Currículo

El currículo promueve experiencias de aprendizaje e interacciones valiosas para apoyar el desarrollo entre los dominios. Las experiencias de aprendizaje valiosas apoyan y amplían el conocimiento, la comprensión de los conceptos y las habilidades de los niños en todos los dominios. A medida que los niños exploran activamente su entorno de aprendizaje al manipular objetos e investigar conceptos, los maestros interactúan con ellos para ampliar su exploración, pensamiento y comunicación. El currículo les ofrece a los niños numerosas oportunidades para participar en la exploración práctica y les proporciona a los maestros orientación sobre cómo extender la exploración, el pensamiento y la comunicación de los niños. Las experiencias de aprendizaje valiosas deben ser cultural y lingüísticamente receptivas e inclusivas para niños con discapacidades, sospechas de retrasos u otras necesidades especiales.

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Currículo

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Active Exploration: While the Professional Handbook describes the importance of hands-on exploration for children's learning (e.g., encouraging children to express themselves creatively with a variety of materials in the learning centers), the Teaching Guides provide limited opportunities for preschoolers to actively engage in hands-on exploration. All activities, including learning centers, are structured and teacher directed, leaving children little room to engage with materials in open-ended ways and experiment with materials.

Interactions That Extend Children's Learning: Many of the curriculum's resources provide guidance on and examples of how teachers engage in interactions that extend children's learning. All Teaching Guides include weekly "Teacher and Child Interactions" charts that provide examples and strategies for meaningful interactions that extend children's thinking and communication. For example, to support a teacher's quality of feedback, the chart suggests, "When children name the animals they think might live in each habitat, ask them to explain their responses ... ‘Why do you think sharks live in the ocean? What do sharks need that an ocean has?' " Similarly, the BookStix provide specific prompts (e.g., what, why, and how open-ended questions) for teachers to extend children's thinking and communication during daily book reading.

Individualization: The curriculum provides specific guidance on how to individualize learning experiences for all children. The Teaching Guides frequently include "Supporting English Language Learners," providing specific adaptations for learning activities (e.g., using visual tools, explicit vocabulary instruction). Similarly, throughout the Teaching Guides, each "Big Learning Experience" includes modifications for children with disabilities or other special needs. The curriculum provides minimal guidance on how to incorporate children's cultures throughout learning activities or learning centers.

Core Knowledge® Preschool Sequence

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Active Exploration: Core Knowledge® promotes active exploration and children have opportunities to initiate activities and explore newly introduced skills and concepts during center time (e.g., science, math, and art areas). However, there is little guidance on how center time can be used to support active exploration. For example, little guidance is offered on the kinds of materials that should be used in the centers or how the learning centers can be used to foster active exploration. Some of the "Teaching Ideas" limit children's active exploration during center time. For example, the curriculum provides specific directions on how to engage children with materials in the sensory table.

Interactions that Extend Children's Learning: The curriculum provides guidance on how to use interactions to extend children's learning. For example, the "Using Language to Think" section of the Handbook provides guidance on how to encourage children to predict and analyze qualities of objects. In addition, the "Oral Language" chapter includes guidance on using self- and parallel-talk as well as open-ended questions to extend children's learning.

Individualization: The curriculum provides general guidance on how to ensure learning experiences are accessible and appropriate for all children. It provides specific strategies for scaffolding the learning of children who need "higher and lower degrees of support." Additionally, the "English Language Learners" chapter includes information about the stages of second language acquisition and "language support strategies" for each stage. The Handbook lacks guidance on how to authentically incorporate children's languages and cultures throughout learning activities or learning centers. Though the Handbook states that various elements of the Preschool Sequence lend themselves to supporting an inclusive classroom, the curriculum lacks guidance on how to individualize learning experiences for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs.

The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool, 6th Edition

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Active Exploration: The curriculum provides ample opportunity for preschoolers to actively engage in hands-on exploration. The curriculum highlights the importance of children having time for free, unstructured play daily. Volume 2: Interest Areas provides many suggestions for how to set up the environment with open-ended learning materials that promote hands-on exploration. Some of the structured activities in the Intentional Teaching Cards and Teaching Guides also invite children to manipulate objects and investigate concepts.

