Beyond Centers & Circletime Curriculum
The Beyond Centers and Circle Time curriculum theme series is written in an effort to offer support to educators and parents who wish to maintain a balance between supporting their child's acquisition of skills and knowledge that will prepare him for later school success and the joys and delights of experiencing a playful childhood.
The research and theory that has guided The BCCT curriculum, used at the Creative Pre-School for over 35 years, provides children with emergent literacy experiences within well planned and implemented play opportunities that use cooking, dramatic play, fluid and structured construction, and fine and gross motor opportunities to meet the individual and cultural needs of each child while providing him opportunities to develop skills and knowledge in all domains.
This set of themes contains experiences that will support the development of the whole child through topics that young children find interesting. Adults using these themes must be sure that the children have knowledge of the content being discussed and provide field trips, visitors, books, pictures, and other materials that will give meaning to the topics. The theme topics are purposely broad and can be easily extended to last a full month. Children need time to develop knowledge and play skills. The individual interests of the children in the classroom should be used to guide the direction that each theme takes.
The experiences that children are provided by caring adults help them create a vast resource of general knowledge about their world. Children who enter later school having had rich experiences and who have had many books read to them will have a better foundation for comprehending subjects they read.
When young children are provided opportunities to learn in safe, loving, exciting environments they will develop the ability to persist at tasks, as well as an eagerness and curiosity about their world. When they can handle and experiment with materials and objects they will develop inventiveness and creativity and when they can play with other children and adults who encourage their ideas they will learn to plan and reflect on their activities. Research shows that children's success is based on how they approach learning situations. Children who are resilient, who keep trying and who are confident in their own abilities will be successful.
The Beyond Centers and Circle Time theme series is designed to provide developmentally appropriate learning experiences for three and four-year-old children. These experiences are based on research conducted at the Creative Pre-School located in Tallahassee, Florida as well as research and theory that has been used to guide best early childhood practice for decades. The theme choices have proven to delight and support the education of four-year-old children over 30+ years of observation of their interests and learning progress.
The following nine themes are presented in this theme series:
- Me and My Family
- Real and Make-Believe
- The Farm and The City
- Insects and Spiders
- Birds in My Neighborhood
- Animals of the Jungle
- Amphibians and Reptiles
- Oceans and Ocean Life
- Authors and Illustrators
A daily schedule that can be used by full day and part day programs will be presented. Each theme will provide four weeks of activities that include early morning set-ups, sharing circles, outside play ideas, center time experiences, and literacy circles. Teachers can follow the theme outline specifically or pick and choose adding their own ideas and following the children's interests.
- Gross Motor Development
- Pre-Scissor and Cutting Development
- Marker/Crayon and Easel Painting
- Sensorimotor and Dramatic Play
- Structured Construction Play
- Patterning Development
- Writing Development
- Math, Science, Health, and Safety Concepts in Cooking
A set of six training DVDs are provided featuring the following videos:
- Beyond ABCs and Writing My Name
- From Theories to Play
- Food, Fun, and Family-Style Meals
- Literacy Throughout the Day
- Scaffolding Dramatic Play
- Authentic Assessments
Teachers must be prepared for each day's program and provide intentional experiences that maintain the children's interests and enhance their skills and knowledge. The infrastructure for tomorrow's school success is being built one exciting, enriching, playful moment at a time—TODAY.
MathThe Beyond Centers and Circle Time Curriculum Theme Series provides early childhood educators with easy to implement daily experiences that are designed to offer children opportunities to explore materials and discover mathematical knowledge. Counting, sorting, classifying, creating patterns, measuring, and just playing with numerals are a part of each days lesson plan. This Math Supplement offers additional ideas of experiences that can be substituted or exchanged to add more density to these daily plans. Incorporating experiences that will support young childrens acquisition of mathematic knowledge is easy and can be a lot of fun.
Mathematical Thinking and the Pre-School Child
Young children are born scientists. At birth they are interested in their environments and respond quickly to positive experiences. Adults often inadvertently stifle this natural interest in the world by embedding unfounded fears of animals and objects in an effort to keep them safe. When young children leave quality early childhood programs and enter schools that redefine their scientific interests to fit a narrow curriculum focus of science, their knowledge and interest in science diminishes (US Department of Education, 2007). For young children science is not just facts in a content area, but a way of thinking and feeling about the world. The young childs eagerness to understand the world around him provides knowledgeable adults with a window of opportunity for creating a strong love of science and a curiosity and enthusiasm that will support his desire to learn for the rest of his life.The Science Connection