The Galileo® Pre-K Online Curriculum provides a curriculum integrated into an assessment and reporting system. It offers model lesson plans and activities that integrate instruction across developmental domains. Built-in online assessment tools guide curriculum planning.
Last Updated: March 25, 2019
Summary of Curriculum Review
- Promotes research-based teaching practices to support children's development and learning in all Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) domains
- Provides guidance on how to select and implement learning experiences in a sequence based on each child's developmental level
- Provides specific guidance and support for using learning goals to individualize learning experiences for all children
- Includes guidance and support for using ongoing observation to inform weekly lesson plans for individual children and the class as a whole
- Provides specific strategies and resources to support family engagement
- Offers comprehensive standardized training and materials to support implementation
- Provides specific prompts to extend children's learning throughout activities
- Provides specific guidance for classroom organization, selection of learning materials, and daily schedules
- Provides general but limited guidance for engaging in culturally responsive interactions and planning learning experiences that build on children's cultures
- Provides general but limited guidance on how to support the development and learning of children who are dual language learners (DLLs)
- Offers limited guidance on how to embed teaching practices and interventions and ensure the environment and materials are accessible for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs
- Lacks guidance on how to plan learning experiences based on individual children's interests
Cost of Curriculum
Galileo® Pre-K Online Curriculum: $260 per class; $200 per class for new clients and existing clients' expansion classes
Cost of Professional Development
Professional Development Series (seven DVDs and professional development manuals): $299 per set
On-site Training Costs: Two-day on-site training, $289.00 per person with a minimum of 20 participants
Online Tutorial Costs: $139.00 per person, or site-license minimum cost $960.00
Contact the publisher for the most updated information on costs of the curriculum and current professional development offerings.
Availability in Other Languages
The curriculum is only available in English.
Parent Center materials are available in Spanish for no additional cost.
Center-based preschool programs for children 3–5 years old
Curriculum Materials Reviewed by Raters
All materials from Galileo® Pre-K Online Curriculum were purchased and reviewed in 2018. These online materials included:
- Galileo Pre-K Online Curriculum Guidebook
- Galileo G3 Activities
- Galileo G3 Activity Maps
- Galileo G3 Lesson Plans
- Galileo G3 Lesson Plan Maps
- Time for Learning G3 Activity Library
- Storyteller G3 Lesson Plans
- Storyteller G3 Activities
- Other online resources available to Galileo Users (e.g., Learning- on-Demand Sessions and Tutorials, Quick Start Guides)
Evidence Base for Child Outcomes
Evidence from research demonstrates that the curriculum has been associated with children's positive learning outcomes. The curriculum has been implemented and directly studied in early childhood programs, and the research showed significant, positive effects on children's developmental outcomes. Evidence of effectiveness has been obtained in rigorous research studies, such as randomized controlled trials or regression discontinuity designs. Research studies on the curriculum have optimally included multiple, diverse groups of children and teachers.
At the time of this review, there are no available published research studies on the Galileo® Pre-K Online Curriculum (Galileo® Pre-K). Galileo® Pre-K is an assessment system with an aligned curriculum. Assessment Technology Incorporated (ATI), the publisher, highlights a descriptive study about Galileo® Pre-K. However, the study lacks a comparison group and it is unclear whether children were in classrooms in which both the Galileo® Pre-K curriculum and assessment tool were used. More rigorous research is needed in order to establish evidence for positive effects of Galileo® Pre-K on children's learning outcomes.
The curriculum provides research-based content and teaching practices to support children's development and learning. A research-based curriculum is consistent with research on how children develop and learn. Specifically, it provides rich content, teaching practices, and learning experiences that research has shown to be effective in supporting children's development and learning. A research-based curriculum focuses on domain-specific, developmentally appropriate content and skills that contribute to children's long-range development in each domain.
Approaches to Learning: Galileo® Pre-K promotes research-based teaching practices to support children's Approaches to Learning. The Galileo Pre-K Curriculum Guidebook (Curriculum Guidebook) provides specific principles to support classroom organization, classroom management strategies (e.g., how to create a predictable daily schedule with a variety of activities; how to manage behaviors through constructive feedback), and practices that foster children's behavioral and cognitive regulation skills. The curriculum also offers general principles to support emotional regulation (e.g., provide positive feedback to children) and strategies to support children's problem-solving skills (e.g., "Peace Steps" as a template to facilitate conflict resolution). The sample daily schedule and activities allow ample opportunities for children to make choices and engage in free play and open-ended exploration. Research shows these experiences are important for supporting children's initiative, curiosity, and creativity.
Social and Emotional Development: Galileo® Pre-K provides a wide array of activity plans intentionally designed to foster social and emotional development. Week-long "model lesson plans" (Galileo G3 Lesson Plans) illustrate how social and emotional activities are sequenced to build upon each other. Within the daily routines described in the Curriculum Guidebook, children are offered many formal and informal opportunities to practice social interaction and relationship skills with their teachers and other children (e.g., large and small group activities, interest centers). The curriculum encourages teachers to consistently use a supportive, positive approach for providing feedback and to serve as role models for children. Even so, there is limited guidance for establishing an emotionally supportive environment, building secure, trusting adult-child relationships, and supporting children as they learn to regulate emotions.
Language and Communication: Galileo® Pre-K consistently promotes research-based teaching practices to support children's language and communication. The Curriculum Guidebook provides general guidance on how to maintain a language-rich environment (e.g., ask open-ended questions, encourage extended conversations). The curriculum offers activities (G3 Activities) and model lesson plans (G3 Lesson Plans) intentionally designed to support children's language and communication skills. Suggested learning activities are developmentally appropriate and based on engaging content, including read-alouds, poems, and songs. The Storyteller G3 Lesson Plans and Storyteller G3 Activities offer additional model lesson plans and activities that focus on language and literacy goals.
Literacy: The curriculum consistently promotes research-based teaching practices to support children's literacy development. The Galileo G3 Activities (G3 Activities) and Storyteller G3 Activities offer varied and meaningful opportunities for children to discuss, use, and make print materials. For example, the curriculum provides activities in the writing and library interest centers, shared reading of theme-based books, and computer-based activities focused on language and literacy goals. Activity plans for read-alouds include strategies for developing critical literacy skills, such as asking questions about letters, words, signs, and labels; modeling reading conventions; and retelling to aid comprehension.
Mathematics Development: Galileo® Pre-K consistently promotes research-based teaching practices to support children's mathematics development. The curriculum includes intentionally planned math learning activities based on children's developmental progressions. The sequence of activities introduces children to key mathematical concepts and procedures (e.g., counting and comparing, identifying numerals, adding, subtracting, learning about shapes, and comprehending spatial concepts) and provides multiple, related opportunities to explore a mathematical concept or skill. The curriculum fosters a mathematically rich learning environment through interest centers (e.g., Cooking Interest Center; Toys, Block, and Building Interest Center) and by introducing children to the language of mathematics. Daily, self-directed play in interest centers provides ongoing opportunities for children to explore math concepts through inquiry and creative invention.
Scientific Reasoning: Galileo® Pre-K provides hands-on science experiences that facilitate the development of inquiry skills, such as making observations, asking questions, and gathering information. Interest centers such as Nature and Science as well as Sand and Water allow children daily opportunities to engage in open exploration. The curriculum offers a sequence of developmentally appropriate activities that foster science literacy skills (e.g., observation, prediction, classification). In addition, many of the activities focused on science provide guidance on how to support children to use language and other forms of communication to describe and document their work.
Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development: Galileo® Pre-K consistently promotes research-based teaching practices to support children's perceptual, motor, and physical development. For example, the curriculum provides regular opportunities to participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity during outdoor play time and in games and activities. The G3 Activities include structured games to support physical activity (e.g., Climb and Count, Drawing Dance) and intentional teaching practices to support the development of new physical skills. The curriculum promotes fine motor skills in all interest centers and self-care practices as part of daily routines. In addition, many G3 Activities provide nutrition-related knowledge and personal safety information.
