Goals & Description
At the heart of the Teaching Strategies approach to early childhood education is The Creative Curriculum®, the country’s leading scientifically based, comprehensive curriculum for programs serving children from birth to age 5.
The Creative Curriculum® is integrated with high-quality assessment, professional development, and family connection resources to create a well-rounded program that addresses the needs of early childhood education professionals, children, and their families.
The Creative Curriculum® helps educators to plan and implement a developmentally appropriate program that promotes children’s social-emotional development and learning in the core areas of literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies.
It combines the latest research and the freshest ideas into a forward-thinking approach to learning–one that honors creativity and respects the role that teachers play in making learning exciting and relevant for every child in their classrooms.
The unique approach is designed to inspire our teachers, to help create a high-quality learning environment and, most of all, to support their important efforts as they open doors to successful learning.
With The Creative Curriculum®, every program can put together a complete system that promotes positive outcomes for all children, including English-language learners, children with disabilities, and advanced learners.
The most important goal of our early childhood curriculum is to help children become enthusiastic life long learners. This means encouraging children to be active and creative explorers who are not afraid to try out their ideas and to think their own thoughts. Our goal is to help children become independent, self-confident inquisitive learners. We teach them how to learn, not just in preschool, but also throughout life. We allow them to learn at their own pace and in ways that are best for them. We try to teach them good habits and encourage positive attitudes – particularly a positive sense of self – which will make a difference throughout their lives.
Our curriculum identifies goals in all areas of development:
The activities we plan for children, the way we organize their environment, select toys and materials, plan their daily schedules and talk with them are all designed to accomplish the goals of our curriculum and give your child a successful start in school.
Al's Pals Social Emotional Curriculum
To facilitate social emotional development, St. Alban’s Early Childhood Center uses the Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices.
Al’s Pals is a comprehensive curriculum and teacher training program that develops social-emotional skills, self-control, problem-solving abilities, and healthy decision-making in children ages 3-8 years old. The program is nationally recognized as an evidence-based model prevention program. Through fun lessons, engaging puppets, original music, and effective teaching approaches, Al’s Pals:
The Al’s Pals curriculum has 46 lessons lasting 10-15 minutes each. The Wingspan-trained classroom teacher conducts two lessons a week, in sequence, over a 23-week period. Designed specifically for the early childhood years, the lessons use guided creative play, brainstorming, puppetry, original music, role plays, and movement to delight young minds and engage them in the development of social-emotional competence.
To supplement the math curriculum, St. Alban’s Early Childhood Center uses the Numbers Plus Preschool Mathematics Curriculum.
The Numbers Plus Preschool Mathematics Curriculum is a comprehensive set of detailed plans for small- and large-group early childhood mathematics activities, with ideas for extending learning throughout the program day. With the support of teachers, children’s mathematical learning is sequenced within activities — each activity has a built-in progression so children of different developmental and ability levels can participate together and have a positive and meaningful learning experience. By actively engaging young children with materials and ideas, Numbers Plus builds on the latest knowledge from research and practice about early mathematics learning and how adults support it.
Aligned with the standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and developed under a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, the 120 activities in Numbers Plus are divided into five content areas:
St. Alban’s Early Childhood Center has enhanced their curriculum by integrating the ScienceStart!Curriculum. This program is an early childhood curriculum that takes coherently organized science content as the hub of an integrated approach. It is designed to support the important developmental achievements of the preschool years, particularly in the areas of language development, acquisition of pre-literacy skills, problem solving, social interaction, and self-regulation (e.g., planning, attention management, etc.).
Science content is highly engaging for young children because they are biologically prepared to learn about the everyday world around them. Within this context they are capable of acquiring a rich knowledge base that supports the acquisition of vocabulary and the use of higher order cognitive skills such as planning, predicting, and drawing inferences. The engaging content provides a setting for a variety of language and literacy-related activities such as reading aloud, consulting books for information, making charts and graphs, dictating reports, and describing careful observations.
In the ScienceStart! curriculum, each day’s science lesson is structured according to a simple cycle of scientific reasoning:
Lessons are organized into five modules, each of which lasts 6 to 10 weeks. These include:
Children in ScienceStart! classes tend to be highly engaged, socially active, and rarely disruptive. They regularly show significant cognitive and linguistic gains.
Language @ Literacy
At St. Alban’s Early Childhood Center, we understand the powerful connection between language and literacy. Operating from the premise that early literacy is considered the most important academic skill in school readiness, since most school learning depends upon knowing how to read, we encourage continuous opportunities for children to speak, listen, read, and write.
Throughout our daily routine we focus on the following language and literacy goals: