Creative development of children in preschool

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The Creative Curriculum is based on well known theories of child development. The Creative Curriculum was written by Diane Trister Dodge, Laura J. Creative Curriculum Planning The weekly planning form for the Creative Curriculum is awesome. I have seen people use this form even when they are using another curriculum. The planning form is two pages. The first page includes the date, the name of the teacher and co-teacher and the specific topic to be covered that week. This page of the form also includes a place for a “To Do” List and a place for Family and Community Involvement.

The rest of the first page of the planning form is divided into spaces for changes to the environment. What I like about this first page is that it causes a teacher to really think about the individual needs of her students as she makes regular adjustments to  each of the centers in her classroom. The second page of the Creative Curriculum planning form is for planning groups. It lists types of group activities down the side. Group Time is for large group activities like songs, stories, games and discussions. This second page of the planning form looks more like a lesson plan form you might see in any classroom. On this page you would write the actual activities you have planned for these group times for each day of the week.

What CD is the song on? What literacy activity will you do? What activity will you do during small groups to address development of various skills? Creative Curriculum Centers There are eleven spaces on the planning form labeled with the center names which include blocks, dramatic play, toys and games, art, library, discovery, sand and water, music and movement, cooking, computers and outdoors. These spaces on the form are where you would write  whatever changes you were planning to make in each center for the week. You would also leave favorite toys in the centers for additional time. If you were planning to use stores as a topic you might include blocks labeled with store names cut from advertisements and delivery trucks in the block area.

You might include a cash register, toy money, advertisements from stores, pencils and paper for shopping lists and products to be sold in the dramatic play area. In the library area you might include stories about shopping. In the discovery area you may or may not incorporate the topic of study. My only objection to themes in general is that people often come up with some contrived activity to meet the theme that has no learning value. You could however do a pet store or some such thing in the discovery area. Everything in each center does not need to pertain to the theme.

It should however address the needs and interests of the children. You will still want to include rhyming books, alphabet books and books about real things in the library area even if you are doing a study about stores. You may even feel the need to have a book or two about divorce or a new baby because of a particular child’s situation. Teachers would probably want to include activities that reflect the topic. I would caution teachers to always keep in mind the needs and interest of the children as well as the topic, just as you would when you make changes to your centers.

Then decide, “Is this activity contrived for purposes of this weeks topic or does it make sense in relationship to the skills we are trying to teach? The teacher’s manual for the Creative Curriculum tells about the theories the curriculum is based on. It tells what types of things to think about as you individualize your program. The teacher’s manual also includes the “Developmental Continuum” for children from three to five years old. Teachers write anecdotal notes on all children in their classroom.