We believe in a child-centered, emergent approach to curriculum planning.
Curriculum is everything that happens during our time together with the children. This includes transitions, clean-up, play experiences at various interest centers, interactions with peers and teachers, daily routines of self-care such as putting on coats for outside, playground explorations, as well as large and small group times. Each day is filled with opportunities for discovery, wonder, problem solving and social interactions.
Observation is the Heart of Child-Centered Curriculum;
. Teachers observe children as they play, paying close attention to recurring themes, children’s understandings and misunderstandings, developmental issues, children’s frustrations and underlying questions.
. Teachers use their observations to plan experiences to further children’s understanding, thinking, exploration, discovery, knowledge and skills.
. Teacher’s written curriculum plans document the children’s involvement with materials, relationships, questions and discoveries.
. Teachers prepare the environment as the basis for learning opportunities. Center activities are prepared with the children’s interests in mind. Centers invite discovery and exploration and “spark” curiosity. The environment is orderly, warm and inviting.
. Teachers prepare the schedule of each day to provide for long stretches of uninterrupted play in which children can pursue their passions, and developmental themes.
. Teachers consider relationships to be central. Teachers emphasize relationship-building and collaboration among children and between teachers and children. Teachers work in teams in each suite to plan appropriate curriculum. An open and warm interactive relationship with families is fostered.
. Teachers document children’s progress through a variety of means including anecdotal notes, portfolios of children’s work, photos of children’s play experiences and documentation of discussions and conversations. These are used to help children reflect on their play and thinking, to aid in the assessment process and to represent classroom life to parents.
Vienna Baptist Children’s Center uses The Creative Curriculum for Infants Toddlers and Twos and The Creative Curriculum for Preschoolers. These Curriculums are based on a firm foundation of research and support developmentally appropriate practice. The approach to planning is child-centered and emergent. The theories and practices set forth in the Creative Curriculums correlate with the required criteria for accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
The material contained in these volumes provides the framework and guidelines teachers use in planning and implementing the learning experiences for children in VBCC classrooms.