Stepping Stone Education Center uses The Creative Curriculum for preschool through pre-k and The Creative Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers for Birth-3. The Creative Curriculum shows teachers how to implement developmentally appropriate activities in their teaching strategies in ways that connect with each child’s development and how they learn while it is adapted to their individual needs and interests. It includes goals and objectives of each child’s area of development, for example: social, emotional, physical, cognitive and language. Creative curriculum is based on the classroom environment and defines the role of the teacher in connecting content, teaching and learning for young children. The learning is child initiated and play based.
To support the framework provided by The Creative Curriculum teachers use all of the following resource materials:
- The Creative Curriculum resource books
- Research and Training teachings
- Mailbox Magazine
The goals for teachers are as follows:
- How, what, when to observe
- Being objective
- Using the developmental continuum
Guided Children’s Learning
- Using a range of teaching approaches
- Adapting instruction to include all children
- Working with groups of children
- Promoting learning in interest areas
- Exploring content in interest areas
- Integrating learning through studies
Assessing Children’s Learning
- Collecting facts
- Analyzing and evaluating facts
- Using what you’ve learned to plan
The goals for the family are as follows:
Getting to know families
- Appreciating differences
- Using initial contacts to learn about families
Making families feel welcome
- Creating a welcoming environment
- Introducing your program
- Building trust
Communicating with families
- Daily exchanges
- Formal communications
Partnering with families on children’s learning
- Offering a variety of ways to be involved
- Making classroom participation meaningful
- Meeting with families to share information and plan
Responding to challenging situations
- Families under stress
- Dealing with misunderstandings
- Addressing differences constructively
The goals for pre-school age children are as follows:
- Achieving a sense of self
- Taking responsibility for self and others
- Behaving in a pro-social way
- Achieving gross motor control
- Achieving fine motor control
- Learning and problem solving
- Thinking logically
- Representing and thinking symbolically
- Listening and speaking
- Reading and writing
There are six goals and objectives for infants and toddlers, they are as follows:
To learn about themselves
- Children will feel valued and secure in their relationships
- Children will feel competent and proud about what they can do and supported as they express their independence
To learn about their feelings
- Children will communicate a broad range of emotion through gestures, sounds and over time words
- Children will learn to express their feelings in appropriate ways
To learn about others
- Children will learn to develop trusting relationships with nurturing adults
- Children will show interest in peers
- Children will demonstrate caring and cooperation
- Children will try roles and relationships through imitation and pretend play
To learn about communicating
- Children will express needs and thoughts without using words
- Children will identify with a home language
- Children will respond to verbal and non-verbal commands
- Children will learn to communicate through language
To learn about moving and doing
- Children will develop the following: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, hand/eye coordination and self-help skills
To acquire thinking skills
- Children will understand the basic concepts and relationships
- Children will apply knowledge to new situations and develop strategies for problem solving
These areas of development and goals are taken from the Creative Curriculum Resource Book.
To assure continuous quality, Stepping Stone uses the Environmental Ratings Scales: SACERS (School Age Environmental Rating Scale), ECERS (Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale) and ITERS (Infant Toddler Environmental Rating Scale) as an assessment tool.
The following age appropriate learning centers are adapted in each classroom:
- Blocks- age appropriate blocks, small animals, people, transportation, etc…
- Dramatic Play-dress-up clothes, play food, pots and pans, cups, eating utensils, etc…
- Sensory- sand and water play: buckets, shovels, funnels, etc….
- Art- collage materials, glue, paints, developmentally appropriate supplies…
- Reading-variety of fact, fantasy, and fiction, all age-appropriate
- Manipulative/Fine Motor toys and games- puzzles, pegboards, sorting boxes, etc….
- Math/Number-scales, sequencing cards, counting objects, matching, sorting, etc…
- Discovery & Science- nature collections, magnifying glasses, living objects, etc….
- Computer- Developmentally appropriate software, limited use.
- Music and Movement- scarves, egg shakers, bean bags, instruments, music from around the world, etc…
- Outside & indoor/Gross Motor- Climbing equipment, balls, push toys, bikes, plasma cars, scooters, parachute, etc….
- Listening – storybooks on tape w/ cassette and headphones
We also include the following activities:
- Field Trips
- Holiday programs
- classroom parties
- Special activities
- Special guests
- Summer camp
- Family Events
Infants and Toddlers are provided a schedule that meets each and every need of all children in care.
üArrivals and departures
üFeeding/preparing and eating snacks and meals
üMusic, books & fine motor
üIndoor and outdoor play
The daily schedule for our preschool & school age classroom prepares children for elementary school based on the academic needs of all children
üArrival and departures
During summer we expand activities to address cognitive development, language development, reasoning skills, social, emotional and physical development. We offer a variety of special activities to keep the children engaged at all times.
Stepping Stone uses Teaching Strategies Gold to assess each child’s developmental progress, which is related to Creative Curriculum. Assessments of the children are done twice a year, in the fall and spring. We incorporate the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards for Infants – School Age with our curriculum into our weekly lesson plans. The Standards are designed as a framework for quality and to provide guidance about what children should know or be able to do when they enter kindergarten. The Standards are inclusive of all children.
Assessments of the children are done in November and May. The children are assessed on all learning domains to help the teachers identify the needs of every child.
September-May children’s work is collected for their student portfolio. It has samples of work from the child, photos of them at work and play and writing samples. The portfolio shows their progress throughout the school year based on developmental guidelines.