Scope and Sequence
The curriculum includes an organized developmental scope and sequence to support children's development and learning. A scope and sequence outlines what the curriculum focuses on and how the plans and materials support children at different levels of development. The scope refers to the areas of development addressed by the curriculum; the sequence includes plans and materials for learning experiences that progressively build from less to more complex, with the goal of supporting children as they move through the developmental progressions. A content-rich curriculum ensures that sequences of learning experiences include multiple, related opportunities for children to explore a concept or skill with increasing depth. Sequences of learning experiences should be flexible to respond to individual children's interests, strengths, and needs.
Scope: Galileo® Pre-K clearly identifies nine developmental domains: Approaches to Learning, Nature and Science, Creative Arts, Physical Development and Health, Language Development, Social and Emotional Development, Literacy Development, Social Studies, and Logic and Reasoning. The G3 Activities provide planned learning activities to support children's development in these domains. G3 Lesson Plans include theme-based activity plans to address a variety of skills across the domains.
Sequence: For each of the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) domains, Galileo® Pre-K provides a sequence of learning experiences that gradually builds children's knowledge and skills as they move through the developmental progressions. The online system allows teachers to select and implement learning experiences in a sequence based on each child's developmental level. Teachers can choose activities designed around specific goals based on children's existing knowledge and skills within each domain. Teachers can also use weekly model lesson plans (G3 Lesson Plans) to progressively build children's skills and concepts over time. The curriculum includes a variety of learning experiences (e.g., G3 Activities, Storyteller G3 Activities, and interest centers) in each domain, providing children with ample opportunities to progressively build a skill in a particular area. Interest centers offer sequences of learning experiences that take children's interests into consideration.
Alignment with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF)
The curriculum is aligned with the ELOF. Aligning a curriculum with the ELOF identifies the extent to which ELOF domains and sub-domains are addressed in the curriculum. Curricula that are fully aligned with the ELOF are comprehensive and cover all areas of children's learning and development described in the ELOF.
Alignment with the ELOF: A thorough review of all the curriculum materials in relation to the ELOF domains and sub-domains indicates that Galileo® Pre-K is aligned with the seven ELOF preschool domains. The learning experiences described in the G3 Activities and Storyteller G3 Activities provide opportunities for children to build skills in each of the ELOF domains and sub-domains.
Learning Goals for Children
The curriculum specifies learning goals for children. The curriculum's learning goals are objectives for children's development and learning across domains. Learning goals should be measurable and developmentally appropriate. Measurable learning goals focus on skills, behaviors, and knowledge that are observable; developmentally appropriate learning goals are consistent with well-established developmental progressions. Teachers should be able to use a curriculum's learning goals to individualize learning experiences for all children, such as children from diverse cultures, children who are dual language learners (DLLs), children who are tribal language learners, and children with disabilities or other special needs.
Learning Goals: Galileo® Pre-K integrates measurable, developmentally appropriate learning goals throughout its curriculum materials. The Curriculum Guidebook presents the learning goals in a scope and sequence that is organized by domain, age group, and time of year in which the skills are to be addressed for typically developing children. Furthermore, each of the G3 Activities and G3 Storyteller Activities specifies relevant learning goals. The learning activities support children in making progress toward most of these learning goals. The curriculum provides specific guidance and support for using learning goals to individualize learning experiences for all children. For example, teachers input individual children's assessment data into the online Galileo G3 Assessment Scales (G3 Assessment Scales), and the online system helps teachers create lesson plans with activities that focus on learning goals that match children's individual needs. In addition, G3 Lesson Plans include goals at multiple levels of difficulty so they can be used with children from ages 3 to 5, as well as children who have disabilities or other special needs. The curriculum also includes English language acquisition goals, by skill level, to support children who are DLLs.
