Teachers utilize an assessment plan that informs curriculum planning. This framework guides all teachers to align their classroom curriculum to the RI Early Learning and Development Standards as well as the Creative Curriculum. Within the RI Early Learning and Development Standards 9 domains and 39 learning goals, children use PLAY as a vehicle to drive their learning experiences and enhance their skills.
Our curriculum foundation is based on research and theory, which in turn informs our implementation of the Early Learning & Development Standards along with Creative Curriculum. We focus on Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory as children learn and develop in their own way, at their own pace, according to their ability level. Our belief is that children learn best through play based, hands-on experiences as play is an essential tool for language development, social-emotional development, self-regulation and cognitive development. Each classroom schedule, gives a substantial portion of the day for free child-center choice for at least 90 minutes along with another 60 minutes of planned small group and independent activities offered in the morning and 60-90 minutes of free child-center choice in the afternoon giving children the opportunity to fully engage in play. PLAY is supported by all Academy Teachers as a basis for learning. We value a child’s exploration and gain insight on each child’s interests, interest level, abilities, social interactions, language development through peer conversations and adult/child conversations using feedback loops.
At the Academy, our teachers facilitate, nurture, observe, co-play, model and question throughout the day. Based on Lev Vygotsky’s theory on Proximal Development, interactions between teacher and child can help that child scaffold learning, thereby developing new concepts and building upon those already mastered.
Another influential theorist is John Dewey as we advocate for our children to become problem solvers through active thing rather than rote memorization. His belief that the most important learning comes as a result of interactions with others and the world at large is beneficial to our intentional teaching practices as we actively engage with each child as well as encourage appropriate interactions with peers to form relationships. Play paves the way for children to learn more about themselves and others around them.
All information gathered is shared with families throughout the assessment process through family questionnaires, daily communication, email, during conferences, or when a family asks any questions regarding their child’s development and progress.