Well-Rounded Preschool Curriculum in Tarzana & Surrounding Areas
Know the Steps for Designing a Preschool Curriculum
Designing a preschool curriculum is a complicated process that requires you to account for lots of different factors. Administrators must ensure all bases are covered, from basic math instruction to opportunities for social-emotional learning. But developing a solid plan is possible when you know the types of preschool curricula and how to implement them. At Woodcrest Preschool, we aim to create a curriculum that engages students of all backgrounds and interests. Our Tarzana, CA school invites children from the surrounding neighborhoods of Encino, Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Canoga Park, West Hills, Reseda, Sherman Oaks, and Agoura.
Create a Flexible Framework
The first step to building a creative curriculum for preschool is to design your roadmap. After all, if you don’t know where you want to go, you can’t very well figure out how to get there. Start creating a written framework that lays out all elements of the curriculum and how you plan to meet state standards. List all goals for children along the way and define metrics for measuring success. With a written framework as a guideline, everybody stays on the same page and works toward the common goal of setting children up for success.
Understand the Role of the Teacher
Whether you’re a classroom teacher or a preschool administrator, it’s crucial to understand the role of the teacher. How much say do they have in the curriculum? What should their lessons emphasize? Make sure instructors understand expectations during the curriculum creation process. Having a teacher’s voice in the mix allows for a more well-rounded picture of how young children learn.
Plan for an Effective Learning Environment
Once you have a framework ready to go, it’s time to start considering the learning environment. What kinds of resources will be available in the classroom? How will you structure the day? Will children have a chance to get outdoors? Adding creative elements to your learning environment can go a long way to keeping children engaged while still making them feel safe and comfortable. Some ideas for a unique learning environment include:
- Posters and educational graphics
- Alternative seating arrangements
- Display cases
- Places to post daily schedules
- Space for class discussions
Incorporate the Core Aspects of Preschool Curriculum
Now that the learning environment is checked off the list, you can start thinking about the specifics of your curriculum. Luckily, there are plenty of preschool curriculum ideas to take inspiration from when you’re feeling stuck. Keep the following in mind as you plan for the following subjects:
Language and Communication
Language, writing, and reading are some of the most vital skills we learn in school. At Woodcrest Preschool, we strive to give children a strong base in reading and literacy concepts. We recommend creating a curriculum that includes memorizing the alphabet, beginning word blending, rhyming words, understanding the process of reading, and basic self-expression. It’s not a bad idea to incorporate a few foreign language lessons as well!
Preschool math curriculum is more than just memorizing numbers and doing simple problem-solving (though they’re a part of the puzzle, too!). Formal math lessons could incorporate the fundamentals of geometry, counting practice, and understanding the basics of money. Consider adding these concepts into your curriculum as well:
- Number sense
- Pattern recognition
- Identifying and drawing shapes
- Spatial skills
Science and Technology
Preschool is one of the best times to get kids interested in science. After all, young children are naturally curious and want to learn more about the work around them. A preschool science curriculum should incorporate ways of observing, questioning, and then understanding how things work. You may also want to add in elements of understanding one’s own body and the basics of life sciences.
Art and Music
Starting children on art and music early allows them the chance to express themselves and flex their creative muscles. Kids love arts and crafts, and not only do these projects explore creativity, but they also promote fine motor skills. Using musical instruments is another way to encourage motor skill development. Preschoolers are often successful with these instruments:
Many preschool curriculum ideas contain elements of social learning. Fortunately, this element is easy to mix in with traditional academic lessons. Introduce group projects, encourage parallel play, and facilitate class participation to make children feel more comfortable with their social group. Group activities help children make friends and develop a sense of self-worth among their peers.
Physical development is another significant part of preschool education. Be sure to plan numerous activities where children can get a better grip on gross and fine motor skills. These activities vary greatly, from playing soccer to writing with a pencil. Sometimes, simply allowing kids to play with each and on their own organically introduces them to physical education concepts.
Choose Key Ideas to Focus On
Obviously, there’s only so much time in the day, and it’s tough to cover all the material you’d like to. As you work through your framework and specific subjects, choose some key ideas to focus on. Instead of creating lessons for general music, teach students the basics of playing the drums. While this seems ultra-specific, many skills they learn on the drums are transferrable to other instruments and subjects. By selecting a few concepts to emphasize and planning properly, you can cover much more ground than you’d expect!
Get Creative With It
Don’t be afraid to add some creative elements to your curriculum! Choosing unique projects, interesting lessons, and out-of-the-box ideas can help improve classroom engagement overall. Plus, the process will likely be more fun for you and other teachers. One way to boost engagement is by getting kids outdoors. There are plenty of ways to develop creative outdoor lesson plans, and you might consider incorporating these activities:
- Nature study
- Scavenger hunts
- Chalk drawing
Allow Plenty of Room for Independence
Learning independence is a key part of the preschool experience. As you design your curriculum, be sure to include opportunities for children to express themselves and discover the world on their own. You might add free play time into your day or give children a choice between several organized activities. Preschool is often the first time kids are away from their parents for a prolonged period, so make sure you cultivate their sense of independence while still promoting a comfortable, safe environment.
Piece Together a Schedule
Now it’s time to put the puzzle pieces together. Use your framework, key curriculum elements, and itinerary of fun activities to piece together a schedule. You might want to lay out a general timeline of when each subject will be covered throughout the year, and you may even choose to plan out your lessons day by day. But no matter how you plan out a schedule, remember that changes will often be necessary. Don’t hesitate to make changes when something isn’t working or you need more time to cover certain material. At the end of the day, a good preschool curriculum takes into account the developing needs of your students.
Explore the Types of Preschool Curriculum We Offer
The team at Woodcrest Preschool is dedicated to building a well-rounded curriculum that engages children and sets them up for future success. Whether you’re concerned about getting a head start in academics or want your child to work on their social skills, preschool is a great environment to promote that development. Contact our Tarzana staff today to learn more about the types of preschool curriculum we use in the classroom.