Ongoing Child Assessment
The curriculum provides guidance on ongoing child assessment. Ongoing child assessment is a process of gathering information to understand and support children's development over time. Information gathered through observation and documentation helps inform curriculum planning, teaching, and individualizing for all children. Ongoing child assessment can also be used to periodically complete standardized and structured assessment instruments to evaluate children's developmental progress.
Ongoing Observation and Documentation: The Curriculum Guidebook and free archived webinar, "Using Galileo G3 Assessment Scales," describe how teachers can use observation, anecdotal records, and representative work (e.g., writing, art, block construction) to document children's developmental progress over time. The curriculum provides guidance on how to enter child observations into the online G3 Assessment Scales and how to use the generated reports to inform weekly lesson plans for individual children and the class as a whole. This guidance is embedded in both online and printable resources (e.g., Curriculum Guidebook, "Using Galileo G3 Assessment Scales" webinar, Guide for Galileo Pre-K Online Observations by Child).
Standardized and Structured Assessment Instruments: Galileo® Pre-K describes and provides a structured assessment tool, G3 Assessment Scales, that aligns with the curriculum's learning goals. The curriculum encourages teachers to complete baseline assessments for each child and regular, ongoing observation and documentation of progress using the structured assessments provided. The Curriculum Guidebook and Galileo Technical Manual describe Galileo's assessment tools as valid, reliable, and individually, culturally, and linguistically appropriate. For example, the Curriculum Guidebook discusses how grounding assessment in observations accommodates the ways children from diverse backgrounds express and demonstrate their competencies.
Parent and Family Engagement
The curriculum promotes parent and family engagement. Parent and family engagement is a collaborative and strengths-based process through which early childhood teachers, families, and children build positive and goal-oriented relationships. It is a shared responsibility of families and staff that is built on mutual respect for the roles and strengths each has to offer. The curriculum provides culturally and linguistically responsive strategies to communicate with families and to engage families in children's learning.
Communicating with Families: The Curriculum Guidebook provides general strategies for communicating with families, and the online Pre-K Parent Center provides information for families. The curriculum offers limited information on how to learn from families about children's development. For example, Galileo® Pre-K provides forms for families to observe their children's development, but there is little guidance for teachers on how to use these observations. Materials for families (accessed through the online Pre-K Parent Center) are available in Spanish. However, the guidance on how to communicate with families in culturally and linguistically responsive ways is limited.
Engaging Families: Galileo® Pre-K provides guidance on how to engage parents and families in children's learning and development. For example, the online Pre-K Parent Center includes access to a large selection of printable hands-on activities and computer-based educational activities (available in English and Spanish). The curriculum gives minimal specific guidance on how to engage parents from diverse cultures and parents who speak languages other than English or Spanish. For example, the Curriculum Guidebook suggests inviting families to share about their language and culture and asking families for suggestions of classroom activities which represent their cultures. However, the curriculum lacks specific guidance on how to utilize ideas or information families offer. An additional limitation is that the curriculum does not address how to engage parents with disabilities or other special needs.
Professional Development and Materials to Support Implementation
The curriculum offers professional development and materials to support implementation and continuous improvement. Professional development includes gaining the knowledge and skills required for effective implementation of a curriculum. Standardized training procedures include initial and ongoing training to support education staff as they learn to implement a curriculum with fidelity. Standardized training procedures provide consistent content and delivery methods across training sessions. Curriculum materials to support implementation include resources that come with a curriculum to help education staff understand how to use it. The materials may also include resources to help education managers and coaches support education staff to implement the curriculum effectively.
Professional Development: Galileo® Pre-K offers a large number of free learning on-demand webinars, such as "Overview of Galileo Pre-K Online," "Using the Galileo G3 Assessment Scales," and "Using Galileo's Model Curriculum." The users' site includes "Help Files" that provide a searchable library to access professional development resources, such as Quick Reference Guides and recorded video tutorials. The curriculum also offers a two-day implementation training that is available on-site or online, at an additional cost. Implementation training topics include learning how to set up Galileo for program use, using Galileo for documenting and evaluating children outcomes, and using information to inform learning opportunity decisions. Ongoing training and professional development feature customizable courses, offered in person or online, for an additional fee.
