Approaches to Learning: World of Wonders consistently promotes research-based teaching practices to support children's approaches to learning, including the development of executive function skills, emotional regulation, and problem-solving skills. Weekly tips embedded in the curriculum materials provide information on how to support children in sustaining attention and persisting in tasks. The curriculum also provides guidance on classroom organization, including suggestions for setting up learning centers and specific activities for teachers to incorporate during transitions (e.g., sign language, singing songs).
Social and Emotional Development: The curriculum consistently promotes practices to support social and emotional development. It provides strategies for establishing an emotionally supportive environment (e.g., managing feelings, using positive, respectful communication). Learning experiences in the units are intentionally sequenced and cover a range of topics, such as determining classroom social guidelines, discussing empathy, and problem-solving. In addition, flip-chart images and role-play experiences help teachers intentionally foster children's social and emotional development. However, the curriculum provides limited guidance on how to build secure, trusting teacher-child relationships and how to embed culturally and linguistically responsive practices into social and emotional learning.
Language and Communication: The curriculum consistently supports research-based practices that facilitate language and communication skills. World of Wonders supports vocabulary development and the use of complex language through group discussions, embedded Purposeful Play Prompts to extend conversations, and visuals, games, and child-friendly explanations of new vocabulary. The curriculum's learning experiences are grounded in rich and developmentally appropriate content that relates to the units of study and builds on children's existing knowledge (e.g., making friends, neighborhoods, nature, food). In addition, the Phonological Awareness lessons provide in-class learning experiences, while "Finger Play" exercises support children's development of phonological awareness at home.
Literacy: The curriculum consistently supports research-based teaching practices to support children's literacy knowledge and skills. The daily activities contain many varied opportunities to make and use print (e.g., creating thank you notes), engage in active read-aloud experiences, and develop critical literacy skills. World of Wonders supports children's acquisition of alphabet knowledge in meaningful contexts, such as in learning centers and movement activities. Children also have opportunities to participate in emergent writing experiences (e.g., teachers model pre-writing techniques and appropriate pencil grip). The curriculum's learning experiences also build on children's existing knowledge (e.g., discussion of environmental print, such as EXIT and bathroom signs).
Mathematics Development: World of Wonders consistently promotes research-based practices to support children's mathematics learning. It provides a variety of planned math learning experiences in whole- and small-group formats, and in Math and Manipulatives learning centers. In addition, Daily Math Talk sections are incorporated into lessons to introduce children to the language of mathematics. The curriculum promotes conceptual understanding through the use of manipulatives (e.g., putting together shapes to create new shapes). Unlike for the other domains, the curriculum does not provide any differentiation between 3- and 4-year-old age groups and for DLLs. Some of the math activities appear to be at a higher level than what one would expect for 3-year-olds (e.g., asking children to say the next number in a sequence when lining up).
Scientific Reasoning: The curriculum consistently supports research-based practices for children to observe, inquire, and participate in science learning. It nurtures children's curiosity through hands-on, inquiry-based explorations (e.g., experiments with simple machines; exploration of soil, sand, and rocks). To foster the development of important inquiry skills, the curriculum provides science-related flip-chart images and teacher-prompted questions within the learning experiences (e.g., "What makes the toys move? What could you build or use so that it moved on its own?"). Children are given opportunities to explore concepts in depth through multiple related activities (e.g., revisiting the growth cycle of plants).
Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development: The curriculum consistently promotes research-based practices to support children's perceptual, motor, and physical development. World of Wonders discusses indoor and outdoor learning environments in the "Outdoor & Indoor Play" and "Let's Move" text boxes, as well as in the Music and Movement lessons. For example, the curriculum promotes body awareness through songs and transitional movements that include body part vocabulary. It also promotes spatial awareness through obstacle courses and cooperative games. Supports for hand-washing and knowledge related to healthy food consumption are provided in the "Health and Safety" text boxes. In addition, the curriculum supports fine motor development with the inclusion of shapes, puzzles, and mini-projects that require children to use small utensils, such as creating a hole punch.