that the curriculum addresses children’s development in multiple domains.

Language and Literacy

Balanced Literacy allows teachers to introduce children to the foundations of writing and reading. This approach involves shared reading experiences; mini-lessons about key reading skills; whole and small group discussions; exposure to high quality books; and the reading of books at each student's own level.  Writing in early childhood encompasses a range of skills from simple marks on a paper, drawing, learning how to form letters, adding letters and words to drawings, and eventually writing sentences to communicate ideas.

Mathematics

We currently use the Building Blocks math curriculum. This curriculum focuses on math as a language for talking about numbers, measurement, patterns, shapes, and comparing and sorting objects and data. Children experience math daily in formal and informal experiences by counting things in the environment, going on a shape walk, beginning to match quantities of items to their symbols. Real world experiences like figuring out how many blocks it takes to go across the classroom or graphing which kind of apples people in the class like the best are important for math learning.

Thematic Play-Based Curriculum

Children learn best through play and exploration. Teachers base curriculum on a series of themes that are interesting to children and provide opportunities for discovery and learning.  Themes may include topics such as family and community, animals, plants, and construction that help children to know themselves and the world around them.

Social-Emotional Development

The ability to make friends, collaborate, resolve conflicts, manage emotions like excitement, sadness, and anger are all part of a young child’s development.  At school, teachers work with children to recognize emotions in themselves and others, manage disappointment, gain self-control, learn to enter play and care for others.  Some buildings use a program called Second Step, others use Al’s Pals.  Both programs use a combination of pictures, puppets, and role plays to model social and emotional learning.

Physical Growth

Whether in the classroom or outside, children need regular exercise and opportunities to move freely.  The Somerville Hub has maps of parks and playgrounds across the city where children and families can play.  At school children play daily in the playground and in the gym spaces. Children also need to develop fine motor skills, strengthening their hands for drawing and writing.  We use a program called Handwriting Without Tears to help children learn to form letters and numbers.  Activities such as building materials, pegboards, puzzles, and art experiences give children the opportunity to develop dexterity and fine motor skills.

 

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