Curriculum Materials to Support Implementation: Galileo® Pre-K includes a variety of online resources to support implementation of the curriculum. For example, the Curriculum Overview (located under the Help Tab) provides links to resources such as the Curriculum Guidebook, Galileo G3 Activities Book, and Galileo G3 Lesson Plans. The Curriculum Guidebook offers specific guidance for implementation (e.g., how to set up the learning environment, how to use assessment to plan for activities and experiences, and how to support children who are DLLs, children with disabilities, or children with other special needs). Though all of the G3 Activities and G3 Lesson Plans are accessible through the online system, the curriculum also provides printable versions in the Galileo G3 Activities Book and Galileo G3 Lesson Plan Book. While the curriculum provides comprehensive materials and support for implementation, navigating through different online pieces of the curriculum may be challenging, as the organization of materials does not appear to be systematic or user friendly.
- Fidelity Tool: Galileo® Pre-K offers the Assessment and Curriculum Fidelity Tool to monitor and evaluate the fidelity of implementation. Divided into four focus areas—Monitoring Galileo Use, Physical Environment, Professional Practices, and Management and Instruction—the tool can be used to identify areas where support, feedback, training, and professional development can contribute to continuous improvement.
Learning Experiences and Interactions
The curriculum promotes rich learning experiences and interactions to support development across domains. Rich learning experiences support and extend children's knowledge, understanding of concepts, and skills across domains. As children actively explore their learning environment by manipulating objects and investigating concepts, teachers interact with them to extend their exploration, thinking, and communication. The curriculum offers children ample opportunities to engage in hands-on exploration and provides teachers with guidance on how to extend children's exploration, thinking, and communication. Rich learning experiences should be culturally and linguistically responsive and inclusive of children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs.
Active Exploration: The curriculum provides ample opportunities for children to engage in hands-on exploration in interest centers and through specific activities offered by the curriculum. The Curriculum Guidebook discusses the importance of children actively creating meaning through interactions with their environment. It asserts that children need opportunities to engage in independent exploration and daily free play. The Curriculum Guidebook suggests a variety of interest centers (e.g., Art, Nature and Science) with open-ended materials that promote hands-on exploration. In addition, many of the G3 Activities invite children to explore objects and investigate concepts. For example, many dramatic play and art activities suggest materials that allow for children to follow their own ideas.
Interactions that Extend Learning: The curriculum's resources provide ample guidance and examples on how to use teacher-child interactions to extend children's learning. For example, many learning activities include specific, open-ended questions and opportunities for brainstorming with children. Furthermore, various types of enrichments included with the activities provide prompts to extend children's exploration, thinking, and communication (e.g., building activities include prompts to extend learning of measurement concepts: "Who is tallest?" "Who is shortest?"). In addition, science activities include prompts that encourage active exploration, prediction, and hypothesizing.
Individualization: The Curriculum Guidebook provides general guidance on how to individualize learning experiences for all children. A section on "special student populations" describes guidelines for working with children who are DLLs and children with disabilities or other special needs. The curriculum offers some supports for embedding children's cultures and languages within learning experiences. Even so, guidance on individualization is not comprehensive or embedded throughout the materials.
Learning Environments and Routines
The curriculum provides guidance on how to set up rich learning environments and developmentally appropriate routines. Rich learning environments are nurturing spaces that support the development of all young children. The curriculum provides guidance on how to design developmentally appropriate schedules, routines, and indoor and outdoor opportunities for choice, play, exploration, and experimentation. Learning environments include age-appropriate equipment, materials, and supplies. They also reflect home cultures and are flexible to support the changing ages, interests, and characteristics of a group of children over time.
