Developing Great Curriculum Part II – Breaking down the Components

Finding a good rhythm for your day is an important part of curriculum planning.  Now, you have that great schedule, that you took care of in Developing Great Curriculum. Part I , let us look at what are the components that fit into this schedule.  This can look more over whelming than it is, you could easily be meeting many of the curriculum standards by  just planning a circle time and an arts and craft activity.  First, what exactly are the defining components for a good mixed age group curriculum.  Do you use the standards set by your State, what about Family Child Care Environmental Rating Scale (FCCERS-R), National Accreditation or what about the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).  They are all similar, but are a bit different.  So in trying to give accurate information, I decided to use the State standards, from these you will be able to do whatever tweaks necessary as you further your professional development into the FCCERS-R, Accreditation and QRIS.

Early Learning Standards

  1. Communication and Literacy
  2. Science
  3. Math
  4. Physical Health and Development
  5. Social/Emotional Development
  6. Social Studies
  7. Creative Arts

Here are the standards translated into curriculum components with some curriculum ideas.  Many of these standards can be used in more than one of these component areas and when broken down like this you can see that you probably already carry out a great deal of learning in your day-to-day tasks, without even realizing it.

Communication and Literacy:

  • Books
  • Finger Plays
  • Letter and Number Practice
  • Letter Recognition
  • Writing Practice
  • Printed Materials
  • Circle Time
  • Actively engaging children in conversation

Science

  • Books
  • Sensory box
  • Nature Pictures
  • Printed Materials
  • Lots of real life materials
  • Lots of learning hands on learning
  • Lots of open ended questions

Math

  • Books
  • Blocks
  • Manipulatives
  • One-to-one correspondence
  • Patterns
  • Sorting
  • Counting
  • Number Recognition
  • Puzzles
  • Shapes
  • Comparisons and measurements

Physical Health and Development

  • Gross Motor or Large Motor Activities
    • Running, Jumping, Crawling all the really big movements
  • Small Motor
    • Writing and drawing
    • Manipulatives
    • Playdough and art’s and crafts
  • Self Care
    • Washing hands
    • Toilet learning
    • Dressing self
    • Feeding self

Social/Emotional Development

  • Dramatic Play
  • Circle Time
  • Engaging conversation with children
  • Playing pretend with children
  • Books

Social Studies

  • Books
  • Pictures, pictures and pictures of real people and children
  • Diversity
  • Dolls of different ethnicity
  • Spanish Language
  • Sign Language
  • Circle Time
  • Different types of Holiday Celebrations

Creative Arts

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Music
  • Now it seems that I might have understated this one, but you are only limited by your imagination here.

Now, that you have broken down the curriculum components you can see that you do a great deal of them throughout your day already.   You are probably more than half-way through developing an outstanding curriculum.  With a little purposeful planning and some imagination and creativity you can put together a great curriculum yourself.  Keep an eye out for Developing Great Curriculum. Part III  Environment Planning – Lose the Toy Box

More Recommended Reading;

Developing Great Curriculum Part I –  Your Daily Schedule

Are you prepared for the Creative Art Moments

A List of Skills Children Learn in Family Child Care

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