Comment: Getting creative in the classroomMarch 5, 2017, 9:00 am GMT
The Creative Curriculum is deep in the knowledge of child development with careful consideration of the latest research in the field of early childhood education. It offers unique experiences that tie directly with each child's level of ability with their potential and growth in mind during every step of the learning process.
Designed by teachers, the 'studies', which are themes of learning, change throughout the year. Children are exposed to hands-on, project-based discovery investigations. The curriculum documentation provides numerous activities that have been put together by experienced teachers that have reflected on current and previous early years pedagogies. It also guides practitioners into knowing what to expect from children at various stages.
Through its studies, children's confidence, creative and critical thinking skills are developed and nurtured. Questioning skills, inquiry and discovering information are all at the forefront of the learning in each class. Children move through thirty-eight objectives which include milestones and objectives that are congruent with EYFS, IB and other US early curricula making the transition to primary and elementary schools seamless.
'Studies' within the Creative Curriculum are full of hands on, project-based investigations. Through these studies children's confidence, creative and critical thinking skills are developed and nurtured. Questioning skills, inquiry and discovering information are all fundamental to the learning in each class. Children of all ages are encouraged to ask questions, formulate answers and share information gained. Sharing and discussing ideas and thoughts are paramount and woven into every aspect of a child's day.
"Who lives in trees?" "What makes balls move?" "How do we make and keep friends?" "What special clothes do people wear?" Every day, children that attend a Creative Curriculum setting play to unpack and investigate a series of questions. Through the different learning areas in the classroom, on the playground and in the outdoor areas, children experience learning that helps them to build their understanding and strengthen their inquiry skills. With these skills and experiences, children work to discover answers, create new questions and make progress within their learning.
Children will be encouraged to investigate concepts that help them make sense of the world in which they live. Literacy, math, social skills, language, cognitive, social-emotional, science and technology, the arts, social studies, and physical objectives are met when developmentally appropriate.
Children are observed continuously using a variety of methods to ensure steady and strong progression through the thirty-eight learning objectives.
The following principles create a strong program and guide the teaching and learning:
• Positive interactions and relations with adults provide a critical foundation for successful learning
• Social-emotional competence is a significant factor in school success
• Constructive, purposeful play supports essential learning
• The physical environment affects the type and quality of learning interactions
• Teacher-family partnerships promote development and learning.
Daily learning opportunities include a variety of activities. Children participate in read aloud sessions, choice time and small group work to experience skills in a more intimate setting to meet individual needs and differentiation. Group work takes place at different times of the day to sing songs, share reading experiences, create group stories and books, discuss questions and topics and strengthen listening skills.
The Creative Curriculum has a strong focus on communication, language and literacy skills. Literacy activities are woven into all areas of planning. Children work in small groups on literacy skills but activities to strengthen learned skills are available during choice times and integrated into all play opportunities. Specific skills (for example letter sound manipulation, sounding out words and early writing) are taught when children are ready. Some of these skills are introduced in group settings while many skills are developed and reinforced during one to one sessions.
Throughout the school year, celebrations link to the Creative Curriculum. The Creative Curriculum lends towards children who are acquiring English and those who may speak more than one language. Due to its emphasis on the involvement with families and the community, there are many opportunities for celebration with the wider community and to share learning and progress.
The Creative Curriculum covers all areas of a child's development and content learning which defines the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are critical to children's future success in school and in life. At the centre of the Creative Curriculum are the US Common Core standards. The standards are what children need to know and need to be able to do. As children wind their way through the Creative Curriculum, they gather and become proficient with the Common Core Standards which leads them on to success after their early years education.
Through Teaching Strategies Gold, teachers can assess children using an ongoing tool which is inclusive of all needs and stages of development. Teaching Strategies validate the successes of their assessment tool through several references to research and reports. High standards are maintained as teachers using the tool have to complete inter-reliability tests themselves to ensure accuracy and moderated outcomes.
The Creative Curriculum, assessed through Gold, allows teachers to observe children in the context of every day experiences, so that the learning they assess is reflective of what children can do. Assessment in this way focusses on that which is embedded within the child's knowledge and skills as they display their ability through purposeful play. Children's progress is clearly indicated on the color banded continuum across ten interest areas covering thirty-eight objectives. Parents can access the evidence bank that supports their child's developmental stage on the Gold continuum through the website. The feedback from teachers using the Creative Curriculum is that it is a resounding success. Children make better than expected progress. There are many examples from around the world to support this.
In Dubai, the only provider of the Creative Curriculum as a singular curriculum, is IDEA Early Learning Centre in Sports City. The staff in the Early Learning Centre have high levels of wellbeing because their time is valued and they are given the opportunity to focus on what is the most important aspect of teaching and learning: the children.
Children thrive in a literacy rich environment that promotes independence and self-initiated play amongst their peers from the age of one year to six years. The Creative Curriculum in infant classes, nursery, Pre-KG, KG1 and KG2 is delivered to high standards that are externally regulated in line with the KHDA framework.
Teaching and learning through the Creative Curriculum is purposeful, intriguing and exciting. Children are given the opportunities to explore, take risks and with their personalised learning, expand their knowledge and develop their overall confidence.
"IDEA Early Learning Centre to open in Dubai in September
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