Environment: Galileo® Pre-K provides specific guidance for classroom organization and interest centers through a principle it calls "Classroom Ecology." The Curriculum Guidebook describes the importance of setting up the physical environment with multiple, defined interest centers and materials to promote flexible learning opportunities. While the curriculum includes some outdoor activities and encourages teachers to utilize the outside environment, suggesting interest centers be set up outside, it lacks specific guidance on how to set up the outdoor space. The Curriculum Guidebook includes some information on ensuring the physical environment is accessible for children with specific disabilities or special needs. In addition, the curriculum provides some guidance on how to include children's home languages and cultures in the physical environment (e.g., "Consider incorporating the cultural practices and diverse family structures represented in your classroom population into the activities and materials presented in your interest centers."). However, specific guidance to ensure the physical environment reflects diverse cultural backgrounds or supports individual needs is limited.
Learning Materials: Galileo® Pre-K provides principles and guidance for selecting developmentally appropriate indoor and outdoor learning materials. The Curriculum Guidebook offers a list of suggested materials to use in each of the interest centers and some general guidance for selecting and arranging materials (e.g., "Materials should be neatly organized ..., reachable, and easily manipulated."). The G3 Activities Book includes lists of learning materials to be used in specific activities and instructions for how to set up the materials. However, the curriculum lacks guidance for ensuring the learning materials meet the individual needs of children with disabilities or other special needs and on how to select learning materials that authentically represent the cultures, ethnicities, and home languages of children in the program.
Schedule and Routines: The curriculum offers principles to support teachers in developing a daily schedule. For example, the Curriculum Guidebook suggests establishing routines to provide stability and predictability for young children to build their confidence and independence. The Curriculum Guidebook also recommends scheduling a variety of activity types (e.g., small group, large group, independent activities) in multiple areas of the classroom. The curriculum does not provide a specific schedule programs should follow. Instead, it offers a sample full-day schedule which includes times for a range of activity types, such as indoor groups, outdoor play, music and movement, art, writing, and independent exploration. Even so, it lacks discussion on how to adjust schedules and routines based on children's needs and backgrounds.
The curriculum supports cultural responsiveness. Cultural responsiveness is a strengths-based approach to teaching and caregiving rooted in respect and appreciation for the role of culture in children's learning and development. A culturally responsive curriculum prompts teachers to learn about each child's strengths, abilities, experiences, and interests as developed within the child's family and culture. The curriculum provides guidance on how to modify and enhance curriculum plans and materials to build on these strengths, abilities, experiences, and interests with the goal of incorporating each child's culture into the classroom.
Interactions: The curriculum provides some general guidance on cultural responsiveness. For example, the Curriculum Guidebook suggests being mindful to honor the special qualities of each culture represented without creating an emphasis on differences. In addition, the curriculum encourages teachers to communicate with families to learn about traditions, activities, and customs they keep at home, and not make assumptions about their cultural practices. However, the curriculum does not provide more specific guidance or strategies on how to engage in culturally responsive interactions with diverse children and families.
Learning Experiences: Galileo® Pre-K gives some general guidance on how to provide learning experiences that build on families' traditions, cultures, values, and beliefs. For example, the Curriculum Guidebook reminds teachers to be sure activities are "multiculturally appropriate and respect diversity" and suggests incorporating an interest center featuring children's different cultures. It also recommends teachers use families as a source of culturally representative materials and activity ideas. However, the G3 Activities lack specific guidance on how to modify or plan learning experiences that authentically build on children's cultures.
Learning Environment: The curriculum provides some general guidance for creating culturally responsive learning environments. For example, the Curriculum Guidebook suggests having a Cultural Heritage Interest Center with pictures, cultural items, recipes, and music that represent children's cultures. The Curriculum Guidebook also proposes including clothing and items that represent children's cultures in the House and Dramatic Play Interest Center and music and songs from different cultures and countries in the Music and Movement Interest Center. However, the curriculum does not provide specific guidance embedded throughout the learning activities on how to select and use learning materials that authentically represent the cultures and ethnicities of children and families in the program.