Interactions That Extend Children's Learning: Many of the curriculum's resources provide guidance and examples on how teachers engage in interactions that extend children's exploration, thinking, and communication. For example, the Intentional Teaching Cards and Book Discussion Cards provide examples of open-ended questions and prompts that teachers can use to spark children's thinking and encourage them to describe, explain, predict, and brainstorm.

Individualization: The curriculum provides specific guidance on how to individualize learning experiences for all children. Many of the structured activities include suggestions for including children with disabilities or other special needs and scaffolding strategies to support children who are DLLs. The curriculum suggests that teachers consider the family and community cultures as they plan learning experiences, but it provides fewer specific examples and supports for embedding children's cultures within learning experiences throughout the curriculum materials.

Curiosity Corner, 2nd Edition

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Active Exploration: Curiosity Corner offers daily opportunities for children to actively engage in open-ended, hands-on exploration. For example, Plan & Play and Learning Labs (e.g., Puzzle/Game, Art, and Science) provide opportunities to manipulate objects and investigate concepts. During Plan & Play, children select roles and scripts and use objects in creative ways. While some Learning Labs allow for open-ended exploration, others offer activities that are more prescriptive. The explorations are pre-determined (e.g., Children use mirrors to count the healthy teeth in their mouths; children use lemon juice to write messages or draw pictures and then look at them over a light bulb with a teacher). Moreover, though children participate in Learning Labs daily, the amount of time recommended for this activity is quite limited.

Interactions that Extend Children's Learning: The curriculum provides specific guidance that is embedded throughout the curriculum materials on how to extend children's learning. For example, Learning Labs Facilitation Guides include prompts such as, "Why do these things make us think of fall? What do you think might happen to this item in winter?" During Plan & Play, teachers are encouraged to join children's play to encourage conversation, prop use, and role-play. In addition, the STaR reading prompts are based on Bloom's taxonomy and designed to foster children's thinking and communication.

Individualization: The Teacher's Manual describes the Learning Labs Facilitation Guides as a way to individualize learning. For example, they include questions teachers might ask to provide support for children who need extra help or are DLLs and questions to challenge children who are further along in their development. However, there is no additional guidance on how to provide learning experiences that build on children's cultures and home languages or how to adapt learning experiences to respond to the needs of children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs.

Galileo® Pre-K Online Curriculum

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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.

HighScope Preschool Curriculum

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Active Exploration: Active, hands-on exploration is core to the HighScope Preschool Curriculum philosophy, which emphasizes "active participatory learning." Throughout its many volumes, the curriculum includes extensive guidance on how teachers: plan a daily schedule that allows for children's exploration, provide open-ended materials for children to explore, and implement learning experiences that promote active exploration.

Interactions That Extend Children's Learning: Many of the curriculum's resources provide guidance and examples on how teachers can engage in interactions that extend children's exploration, thinking, and communication. For example, the KDI Scaffolding Charts provide examples of what teachers can do to support children's current levels of development and strategies to extend their learning. Similarly, Plan, Do, and Review offers many strategies designed to support and extend children's learning (e.g., suggesting new ideas within the context of play, gently challenging children's thinking).  

Individualization: The curriculum provides guidance on how to individualize learning experiences for children. I Belong describes ways to individualize each part of the HighScope environment and day for children with disabilities or other special needs. Other materials include sample lesson plans that provide specific adaptations for children with disabilities or other special needs. Additionally, the curriculum provides some specific scaffolding strategies for children who are DLLs within its guidance on KDI 30—English Language Learning, but does not include specific strategies to support children who are DLLs embedded throughout the suggested learning experiences. The curriculum lacks specific guidance on how to plan culturally responsive learning experiences.

Learn Every Day™: The Preschool Curriculum

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Active Exploration: Foundations for Learning describes the importance of hands-on exploration for children's learning (e.g., Children learn best in an active environment where they can design, choose, implement, and influence their activities). The Volumes describe a variety of learning centers (e.g., Blocks, Math, Art, Sand and Water) with open-ended materials that promote hands-on exploration. A limitation of the learning centers and experiences described in the Volumes is they do not provide children with ample opportunities to engage in open-ended exploration. The learning centers and other learning experiences are structured and provide specific directions about what children are to do with the materials. For example, in the Home Living Center, teachers are guided to ask children to find shapes among the materials available in the center. During Child Choice, children may revisit a learning center; however, it is unclear whether children must follow the directions provided or if they may engage with materials in open-ended ways and create and experiment with materials.

