Classroom spaces are designed for curious learners on the move! Natural elements and materials are found indoors and outdoors, inviting spaces for exploration, play and discovery. Blocks, water, sand, paint, clay, light tables and other resources provide the resources for children to build, create, experiment, and learn. Snacks and meals are enjoyed family-style at tables where teachers and children socialize, share in each others joys, and discuss daily plans.
“The Creative Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers” by Diane Trister Dodge offers teachers a framework for understanding and meeting children’s needs, fostering social/emotional development, developing relationships, and supporting cognition and brain development. Teachers enjoy the ongoing study of “What Children Are Learning” – helping them to build language and literacy skills, explore their world, promote self-regulation, guide their learning, assess development, and cultivate strong relationships. Teachers facilitate a classroom atmosphere where toddlers are treated as capable individuals, whose opinions, actions, and thoughts are respected and valued.
Daily routines facilitate social & emotional security through the creation of a predictable classroom environment centered around the interests and needs of the children. The Reggio Emilia inspired philosophy is introduced, and early project work allows exploration of children’s interests, investigating their surroundings in a meaningful way. Lesson plans create the framework for a broad experience, exposing children to emergent literacy, music, art, dramatic play, sensory, motor-development, science, nature and math experiences on a regular basis.
The learning process is shared on secure online portfolios at PortfolioMyDay.com and in the classroom describing individual, small group and classroom experiences. Learning is shared as “a process”, rather than one of finished product – one of exploration, examination, and experimentation. Photoboards, project boards, and classroom highlights tell the story of the learning journey for each child and the classroom as a whole.