The Creative Curriculum has several versions that accommodate all ages ranging from birth through preschool-aged children. This curriculum acknowledges the importance of project/themed based learning in all classrooms. It emphasizes active engagement within the lessons to encourage learning from all the major areas of development. It focuses on the major subject areas including: literacy, science, math, dramatic play, art and music. In fact literacy development is introduced and encouraged in every aspect of this curriculum. This curriculum also serves as a guide for teachers providing them with key ideas on creative ways to extend learning and literacy development in all of the areas.
Each room is organized into interest areas: dramatic play, block area, toys and games, art, library, and discovery. We also include in our daily and weekly planning play with sand and water, music and movement, cooking projects, and outdoor play. These interest areas allow teachers to effectively implement developmentally appropriate practices in the classroom. They also assist the teacher in planning and broadening their programs to accommodate the individual child as well as the entire group. Teachers may also use life experiences of the child as well as extension activities to enrich the already existing curriculum.
When a child works in the block area they learn to use imagination to create something from their own thinking. They have the
satisfaction of being able to make something. They learn about sizes and shapes, weights and balances, height and depth, smoothness, roughness, volume, visual discrimination, fractions and geometry.
Building with blocks exercises their bodies. By discussing what they have built they learn to communicate ideas through language when discussing similarities and differences. They learn to solve problems and make decisions, and create patterns when building. The way children play with blocks represents personal experiences through role play and pretending.
When a child works in the art area they are more concerned with the process than with the finished product. They learn about colors and how to use them. Art enhances the child’s imagination and allows them to express themselves. In the art center uses small motor skills while being introduced to a wide range of materials. Opportunities to talk about their art projects increases our children’s language ability and encourages use of descriptive skills.
When our children work in the dramatic play area they have the opportunity to take on a variety of roles. This allows the child to become flexible in their thinking. They are able to express themselves through language, experiment with different adult roles, and work through their worries in a safe context. Dramatic play helps strengthen organizational and decision making skills. In playing with others children must learn to work with others through negotiation and compromise.
TOYS AND GAMES AREA
In this interest area children have the opportunity to work alone, with one or multiple friends. They gain confidence in completing tasks while improving hand eye coordination. They learn a variety of skills from the ability to distinguish shapes and sizes to sorting and patterning, counting, and logical reasoning.
LITERACY AND LIBRARY AREA
Reading is a huge part of our program. Books are read to and by the children every day. Being exposed to a variety of books and stories help to increase a child’s language development. Books open a world where children can learn about the world around them. They can learn about similarities and differences, to retell familiar stories, strengthen small muscles as they use their hands to turn pages, grasp, and hold books. Books allow children develop social skills as they share books, reenact stories, and talk to each other about what they have read.