Interactions That Extend Learning: The Volumes provide guidance on how to use teacher-child interactions to extend children's learning. Most activities within the lesson plans include specific questions for teachers to ask to promote communication and thinking (e.g., How are the bears alike? What's bigger than this watermelon?). Though the prompts encourage children to think and communicate, there is less support for extending children's exploration of materials.

Individualization: Learn Every Day provides specific guidance embedded throughout the curriculum materials on how to ensure learning experiences are relevant for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs. "Children with Special Needs: Blending All Learnings in a Preschool Setting," a chapter in Foundations for Learning, includes general guidelines as well as specific adaptations. In addition, each unit lists "Special Needs Adaptations" that address specific ways to make learning experiences accessible for children with visual and hearing impairments, cognitive, motor, speech and language delays, and emotional and behavioral issues. The "Teaching Dual and English Language Learners" chapter in Foundations for Learning and one "DLL Tip" per thematic unit offer general guidance on how to support children who are DLLs (e.g., extend learning by maintaining themes for days at a time, use keyword lists for each theme, conduct home-language surveys). However, the curriculum lacks specific guidance on how to authentically incorporate children's languages and cultures throughout learning activities and learning centers.

DLM Early Childhood Express®

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Active Exploration: While the Teacher's Editions describe how the curriculum "nurtures the natural curiosity" of children and how learning centers "provide the opportunity for children to explore a wide range of curricular areas," the daily lesson plans provide limited opportunities for preschoolers to actively engage in hands-on exploration. All activities, including learning centers, are structured and teacher directed, leaving children little room to create, explore, or otherwise engage with materials in open-ended ways.

Interactions That Extend Children's Learning: Some of the curriculum's activities provide guidance on how teachers engage in interactions that extend children's thinking and communication. For example, many activities encourage children to analyze similarities and differences between objects or pictures. Other activities provide prompts for children to make connections to their own lived experiences (e.g., "How is the community in the storybook like our community?"). However, other suggested teacher prompts are narrowly focused on eliciting specific responses from children.

Individualization: The curriculum provides specific guidance on how to individualize learning experiences for children who are DLLs and children with disabilities or other special needs. Daily lesson plans include specific scaffolding strategies to support children who are DLLs. Similarly, Teacher's Editions offer "Differentiated Instruction" boxes that include recommendations for children with special needs. These scaffolding strategies typically address a specific disability or special need that is likely to interfere with a child's ability to participate in an activity. However, the curriculum lacks guidance on how to authentically incorporate children's cultures throughout learning activities or learning centers.

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Active Exploration: Assessment: A Portfolio Approach describes the importance of hands-on exploration for children's learning (e.g., how children problem-solve and develop math skills as they explore blocks in the "Construction Center"). The Teacher Guides provide some opportunities for preschoolers to actively engage in hands-on exploration in the learning centers and practice activities (e.g., explore paints and play dough of different textures). However, many activities are structured, teacher directed, and leave children little room to engage with materials in open-ended ways or create and experiment with materials (e.g., teacher demonstrates how to make ropes from play dough and invites children to make ropes).

Interactions That Extend Children's Learning: Many of the curriculum's resources provide guidance on and examples of how teachers can engage in interactions that extend children's learning. For example, the Strategies for Intentional Instruction cards provide examples of different types of questions to extend children's thinking and communication (e.g., factual, opinion, inferential, prediction questions). Furthermore, many learning activities and learning centers provide prompts to extend children's exploration, thinking, and communication (e.g., math and science activities include prompts for children to predict, hypothesize, test, and reason; closing circle activities ask children to reflect on the day).

Individualization: The curriculum provides specific guidance on how to individualize learning experiences for all children. Many of the learning activities provide suggestions for including children with disabilities or other special needs and scaffolding strategies to support children who are DLLs. Each thematic unit begins with a short section, "From the Experts: Cultural Sensitivity," which provides some ideas on how to approach diversity with children. However, it does not address how to incorporate children's cultures throughout learning activities or learning centers. The Teacher Guides offer minimal guidance for incorporating children's cultures, such as including restaurants in the Pretend and Learn Center that reflect the different cultures of children and the community.

