Early Learning

Welcome to Early Learning. The children learn about their world, while playing, through planned play opportunities and experiences with real and concrete materials. The classroom environment is the “textbook” from which they learn.

The Early Learning program uses the Creative Curriculum approach to facilitate children’s learning. Creative Curriculum, based on 75 years of Early Childhood research, parallels Illinois State Standards and expands the Districts academic curriculum to include the three to five year olds. By working to support a child’s growth and development through their interests, strengths; they are developing the necessary pre-readiness skills needed in kindergarten and future school years.

Creative Curriculum focuses on four developmental areas: social/emotional, physical, cognitive and language.

Social/emotional development has three goals:

  • Achieving a sense of self: knowing oneself and relating to other people-both children and adults.
  • Taking responsibilities for self and others: following rules and routines, respecting others, and taking initiative.
  • Behaving in a pro-social way: showing empathy and getting along in the world; by sharing and taking turns.

Physical development has two goals:

  • Developing large motor control by using the body’s large muscles for running, jumping, hopping, galloping, skipping and keeping their balance.
  • Developing fine motor control by using the body’s small muscles in the hands to increase hand flexibility and strength to prepare to use writing tools, cut with scissors and to manipulate objects.

Cognitive development has three goals:

  • Learning and problem solving: helping children to be thoughtful about how they use information, resources, and materials.
  • Logical thinking (developing math skills): helping children to make sense of information by comparing, contrasting, sorting, classifying, counting, measuring, and recognizing patterns to gain a deeper understanding of concepts.
  • Representation and symbolic thinking (developing literacy skills): the use of symbols can be objects, people, or representations through drawings.

Language development has two goals:

  • Listening and speaking: the children develop ways to express themselves by increasing their vocabulary, practice listening and responding appropriately when participating in a conversation, and developing their language to solve problems.
  • Reading and writing: helping children make sense of written language as they enjoy and value reading. They increase their skill of handling books and knowing about books. They develop an understanding that pictures, words and symbols have a message, which can be represented by their own drawings with their own words written down. They develop knowledge of the alphabet and writing letters through meaningful daily activities and within their play.
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