View the BVSD Early Childhood Education Website for more details on our curriculum.
The Boulder Valley School District Early Childhood Education curriculum addresses learning in all developmental areas such as cognitive, language, physical, self-help, social, and emotional. The Creative Curriculum content is woven into daily activities through themes, projects, play and other learning experiences so children develop an understanding of concepts and make connections across developmental areas.
Creative Curriculum Standards
Active learning means children are participating – changing, moving, making things – not just watching or listening. Active learning means children are acting and discovering things independently: sawing, sanding, making models, mixing paints, using a paintbrush, covering a table with newspaper, or discovering that bottle caps can be used as wheels. Active learning involves children in direct experiences: squishing, rubbing, getting down on the floor, racing, pushing, or comparing. Active learning involves children in exploration: climbing up, spinning around, holding on, shouting, and pretending to fly like a bird or be an elephant or drive a car.
The Daily Routine for Teachers and Students
Greeting and Arriving
Children are welcomed by their teaching team. They are encouraged to take care of their own belongings and are given their own space for their things.
Movement and Music
Movement and learning go together. Children first learn using their whole bodies and motor-skill development goes from large muscle to small muscle. This means that young children learn through hands-on activities using all of their senses to understand new concepts. Children naturally like to move and sing in the early years of their lives. Music and movement are used as a means of delivering essential learning in a way that encourages healthy physical activity while reinforcing academic concepts.
Large Group/Circle Time
At large group time, all children are together for 10 to 15 minutes to read a story, play games, sing songs, do finger plays, or re-enact special events that the teacher has planned. Circle time is an opportunity for each child to participate in a large group, sharing ideas and learning from the ideas of others. During this time, the adults participate and may lead the activity. They ask for children’s ideas for the activity and change the activity when the children lose interest.
Small-group time activities are drawn from the children’s cultural backgrounds, seasons of the year, or special age-appropriate projects in art, science, math and literacy. Small-group times are geared to the children’s needs, abilities, and interests, and may not follow a carefully prescribed sequence of lessons. They are designed to provide experiences that will help children prepare for kindergarten.
During small-group time, each teacher meets with a small group of children to work on an activity planned and introduced by the teacher. The teacher chooses and introduces the materials, encouraging children to interact with materials in a manner that fosters new learning.
Work Time with Learning Centers
During the work time, children can work with any of the materials in the classroom learning centers areas. It is common for young children to engage in a large number of different activities over the course of work time. Work time is generally the longest single time-block in the daily routine, typically lasting 45 - 60 minutes. Children are actively involved with materials that they have chosen. They talk with the other children and the adults. The adult’s role during work time is to observe children to see how they perceive information, interact with peers, and solve problems. They then enter into the children’s activities, at the child’s physical level to encourage children’s ideas, extend their play, and help them wrestle with problem –solving situations. They talk conversationally with children, using a variety of communications strategies to help children extend their learning.
During work time the teaching team may also take anecdotal notes on the actions of the children. These notes, and others, become the basis of the Creative Curriculum Gold Assessment, which is completed four times a year on each child in the center.
Activities and materials in the center areas support the development of language, literacy, math, social, and science skills appropriate for young children. They form a solid foundation for future learning.
During clean-up time, the children are expected to return materials and equipment to where they are stored and to store their own incomplete projects. The process of cleaning up restores order to the classroom and is also a learning experience for children. By putting materials back where they belong, children learn why certain items are stored together, and that the world is an organized place. Teachers talk with and help children define what materials are being put away and where they belong. They work alongside children in the clean-up process.
Outside time gives children an opportunity to be physically active – running, walking, climbing, pushing, pulling, swinging, and exploring. They may be involved on large motor equipment or in an active game. Adults participate with children, talking conversationally with them about what they are doing.