Opening the World of Learning™ (OWL) ©2014

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Active Exploration: The Planning and Assessment Teacher's Guide with Professional Development Handbook describes the importance of hands-on exploration for children's learning (e.g., children experiment, explore, and engage in purposeful and playful learning experiences, and develop academically, socially, and emotionally). A limitation of the activities described in the Teacher Guides is they do not provide children with ample opportunities to actively engage in open-ended, hands-on exploration. All activities, including learning centers, are structured and give specific directions about what children are to do in the center. Children have little opportunity to engage with materials in open-ended ways or create and experiment with materials.

Interactions that Extend Children's Learning: The curriculum's learning activities do not provide guidance on how to use interactions to extend children's learning. While the "Questions of the Week" are open-ended (e.g., "What are desert animals like?"), there is no guidance on how to extend children's thinking and communication around these topics. The learning experiences are didactic and do not include open-ended questions or prompts to help children make connections to their own experiences. For example, children are provided with concept word cards related to the desert. Pairs of children are asked to talk about which animals listed in the word cards are desert animals and if they also live in the jungle. Then, a few children share, "What was on your card? Does it live in the jungle, too?"

Individualization: The curriculum provides specific guidance on how to individualize learning experiences for all children. Many of the learning activities provide suggestions to "Make It Easier!" or "Make It Harder!" and include scaffolding strategies to support children who are DLLs. The curriculum provides "Make It Easier!" prompts as well as guidance in Adaptations for Children with Special Needs to support children with special needs in specific activities and during each part of the daily schedule (e.g., morning meeting, center time, small groups). In addition, the curriculum includes "English Language Development" lessons with supports for children who are at various levels of English language proficiency. There is no guidance on how to incorporate children's cultures throughout learning activities or learning centers.

The InvestiGator Club® PreKindergarten Learning System

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Active Exploration: The Teacher Resource Guide describes the importance of hands-on exploration for children's learning (e.g., "Children need a learning environment that allows them to initiate active exploration with materials and make choices about their own activities). The Teacher Guides describe a variety of Learning Centers (e.g., Science, Art, Sand and Water) with open-ended materials that promote hands-on exploration. A limitation of the learning centers and activities described in the Teacher Guides is that they do not provide children with ample opportunities to actively engage in open-ended exploration. All activities, including Learning Centers and Investigation Station, are structured and give specific directions about what children are to do with the materials. Children have little opportunity to engage with materials in open-ended ways or create and experiment with materials.

Interactions That Extend Children's Learning: The Teacher Guides offer specific guidance embedded throughout curriculum materials and examples of ways to extend children's learning throughout the day. Lesson plans for Opening Circle Time, Choices, and Small Group Activities include opportunities for brainstorming and discussions. They use open-ended questions as prompts. For example, during Opening Circle, teachers invite children to share what they would like to investigate about construction and use a web to record their ideas. In addition, scripts for Flapboarding and other structured activities provide prompts to extend children's exploration, thinking, and communication (e.g., "Guide children to use their senses to describe the apple. What does the apple look like? What does an apple feel like?").

Individualization: The Teacher Resource Guide provides general guidance on how to individualize learning experiences for all children. Additionally, the Teacher Guides offer more specific supports for children who have disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs, as well as children who are DLLs, using callout boxes (e.g., Differentiation: Inclusion, ELL) in the lesson plan margins. For example, to support DLLs in a matching activity, the curriculum suggests the teacher give step-by-step directions by pointing to a picture on the list and saying, "Find this [block] in the basket; put it on your list." The assessment chapter encourages teachers to consider what assessment data reveal about children's needs and use the Teacher Guides to select the most appropriate lessons and "choices" during daily routines (e.g., Opening Circle, Small Group, Whole Group) based on those data.

