Approaches to Learning: The curriculum promotes a few research-based teaching practices to support children's approaches to learning, such as guidance on classroom organization (e.g., sample half- and full-day schedules, a chapter on transitions) and classroom management (e.g., remind, redirect, and remove; enact logical consequences; create classroom rules with children). Learn Every Day™: The Preschool Curriculum—Foundations for Learning (Foundations for Learning) describes the importance of sensitive, responsive caring but lacks guidance on how to build relationships with children. In addition, most lessons, including those for learning centers, are highly structured and leave little room for open-ended exploration, which research shows is important for nurturing persistence, curiosity, and creativity.
Social and Emotional Development: Learn Every Day™ promotes a few research-based strategies in this domain. The suggested daily schedule and routines provide formal and informal opportunities for children to interact with peers and practice social skills (e.g., during Center Time, small group experiences, and learning center activities). Foundations for Learning describes the importance of early interactions and relationships. It suggests that teachers help children learn to identify how they feel and teach them basic problem-solving skills. The Volumes offer few activities to help children understand and express their emotions (e.g., invite children to think of ways they can make their bodies show feelings such as happy, excited, proud, and angry; read a book about feelings and talk about how we feel when we are happy, sad, and so on). However, the curriculum provides limited guidance on how to establish an emotionally supportive environment, build secure, trusting relationships with children, and support children's emotion regulation. Additionally, the curriculum lacks guidance on how to resolve conflicts during daily routines.
Language and Communication: The curriculum promotes a few research-based teaching practices in this domain, such as supporting vocabulary development. The Volumes offer suggested vocabulary for each unit and guidance on how to introduce and integrate new vocabulary. Guidance for Small Group and Literacy Center includes some learning experiences that use the sounds of language to develop phonological awareness (e.g., identify rhyming words in a story, invite children to make up rhymes). Lessons offer scripts with mostly known-answer questions that limit opportunities for communication rich with oral language and for teachers' use, modeling, and scaffolding of complex language. Additionally, Learn Every Day™ lacks guidance on how to facilitate language experiences that build on children's existing knowledge, skills, and interests.
Literacy: The curriculum promotes some research-based teaching practices in this domain. It provides multiple meaningful opportunities for children to discuss, use, and create print materials (e.g., Literacy Center, Small Group, daily sign-in). Guidance for daily read-alouds includes some questions and prompts that promote critical literacy skills, such as concepts about print, text comprehension, and enjoyment of books (e.g., while reading a story, introduce the author, illustrator, and title page; ask children to share what happened at the beginning, middle, and end of the story). Learning centers (e.g., Literacy, Fine Motor, Sand and Water) offer meaningful contexts to support children's alphabet knowledge. For example, in the Fine Motor Center, children use a variety of items to spell out or trace the letters of their names. Though emergent writing and "writing center necessities" are described in Foundations for Learning, the thematic units lack guidance on providing varied, meaningful opportunities to develop children's emergent writing skills (e.g., in most writing experiences, children are encouraged to trace their name, letters, or words). In addition, the curriculum includes little evidence for planning literacy experiences based on rich and engaging content or children's interests.
Mathematics Development: Learn Every Day™ promotes some research-based teaching practices to support children's development of mathematical concepts and skills. Intentionally planned experiences with math are integrated into Large Group, Small Group, Math Center, as well as other learning center activities. For example, at the Sand and Water Center, teachers encourage children to guess, count, and compare how many cups of rice it will take to fill different size bowls. Learning experiences provide many opportunities to introduce children to the language of mathematics, practice math skills, and apply math purposefully in meaningful contexts (e.g., after reading a story, children compare the school in the story to their own school; collect natural treasures and sort them by attributes, such as color and texture; search for patterns in the classroom). However, the learning experiences do not appear to be sequenced based on children's developmental progressions. Additionally, math learning experiences are highly structured, offering few opportunities for children to engage in inquiry and creative invention.
Scientific Reasoning: The curriculum promotes a few research-based teaching practices in this domain, such as embedding science into daily activities and guiding teachers to support the development of important inquiry skills. For example, learning centers such as Discovery Science and Sand and Water offer daily opportunities for children to engage in hands-on exploration. Foundations for Learning provides principles that explain how children learn about science through everyday activities. The Volumes include prompts for teachers to encourage children to use language and other forms of communication to describe and document their work (e.g., as children smell various scent jars, encourage them to use descriptive and comparative words to describe what they smell). Though the majority of science learning experiences engage children in hands-on exploration, they have specific instructions for children to follow, leaving little room for open-ended exploration. Additional limitations are that science learning experiences do not build on children's natural abilities, prior knowledge, experiences, and interests. The curriculum also lacks multiple, varied conceptually related learning experiences that allow children to explore science concepts in depth.
Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development: The curriculum promotes a few research-based practices to support children's perceptual, motor, and physical development. The curriculum's learning experiences support the development of fine motor skills. For example, the Fine Motor Center and other learning center activities (e.g., Art, Math, and Discovery Science Centers) offer opportunities to cut, paint, write, and draw. This allows children to manipulate small objects as part of learning experiences (e.g., stringing beads to create a pattern, arranging leaves by size). However, while some lessons provide direction for the Outdoor Activities Center, the curriculum lacks a variety of opportunities for children to practice gross motor skills. The Learn Every Day About Safety Unit uses multiple strategies to introduce children to a wide range of personal safety topics (e.g., traffic safety, water safety, first aid), but the curriculum includes little to no guidance on handwashing, self-care skills, and how to create indoor and outdoor environments that encourage active physical exploration.