The curriculum supports linguistic responsiveness. Linguistic responsiveness refers to teaching practices that support the learning, development, and engagement of children from diverse linguistic backgrounds. It includes supports for continued development of children's home or tribal languages by authentically incorporating children's languages into the learning environment. Furthermore, linguistically responsive practices can facilitate English acquisition. The curriculum provides scaffolding strategies to support children at any level of English knowledge to fully participate in the curriculum's learning experiences.
Scaffolding Strategies: The curriculum provides general guidance on how to scaffold the development and learning of children who are DLLs. The Curriculum Guidebook describes guidelines such as providing assistance in the home language whenever possible, involving families, and using the buddy system, in which a child receives help from a peer in the home language. However, the curriculum lacks specific, embedded scaffolding and supports for children who are DLLs in learning activities and other curriculum resources.
Home and Tribal Languages: Galileo® Pre-K describes the importance of incorporating the home language in classroom practices and offers general guidance on how to incorporate children's home languages into the learning environment. For example, the Curriculum Guidebook suggests including signs and written labels in the children's home languages and providing assistance in the home language whenever possible. Even so, the curriculum lacks guidance on how to authentically incorporate children's home languages into learning experiences. Tribal languages are not mentioned at all.
Individualization for Children with Disabilities, Suspected Delays, or Other Special Needs
The curriculum provides guidance on how to individualize for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs. Individualization for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs includes providing more specialized supports for children to access and participate in learning, social experiences, and activities. The curriculum's guidance for specialized supports includes specific teaching practices and ways of interacting with children, as well as adaptations to daily schedules, learning activities, and the learning environment. Individualizing for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs enables all children to access, participate, and thrive in early learning settings.
Teaching Practices and Interventions: The Curriculum Guidebook provides general guidance for working with children with special needs (e.g., be inclusive, work with the child's family) and suggestions for the types of adaptations that can be made to support children with specific disabilities or special needs, such as motor delays and visual and hearing impairments. For example, the curriculum suggests that children with hearing impairments be seated close to the teacher during instructional activities. One limitation is the curriculum lacks specific guidance on how to embed intentional teaching practices and other interventions in the daily routines and activities to support the development and learning of children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs.
Learning Environment: The curriculum notes it is important to reflect on whether the physical environment is accessible to children with disabilities. However, it provides limited guidance on how to make the environment accessible. For example, the Curriculum Guidebook offers some strategies to ensure the physical environment and learning materials are accessible to children with specific disabilities (e.g., providing tactile materials, using thumbs up or down in place of "yes" or "no"). However, the curriculum lacks overall guidance on how to ensure the physical environment is accessible to all children (e.g., universal design principles) and specific examples of how to adapt learning materials embedded throughout the curriculum activities and interest centers.
Individualization Based on Interests, Strengths, and Needs
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.
Individualization Based on Interests: Galileo® Pre-K describes the importance of planning learning experiences that build on children's individual interests. For example, the "Positive Approaches for Preschool Learning" section of the Curriculum Guidebook suggests "teachers can differentiate interest centers by encouraging students to participate in those centers that address their particular interests, talents, or questions." It recommends children have daily opportunities to engage in child-initiated activities. The curriculum promotes teachers' use of observation to document children's interests and to plan learning experiences. Even so, the curriculum provides no guidance on how to plan learning experiences based on individual children's interests.
Individualization Based on Strengths and Needs: Foundational to Galileo® Pre-K is the use of children's assessment data to plan learning experiences. For example, teachers input ongoing child assessment data into the G3 Assessment Scales, and the online system selects learning experiences based on the children's strengths and needs. Additionally, the curriculum provides general guidance on how to make the curriculum's learning experiences responsive to individual children's learning styles. For example, the Curriculum Guidebook suggests that teachers use scaffolding, such as language, hints, and visual aids, for children who need greater support. The "Enrichment" sections of a few activity plans also include some individualization based on children's strengths and needs. For example, children who are able to duplicate an "AB" pattern are offered the opportunity to create their own patterns. However, further, specific guidance on how to make learning experiences responsive to individual strengths and needs is not embedded throughout the curriculum materials.