The InvestiGator Club® Just for Threes Learning System

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Active Exploration: The Teacher Resource Guide describes the importance of hands-on exploration for children's learning (e.g., "Children need a learning environment that allows them to initiate active exploration with materials and make choices about their own activities). The Let's Investigate Teacher Guide describes a variety of Learning Centers (e.g., Science, Art, Sand and Water) with open-ended materials that promote hands-on exploration. A limitation of the learning centers and activities described in the Teacher Guides is that they do not provide children with ample opportunities to actively engage in open-ended, hands-on exploration. All activities, including Learning Centers and Investigation Station, are structured and give specific directions about what children are to do with the materials. Children have little opportunity to engage with materials in open-ended ways or create and experiment with materials.

Interactions That Extend Children's Learning: The Just for Threes and Let's Investigate Teacher Guides, as well as the Social and Emotional Development Kit, offer specific guidance and examples of ways to use teacher-child interactions to extend children's learning throughout the day. Lesson plans for Opening Circle Time, Choices, and Small Group activities include opportunities for brainstorming and discussions. They use open-ended questions as prompts. For example, during Small Group, children investigate their shadows by moving their bodies closer and further to the wall, and teachers ask questions such as, "How does your shadow change?" In addition, scripts for Flapboarding and other structured activities provide prompts to extend children's exploration, thinking, and communication (e.g., encourage children to feel the objects and talk about what they notice. Help them sort and group items that feel the same. As children sort, ask, "Why do you think this one goes in this pile?").

Individualization: The Teacher Resource Guide provides general guidance on how to individualize learning experiences for all children. Additionally, the Let's Investigate Teacher Guide offers more specific supports for children who have disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs, as well as children who are DLLs, using callout boxes (e.g., Differentiation: Inclusion, ELL) in the lesson plan margins. For example, to support DLLs in a matching activity, the curriculum suggests the teacher give step-by-step directions by pointing to a picture on the list and saying, "Find this [block] in the basket; put it on your list." The Marvelous Me! unit offers a few ELL callout boxes, as well (e.g., encourage ELLs to use the four key "taste" words and to add to their descriptive language with gestures). Even so, the Just for Threes Teacher Guide, Social and Emotional Development Kit, and Outdoor Creative Play and Learning Cards lack guidance on how to individualize learning experiences for children with disabilities, suspected delays, or other special needs. Overall, the curriculum lacks guidance on how to individualize learning experiences for children from diverse cultural backgrounds.

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Active Exploration: Tools of the Mind® provides daily opportunities for children to engage in open-ended, hands-on explorations. The classroom is set up with six interest areas (e.g., science, sensory, blocks, manipulatives), each equipped with sensory materials as well as more complex materials related to the Make-Believe Play theme of the month. Every morning, children freely choose to play at any of these centers. Additionally, the daily schedule includes a time specifically for "Make-Believe Play Center," which offers more opportunities for free explorations during the day. Although the children use some center materials in more structured ways (e.g., according to scenarios related to the theme), children can suggest their roles and scripts and manipulate objects to create play scenarios. Other daily small group activities such as Puzzles, Manipulatives, and Blocks, provide children with opportunities to explore objects, build, and create with different materials (e.g., blocks, playdough, lacing, pegs, nuts, and bolts).

Interactions That Extend Children's Learning: Throughout all learning activities and in its introductory materials, Tools of the Mind® provides specific guidance on how to extend children's play, exploration, and communication. Built on the theoretical foundation of social learning and providing experiences and support within the child's individual ZPD, the curriculum guides teachers to actively scaffold children's learning by providing prompts, hints, and gestural signs and by using "Mediator Cards" with visual reminders of the task in hand. For example, in Story Lab activities, teachers use mediator cards with open-ended questions or other prompts to scaffold children's self-regulation and to expand children's thinking and communication about the book (e.g., "What was your favorite part?" "You can make connections between this book and something that happened to you.").

Individualization: The curriculum provides specific guidance embedded throughout curriculum materials on how to ensure learning experiences are appropriate and accessible for all children. Each activity's lesson plan includes a section titled "Zooming in on the ZPD" which includes specific tips and strategies to help children who need extra support and for children who are DLLs. For each activity, the Additional Scaffolds Appendix Manual also provides specific accommodations and modifications to meet the needs of children with different needs (e.g., a child who has difficulty with expressive language, participating, or following directions) and a special section with guidance for supporting children who are DLLs.