Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Infant and Preschool Center
Our curriculum is designed to be appropriate for the age span of the children within the group with attention being given to children's individual needs, interests, and developmental levels. The development of positive self-esteem and a positive attitude toward learning are a primary emphasis.
We view learning as an interactive process between the child and her/his environment. The curriculum is designed to provide for children's exploration and manipulation of the environment through meaningful interaction with adults, other children, and materials.
The teachers' knowledge of child development will aid them in observing and recording each child's needs, interests, and developmental progress. Materials and experiences are then planned to meet these needs and stimulate learning in all developmental areas-physical, social, emotional, and intellectual - using an integrated approach.
Learning activities and materials are concrete, real and/or representational, and relevant to the lives of young children. As children develop understanding and skills, the teachers will provide a variety of activities and materials of increasing difficulty, complexity, and challenge. Child-initiated, child-directed, and teacher supported play is an essential component of our program.
Multicultural and nonsexist experiences, materials, and equipment are provided for children of all ages.
Daily learning experiences include the following:
- ART: Use of various art media such as play dough, finger paints, water colors, crayons, and easel paints assist the child in self-expression, creativity, and in the development of fine motor coordination.
- DRAMATIC PLAY: Dramatic play gives each child the opportunity to better understand family and community roles.
- MUSIC: Ample time is allowed for singing, movement, and experimentation instruments and rhythm. Listening to music serves as a way to relax the child and provide smooth transitions to other activities. Children are exposed to a variety of music throughout the day.
- LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE ARTS EXPERIENCES: Books are readily available to all children. Children are frequently read to individually or in small groups. In addition, special time is set aside for puppets, stories with various media such as flannel boards, videos, and story tapes. Children are encouraged to dictate stories as well as to experience many print-related activities, as they gain an understanding of the
- alphabetic system of our language and the relationship between letters, sounds, and words.
- LARGE AND SMALL MUSCLE ACTIVITIES: Physical exercise and the development of motor skills is experienced daily. A variety of equipment is used. Small muscles are developed through various manipulative materials
- MATHEMATICS: Number concepts, measurement, geometry, patterns, and relationships are introduced through hands-on experiences and daily living routines. Children have many opportunities to count compare and classify throughout the day. Problem solving, reasoning, and communication are emphasized.
- SCIENCE: Children are curious about the world around them. By building on this natural interest we can take advantage of events in our classroom as well as outdoors. By taking field trips and providing science projects, we allow opportunities for experimenting, observing, classifying, ordering, measuring, predicting, collecting, and problem solving. Classroom pets are an important element of the science curriculum.
- SOCIALIZATION: Small group experiences help children learn how to get along with others. Emphasis is put on assisting the children in the expression of feelings, needs, and ideas. As children grow in social and communication skills,