Curriculum

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◀ Curriculum Consumer Report

Infant and Toddler

The curriculum offers guidance on how to individualize based on children's interests, strengths, and needs. Individualization is a process of planning and implementing learning experiences that are responsive to each child's interests, strengths, and needs. Teachers reflect on their observations of each child and then plan the most effective ways to support each child's learning and development. When learning experiences are tailored to children's interests, they are more engaging and meaningful to children. Because children may vary in their developmental progressions, it is also important that the curriculum supports teachers in planning learning experiences that are responsive to individual children's strengths and needs.

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  • Three star rating graphic Moderate Evidence
  • Two star rating graphic Minimal Evidence
  • One star rating graphic No Evidence

Curriculum

Rating

Review

Beautiful Beginnings: A Developmental Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers

Full Review & Ratings
Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Individualization Based on Interests: The curriculum provides guidance on how to plan learning experiences that build on children's interests. It describes a process for selecting "Experiences" based on children's interests as observing the child (including prompts such as "What seems to energize her?" or noticing what fascinates the child) and then choosing "Experiences" that build on children's interests. In addition, some "Experiences" remind teachers to consider and follow children's interests. For example, a book-reading activity encourages teachers to pay careful attention to what a child shows interest in and to build on those interests. In a pretend play activity, teachers are prompted to follow the child's lead.

Individualization Based on Strengths and Needs: Beautiful Beginnings provides general guidance on how to plan learning experiences that are responsive to individual children's strengths and needs. The following process is described for selecting "Experiences" based on children's strengths and needs: observe the child, use the "Overview Goals Charts" to help locate the child's developmental level, choose "Experiences" that build on the child's development, use the "Goals Sheet" to plan the "Experiences," offer "Experiences," and document the child's response. Although the curriculum is organized around age ranges, it lacks specific scaffolding strategies to support children at different developmental levels, as well as guidance on how to tailor learning experiences based on individual children's strengths and needs.

HighScope Infant-Toddler Curriculum

Full Review & Ratings
Four star rating graphicFull Evidence

Individualization Based on Interests: The HighScope approach emphasizes the importance of teachers observing in order to plan based on children's interests. Furthermore, "choice" is one of the curriculum's five ingredients for active learning, which allows for children to make choices daily to engage with materials and activities that are of interest to them.

Individualization Based on Strengths and Needs: The HighScope approach emphasizes the importance of teachers observing, planning, and scaffolding based on children's developmental levels. In both Lesson Plans for a Strong Start books, the choice and group time activities include scaffolding strategies to support children at earlier, middle, and later levels of development. In the "Moving Forward" chapter, teachers are reminded to use their ongoing observations to plan for individual children.

Frog Street Infant

Full Review & Ratings
Two star rating graphicMinimal Evidence

Individualization Based on Interests: The curriculum does not address how to plan learning experiences that build on individual children's interests. Learning experiences are pre-planned, and there is no guidance on how to modify them based on the interests of individual children in the program.

Individualization Based on Strengths and Needs: The Activity Cards are designed to be chosen and used based on individual children's developmental levels. Teachers choose one activity for each domain for each child. These activities should be chosen based on the teachers' understanding of each child's development, and the activities should be repeated throughout the week. Beyond this general overview, there is no guidance on how teachers can select activities based on individual children's strengths and needs.

Frog Street Toddler

Full Review & Ratings
Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Individualization Based on Interests: Frog Street Toddler briefly mentions the importance of activities based on children's interests. It states, "Children are more likely to engage in activities that coincide with their interests...Notice what children are interested in and follow their lead." However, the curriculum does not provide any guidance on how to plan learning experiences that build on individual children's interests. Activity choices are pre-planned and there is no guidance on how to modify them based on individual children's interests.

Individualization Based on Strengths and Needs: Frog Street Toddler provides specific guidance throughout the Activity Guides on how to make learning experiences responsive to children's strengths and needs. All throughout the Activity Guides, a blue, upward arrow indicates a modification for older children and children who have already mastered earlier skills and concepts (e.g., one activity invites all children to identify facial features and emotions, and the arrow prompts teachers to ask the children why they might be sad or happy). Similarly, the Activity Guides offer "Adaptations" for several activities that may target younger children or children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs (e.g., providing clues to children as they search for a musical toy).

Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant and Toddler Curriculum

Full Review & Ratings
Three star rating graphicModerate Evidence

Individualization Based on Interests: The curriculum provides general guidance on how to plan learning experiences around children's interests. Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant Curriculum discusses how curriculum webs encourage open-ended planning that allow teachers to adjust their plans according to infants' responses and interests. Innovations: The Comprehensive Toddler Curriculum guides teachers to begin the curriculum-planning process with observations of children's emerging play themes, interests, and preferences in order to individualize experiences to match children's interests. However, these curriculum activity books do not provide prompts or contain suggestions on how to select or tailor activities based on children's interests.

Individualization Based on Strengths and Needs: The curriculum includes general guidance on how to plan learning experiences that are responsive to individual children's strengths and needs. Innovations: The Comprehensive Infant Curriculum discusses how teachers can use observation and assessment to match learning experiences to children's developmental levels. Innovations: The Comprehensive Toddler Curriculum guides teachers to begin the curriculum planning process with observations of children's emerging development. Curriculum activities provide suggested age ranges, but they lack specific scaffolding strategies to support children at different developmental levels or guidance on how to tailor learning experiences based on individual children's strengths and needs.

The Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers & Twos, 3rd Edition

Full Review & Ratings
Four star rating graphicFull Evidence

Individualization Based on Interests: Volume 1: The Foundation describes a process of responsive planning, which includes prompts for teachers to consider children's interests and engagement (e.g., What experiences interest the children now? Which materials are the children using most?). Volume 1: The Foundation and Volume 2: Routines & Experiences provide vignettes that demonstrate how a teacher notices children's interests and plans learning experiences around these interests. The "Child Planning Form" also reminds teachers to note children's interests as they plan learning experiences.

Individualization Based on Strengths and Needs: Volume 1: The Foundation describes a process of responsive planning. Teachers review observation notes, consider recent events and interactions, and analyze information about each child to develop weekly plans to support a child's current knowledge, skills, and abilities. Furthermore, the Intentional Teaching Cards provide specific scaffolding strategies to support children at different levels of a developmental progression. These resources help teachers individualize learning experiences to meet children's strengths and needs. Finally, the Book Conversation Cards provide developmentally appropriate prompts and strategies to read Highlights Hello books with young infants (e.g., describe what is happening in pictures), mobile infants (e.g., name anything the child touches on the page), toddlers (e.g., invite child to point to something as you name it), and twos (e.g., invite child to talk about what she sees in the pictures).