The Early Childhood Programs use a variety of curriculum and assessment in order to meet the needs of our students. All curriculum and assessment are aligned with the Early Childhood Indicators of Progress provided by the Minnesota Department of Education. The Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs) are Minnesota’s early learning standards. Revised and expanded in 2016, these standards are a framework for a common set of developmentally appropriate expectations for children ages birth to kindergarten, within a context of shared responsibility for helping children meet these expectations. The ECIPs are aligned to the Minnesota Kindergarten Academic Standards.
Big Day for PreK is a proven-effective comprehensive early-learning program that embraces children's natural curiosity and encourages them to explore and connect to the world around them. This curriculum is used primarily in our 4-year-old programming but is loosely used in the 3-year-old classrooms as well. Only in Big Day for PreK will you find 5 big elements of success:
- Big Experiences - Launches learning in every lesson
- Meaningful Conversations - Builds oral language and vocabulary
- Wide Variety of Children's Literature and Nonfiction - Gives children access to books at school and at home
- Innovative Technology - Engages children, teachers, and families
- Comprehensive Curriculum - A program with daily writing, math, and extended play
Big Day for PreK is organized into eight engaging and child-friendly themes. As the year progresses, the themes in this early-learning program broaden, and children begin to understand more about the world around them. The flexible content allows prekindergarten teachers to incorporate their own favorite themes into the classroom.
- Ready for School
- My Family
- Our Community
- Awesome Animals
- Imagine it, Make it
- Growing Up Healthy
- Nature All Around Us
- Moving On
Handwriting without Tears is used in all of our preschool classes. The Handwriting Without Tears® curriculum draws from years of innovation and research to provide developmentally appropriate, multisensory strategies for early writing. The program follows research on how children learn best and includes materials that address all styles of learning.
Handwriting without Tears offers:
- Multisensory Teaching Strategies: Multisensory activities and manipulatives that appeal to all learning styles and provide a hands-on approach to handwriting.
- Cross-Curricular Connections: Teaches handwriting alongside other subjects! Fun letter lessons and writing activities connect handwriting to math, social studies, ELA, and science.
- Unique Letter Order and style: Innovative letter order and style are developmentally appropriate and promote easy learning for every letter, print and cursive.
- Workbook Design: Clean, simple and intuitive approach to workbooks invites personalization and creativity and fosters handwriting success. Lefty-friendly with large step-by-step models.
- Line Success: Double lines and line generalization activities promote legible writing. When children know how to place letters, they can write well on any style of lined paper.
- Assessments and Tailored Instructional Plans: Easy-to-use assessments track handwriting progress in the classroom and support your instruction for year-round handwriting success.
For more information on Handwriting without Tears visit their website.
Research shows that children who attend high-quality programs are more successful in school, have lower drop out rates, and are better readers. The California Department of Education (CDE), Early Education and Support Division (EESD), has established the Desired Results System to improve program quality in early care and education programs across the state.
The Desired Results Developmental Profile is a tool used by all early childhood classroom teachers. This assessment is an observational tool that the teacher uses during class. Students are not aware that this assessment is going on. We submit finds two times per year, in November and April. The DRDP measures the following skills:
- Approaches to Learning - Self-Regulation
- Social and Emotional Development
- Language and Literacy Development
- Cognition, Including Math and Science
- Physical Development - Health
- History-Social Science
- Visual and Performing Arts
- English Language Development - for EL students only.
Used only in classrooms with MN Reading Corps tutors.
The PELI is a storybook-embedded assessment of essential pre-literacy and oral language skills needed for kindergarten. The assessment is designed to identify children who are experiencing difficulties acquiring these skills with the intent to provide the instructional support needed to improve future reading outcomes. The assessment is designed for preschool and pre-kindergarten students (ages 3-5). PELI measures alphabet knowledge, vocabulary and oral language, phonological awareness, and listening comprehension.
The assessment is given in a storybook format that is familiar to most preschool students. Each alternate PELI form is designed around a central theme. Form titles include On the Farm, What's for Dinner, A Day at the Beach, Grandma's Birthday, A Trip to Outer Space, The New Pet, Time for Bed, and others. The measure is untimed and takes about 15 minutes to administer.
Early Literacy Skills
- Alphabet knowledge
- Phonemic awareness
- Vocabulary/Oral Language