ECLC believes that all children should be provided with a nurturing, active, and challenging environment that encourages curiosity, hands-on learning activities, problem-solving skills, language development and a positive self-image. The preschool curriculum is aligned with the CA State Department of Education Preschool Learning Foundations and Curriculum Framework which guides teachers in supporting and extending each child’s development and learning to establish a strong foundation for future learning. All instructional practice is supported by current educational research and best practice for Early Childhood Education. The preschool curriculum embraces children’s natural curiosity and encourages them to explore, play and engage with the world around them. Instructional activities are organized into three ways of learning:
- Large group instruction – circle time and story time experiences
- Small group instruction – directed activities that build knowledge and skills in curriculum areas
- Learning centers – intentional play, social interactions, child-initiated learning opportunities, exploration and skill generalization
The following early education resources are utilized at ECLC:
- CA Department of Education Preschool Learning Foundations (2008): The Foundations provide an overview of the key knowledge and skills that most preschool children can achieve when provided with interaction, instruction and environments shown to promote early learning and development.
- CA Department of Education Preschool Curriculum Frameworks: The Frameworks provide an overall approach for teachers to support student learning through environments and experiences that are developmentally appropriate, reflective of thoughtful observation and intentional planning, individually and culturally meaningful and inclusive of children with special needs.
- CA Department of Education Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP): The DRDP is an observation-based assessment instrument. Refer to Student Progress Monitoring later in this section for additional information.
- Scholastic Big Day for Pre-K curriculum: The Scholastic Big Day for Pre-K Preschool instructional program is aligned with the California State Preschool Learning Foundations and focuses on 5 key research based principles that support:
- Social-Emotional Development o Language Development
- Integrated Learning o Responsive Instruction
- Partnership with Families
The primary goal of preschool is to develop language, socialization and pre-academic readiness skills in all children. ECLC staff use developmentally appropriate practices and instructional strategies to assist children in learning the skills to support a smooth transition to kindergarten. Developmentally appropriate practice is an approach to teaching grounded in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about effective early education instruction. The framework is designed to promote young children’s optimal learning and development. At ECLC, instructional staff strives to meet young children where they are developmentally, both as individuals and as part of a group; and help each child meet challenging and achievable learning goals.
Social Emotional Skills
EC-PBIS places building positive relationships with children, families and colleagues as the foundation of all other practices and the universal conditions that are necessary for the promotion of social competence and behavior. ECLC strives to develop nurturing and responsive relationships with all children, to create and maintain high quality supportive environments, and to provide targeted social-emotional supports and intensive interventions as appropriate to meet children’s needs.
Language learning is dependent on children’s functioning in all areas of development. An underlying assumption for language development is that children experience positive interactions and relationships, along with opportunities for enriched activities and play.
Children are provided a wide variety of materials, activities, music and outdoor play to encourage and support fine and gross motor development.
Pre-academic skill development is integrated into all area of the instructional day. Children continually build their foundational understanding of concepts through their interactions, play, experiences, discoveries, and challenges. Because preschool is considered to be a developmental period of growth, expectations for academic skill mastery begin at the end of the Kindergarten year. A specific pre-academic skill set is NOT required for Kindergarten entry.
Student Progress Monitoring
Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP)
- The DRDP is an observation-based assessment instrument used to observe, document and reflect on the learning, development and progress towards achieving the six Desired Results for Children as identified by the State Department of Education:
- Children are personally and socially competent
- Children are effective learners
- Children show physical and motor competence
- Children are safe and healthy
- Families support their children’s learning and development
- Families achieve their goals
- Observational data will be collected a minimum of two times per year (Fall and Spring) to measure your child’s progress in all areas. Staff uses DRDP data to inform instructional planning to ensure that children continue to make progress in all areas of development.
- Refer to the CA Department of Ed’s website for more information: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/desiredresults.asp