Our STAR curriculum has been developed specifically for our Schools. It was designed and developed with researched-based curriculum to ensure the children are receiving quality educational experiences and teaching.
Working in close partnership with nationally recognized Frog Street Curriculum and using the research provided by national organizations such as, STEAM, NAEYC, NECPA and Zero to Three, this unique curriculum mirrors our commitment to early childhood education and is designed to address all aspects of your child’s development. It provides a road map for teachers to use while creating lesson plans that are a perfect combination of child-directed and teacher-guided activities. These hands-on activities are integrated into centers, circle time, and play.
Our STAR Curriculum’s researched-based guidelines and Frog Street themes provide the strongest of foundations for future academic success, while never taking away from our teacher’s ability to meet individual children’s needs. We recognize the talent and knowledge that each of our teachers brings to the classroom and we have chosen a curriculum that does not replace that uniqueness but instead amplifies it.
How children approach learning is one of the key dimensions of school readiness according to the National Education Goals Panel (1997). Approaches towards learning used in Frog Street and in our STAR Curriculum include curiosity, persistence, attention and communication. These “approaches” reside in and across all other domains. Teachers are encouraged to observe and support each child in positive approaches to each activity within the week’s instruction.
Communication and Literacy
Young children love to play with language and the experiences that we provide for them helps to foster this love. Our STAR Curriculum guides teachers in providing activities and learning experiences that allow children to play with sounds and words which help them to develop a meaningful understanding of how words are used and shared. Your child will be given opportunities to explore the letter sound relationship in meaningful settings. Each morning, during Greeting Circle, children are given the opportunity to develop the ability to rhyme, work with compound words, learn letters, and break sentences into individual words. Every room environment celebrates communication through labeling, environmental print, the display of children’s writings and an abundance of opportunities to talk and share thoughts.
During a child’s time in preschool, their brains are primed for learning languages. It is much easier for a child to be immersed in learning multiple languages during this time in their life than any other time. With that in mind, we also spend time each day teaching children basic sign language and Spanish. Learning Sign Language before they can talk, gives children a way to communicate their needs without becoming frustrated. To encourage acceptance of different cultures, our Frog Street curriculum provides all materials in English and Spanish as a way to allow children from different backgrounds to find common ground.
Quality literature plays an integral part of our program and our goal is to motivate our little ones from a very early age to value a love for reading. During each class’ Read-aloud time, students are exposed to several forms of stories and rhymes. Before, during and after stories, teachers keep their students engaged with questions that connect the literature to other books, their classroom and personal experiences. All our themes incorporate picture books, audio books, story folders, listening stories, and poems into their daily language activities.
Social and Environmental Studies
The STAR Curriculum focuses heavily on the Social-Emotional Development of each child. Starting with each class’ School Family, children will learn how to be a part of different social communities. As their learning experiences expand from their personal world to the larger world, children will begin to develop an understanding of their role and responsibilities within their family and community, allowing them to become responsible citizens who respect differences and understand the relationships between their actions and their environment.
Within their own classroom, teachers will use the School Family as a way to increase connections between all members of the class. The School Family is used, through Conscious Discipline, to establish acceptable, social routines, rituals and structures.
Math, Manipulative, Sensory, Science and Technology
Our STAR Curriculum gives children opportunities to develop their cognitive development skills through hands-on activities that allow them to feel safe in taking risks and asking the question “What if….” Our STAR Curriculum embraces the language and concepts of math and science and helps children to discover the inter-relatedness of objects and processes.
Math is so much more than counting. It is also the ability to reason, see relationships, and problem solve. The learning experiences that our teachers create provide children with a foundational understanding of the concepts of attributes, classification, patterns, one-to-one correspondence, order and, finally, numeration. Through trial and error, students will use concrete objects to develop a true sense of how math is found in their daily lives.
Young children are naturally curious; their favorite questions is “Why?” Our teachers help to nurture this curiosity by providing learning experiences for children to observe, record what they observe, make predictions and ask more questions. Children are encouraged to use their senses as the base for the explorations the make in their classroom and in the environment outside. Learning opportunities based on essential skills in our STAR Curriculum will help your child to create an understanding of how the world works.
Early explorations with technology focus on learning how to manipulate, and do not replace hands-on learning with teacher and peers in our classrooms. Our curriculum uses technology to support what children are discovering about the world and how we communicate. The essential skills for technology are based on standards developed by The International Society for Technology in Education and allow children to build a foundation for becoming technology-capable students in the future.
Health, Large and Small Motor Development
Children naturally use their bodies to explore their environment, whether it is the infant who gains an understanding of objects through mouthing them, or the three-year-old who develops his/her understanding of boundaries by lying down during circle time. Our STAR curriculum recognizes and respects this need for explorations and provides multiple opportunities for development. To promote gross motor skills, children are provided with an environment where they can develop muscle control, balance, and coordination. Each of our age-appropriate playgrounds provide the opportunity to use large motor skills through climbing, running, and biking. To encourage the development of fine motor skills, students are given daily opportunities to pinch, squeeze, grasp, tear or roll that focus on building the small muscles to allow them to write in the future.
Art, Music and Dramatic Play/Free Play
Throughout our school day, the children are given the opportunity to make free play choices. During these times, children are involved with their peers in small groups, which encourages cooperation, sharing, and problem solving. When conflict occurs, children are encouraged to use words to express their feelings and to reach a resolution with the help of a teacher if needed. The free play opportunities throughout each classroom and the building include dramatic play, block building, art, games, language arts, science and math centers. Cooperative play is an essential skill in their social-emotional development and is encouraged in all centers, including their daily time on the playground.
Creativity is an essential part of our daily activities in the classroom, specialty areas and even on the playground. Creativity encompasses more than art and music. It is the ability to adapt and be flexible in thought, to problem solve, and to communicate through symbols, whether those symbols are visual or auditory. During art time, our teachers focus on the process rather than the product and plan for purposeful experiences with dramatic play. Dramatic play permits children to fit the reality of the world into their own interests and knowledge. Children are encouraged to engage in dramatic play activities in the dress up, block play and even outside on the playground. These creative opportunities help children to better understand the world and provide them with the much-needed outlet for their emotions. In addition, these experiences help children to develop a sense of individuality and respect for other’s work.
Here are six benefits of free play for children:
Growing Up Green
Along with Frog Street, our STAR curriculum is enhanced with our Monthly Growing Up Green Concept. This addition to our curriculum mirrors our commitment to our environment by integrating activities and discussions that encourage environmental awareness into our days. In addition, these activities are woven into all aspects of your child’s development. These hands-on activities are integrated into centers, circle, time, and play.
Our STAR Curriculum’s researched-based guidelines and Frog Street’s themes provide the strongest of foundations for future academic success, while never taking away from our teacher’s ability to meet individual children’s needs. We recognize the talent and knowledge that each of our teachers brings to the classroom and we have chosen a curriculum that does not replace that uniqueness but instead amplifies it.
Parents and caregivers are the driving force in developing emotional connections, intellect, language skills, and other basic abilities in a young child’s life. Nurturing, responsive relationships along with security and continuity of care are all key factors in brain growth. Your child’s future cognitive, behavioral, and social/emotional health begin with quality care allowing your baby’s brain to develop to its full potential.