EDUCATION POLICY - Learning Through Play

  1. Each teacher will have a written program of activities planned according to the developmental level of each group of children and intended to expose children to a variety of cultures. The program shall provide each child with experiences, which will encourage:
    • Self-esteem and positive self image
    • Social interaction
    • Self-expression and communication skills
    • Creative expression
    • Large and small muscle development
    • Intellectual growth
    • Literacy
    • Natural Awareness
  2. The program shall be planned to provide a flexible balance of:
    • Active and quiet activities
    • Individual and group activities
    • Indoor and outdoor activities
      Parents shall be informed to have appropriate clothing for inclement weather. If they do not, the center shall attempt to provide.
  3. Television may be used only to supplement the daily plan for children. No child may be required to watch television.
  4. Routines such as toileting and eating, and intervals between activities, shall be planned to avoid keeping children waiting in lines or assembles in large groups.
  5. The program shall provide:
    • Reasonable regularity in eating, rest and other routines
    • Daily periods when a variety of experiences are concurrently available for the children to select their own activities
    • Protection from excess fatigue and over stimulation
  6. Staff members shall give children individual attention on a one-to-one basis.
  7. The teacher will intentionally identify each child’s interests and individual needs.
  8. A variety of cultures shall be reflected in the program through incorporation of different languages, foods, celebrations and lifestyles.
  9. When the center is open in the early morning and late afternoon, the center shall plan activities, which meet the individual needs of the children during those time periods by:
    • Providing opportunities to rest and eat
    • Using materials or providing activities, which for the most part do not duplicate materials, or activities planned for the major part of the day
  10. Necessary modifications are made in the environment and staffing patterns for children with special needs.
  11. Professional referrals made when appropriate.
  12. When disabilities, developmentally delayed, special health needs, or emotionally disturbed children are served, staff is aware and educated of the identified/diagnosed special needs and is trained to follow through on specific plans.
  13. Staff will create and then maintain each child’s portfolios to represent individual and group growth and align objectives with the curriculum.


Child Assessment and Observation

Children are assessed three times per year and observed regularly during freeplay, outdoors, one-on-one and while in small/large group activities. Goals are then sent home to align with family goals.  Teachers talk and interact with individual children and encourage their use of language to inform assessment of children’s strengths, interests and needs.   Each child will have a portfolio that will carry with them through their early years with some examples of progress in; learning, cognitive, language, sensory, socio-emotional/ behavior, self-help, learning style, health and physical development and growth.  A variety of methods will be used in a child’s portfolio to support child’s examples of progress such as; observations, checklists, rating scales, pictures, works of art, samples from home and documentation of individually administered tests.  The staff maintains ongoing observation records throughout the year to assist them in planning activities, setting individual goals, and assisting with the assessments. Each new teacher will review previous observations and carry-out objectives and individualized plans of progress.  Objectives for group goals and individuals will be recorded on lesson plans and accommodations will follow unique needs of development per each student.   Each week lesson plans will be posted, with carried out review from Program Director.    Each teacher will receive specialized training in Observation and Assessment, evaluations and review will be supervised with the Program Director.  Children’s growth (height and weight) will be recorded as well as vision and hearing screenings offered.  Parents are encouraged to conference or discuss before and after the goals are set to insure collaboration and support.   Communication will be ongoing through out the year with family in many methods including as stated in “Parent Communication Policy”.   Consensus with family and then written Permission will be requested if specialized evaluation may be beneficial through, Headwaters, CESA 9, Speech Pathologist, Pediatrician, O.T., tutors, Literacy Task Force of other trained professionals serving in the community.  For individual evaluations or specialized assessments (like The Denver Screening or Lion’s Club Vision screening) a quiet non-stimulating room will be utilized.  All records and disclosure will be maintained until consent is on record to ensure complete confidentiality throughout the process.  Communication about their child’s assessment is sensitive to family values, culture, identity and home language.  Children’s files will enclose copies of past assessments and evaluations for reference, only after consent from guardian is compliant to release to professionals or other staff.
Environments

Room layouts shall be developmentally appropriate, scaled to fit the size of the children in the classroom.  The Areas shall be easily accessible and inclusive to promote all children and accommodate within their developmentally needs as much as possible.  There shall be defined areas of play and walking through.  The materials and activities provided shall keep children’s interest, avoid conflict by offering more than one of each specific toy and challenge them to use open-ended problem-solving skills along with promoting the main objectives as stated in the Educational Policy.  Teachers are responsible for providing and maintaining the materials, learning tools and toys.  The activities and Room Layout shall be posted for parents and guardians to examine weekly with the following Centers of play; Dramatic Play, Fine Motor/Gross Motor, Literacy, Science and Math, Blocks, Manipulatives, Technology, Outdoor/Natural Awareness and Art/Writing Center.  Director shall Check Curriculum and examine weekly the safety and appropriate standards and give feedback to Staff.

Lesson Plan Requirements

Teachers will be responsible for the planning of activities. All areas of development will be incorporated into a director approved lesson plan format. This lesson plan will include planned activity time in the morning and afternoon, Objectives to activities, gross and fine motor activities, natural awareness, music/ movement, sensory, social, cognitive, literacy, dramatic play, language, self-expression/esteem and creative activities. Teachers will plan and write objectives based on the Creative Curriculum used at the center and the developmental level of the children in their group. Experiences in all play areas are planned. Activities should encourage creativity, be open ended, individualized and no-fail. Worksheets, copies, or color sheets should be used on a limited basis.

Schedule shall consist of opportunities to flow through the day with ease of transitions, children shall be given open-ended options to meet their above criteria at his or her choice throughout the daily routine and at his or her will.  Teachers shall be flexible with children’s needs and make accommodations to the children’s schedule and transitions to avoid over/under-stimulation, waiting, or stressful situations.

Lesson plans are to be submitted to the director by the Friday of the week before, for approval. All materials requested from the teacher’s budget are due at this time as well . All materials for the week are to be in each teachers sub box the Friday before. Lesson plans and daily schedule are to be posted in room, accessible to parents, visitors, and substitutes.  Director shall Check Curriculum and give feedback to Staff, and provide developmentally appropriate standards to Teachers and Substitutes.

Treehouse Sample Themes

September- Back to School, All About Me, Feelings, Colors of Fall

October- My Body, Making Sense of my Senses, Community Helpers, Harvest, Make Believe

November- Fairy Tales, Hibernation, Migration, Native Americans/Turkey Time, Brrr! It’s Cold/ Let it Snow

December- Celebrations, Crash Bang Boom, Ring in the New Year, Past /Present/ Future

January- Dinosaurs, Endangered Species, Reptiles, Taking Care of Our Planet

February- Night Life, Outer Space, Friends, Post Office/ Sealed with a Kiss

March- How Things Work, Transportation, Shapes, Shamrocks, Nursery Rhymes

April- Week Of The Young Child, Babies are Born, In The Garden, Pets, Weather/ Science

May- Spring is Here, On the Farm, Mothers, Exotic Animals, Circus

June- Sand Castles, Camping is Fun, Fishing with Dad, Insects and Bugs Lizards and Slugs

July- Stars and Stripes, Oceans and Water, Wisconsin Wildlife, Summer Sports

August- Favorite Authors, Health, Safety, & Nutrition, Around the World