Our curriculum is based on the basic belief that children should be actively involved in the learning process and that learning experiences are continuous. Teddy Bear Day Care offers a multi-sensory developmental approach in our curriculum. The curriculum has been designed to stimulate the senses of sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste for all ages of children, while being appropriate to each child's stage of development.
Our curriculum follows the Foundations for Learning set by the Indiana Department of Education. Our program is designed to encourage child initiated learning activities within a supportive environment regarding intellectual, social, emotional and physical needs. Emphasis has been placed on allowing children to learn at their own level of development and progress accordingly.
We place emphasis on providing choices for children to make and on letting children experiment and discover. In this way young children will develop skills in learning how to learn and will feel confident in their ability. Learning will become an interesting process; one that continues for a lifetime.
We encourage within our curriculum active engagement with "open-ended" materials. Teachers use "open-ended" questions rather than ones that require only a yes or no answer.
The main areas our curriculum concentrates on are:
We provide opportunities to use written language in daily life enabling children to become confident readers, writers, speakers, and listeners. The children's receptive and expressive language is enhanced through the use of finger plays, nursery rhymes, poetry, discussions stories and circle-time.
The science activities are aimed at encouraging observation, comparison, exploration, testing, inquiry and problem solving. We offer the child a variety of materials/objects to touch, smell, hear, see and taste always remembering the child's developmental stage and providing them with safe objects.
With the nutrition activities offered in our curriculum children learn about group cooperation, weights, and measures, time and changes of matter from one form to another. They develop an understanding of how to follow directions in sequence, gain pleasure from creating simple foods, and develop good eating habits.
Opportunities for dramatic play that are spontaneous child-initiated and open-ended are important for all young children. Because individual expression is key, children of all physical and cognitive abilities enjoy and learn from dramatic play and creative dramatics. Dramatic play allows children to fit the reality of the world into their own interests and knowledge.
Young children's learning is dependent on their background, experiences and what they see and hear. Young children can begin to understand that they are citizens of their school, community and country and what it means to be a responsible, active citizen. These activities focus on learning about self, home, family, transportation and community. Emphasis is on the children's involvement in their own learning.
Art materials that are appropriate to the developmental level of a child promote curiosity, verbal and nonverbal expression, reading and math skills, physical development, social-emotional skills and self help skills. This is a creative process for pre-schoolers that allows choice, exploration and imaginative expression. We offer opportunities for exploring color, line and form and for discovering the effects of various media on different surfaces in an open-ended fashion that will allow each child to make a personal statement with art.
Research has shown that children who are actively involved with music do better in reading and math when they start school, are better abe to focus and control their bodies, play better with others and have a higher self-esteem. The goals of the music experiences are to develop appreciation, and responsiveness. The children learn to listen and to learn such musical concepts as pitch, volume, and contrasts.
Math concepts that are appropriate for preschoolers are: numbers, volume, capacity, length, area, shape, space, time and size. Children will discover math relationships through matching and comparing, filling and emptying, and measuring and manipulating.Opportunities are presented that allow children to learn through direct experiences such as sorting, comparing and ordering. Playful lessons develop skills in rote counting, numeral recognition and sets.
Gross Motor/Creative Movement
Gross motor games contribute to positive physical and mental health by strengthening muscles and helping to free children from tension. Social development is aided when children cooperate and learn the positions of leader and follower. Self-concepts are enhanced as preschoolers acquire motor skills and feelings of success and enjoyment.
Fine motor movements involve the coordination of small muscles in hands and fingers. Strong fine motor skills are essential to complete tasks such as writing, cutting, using a fork or spoon, threading beads, moving puzzle pieces, zipping, buttoning, and tying shoe laces. Without well-developed fine motor skills, a child may have difficulty learning to write or performing may of the other critical tasks presented in the preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Children have daily opportunities to develop small muscles skills throughout play activities like pegboards, puzzles, painting, cutting and other similar activities.