Volume 3, Issue 5
In This Issue
Selecting Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum
Brain Development Research Can Influence Early Childhood Curriculum
Organization: The Key to Daily Activities and Curriculum Development
CCEI State Approvals
26-Hour College Credit Eligible CDA
Dates to Remember
Welcome to the ChildCare Education Institute May Newsletter.
This month, CCEI Discusses Selecting Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum.

When searching for a developmentally appropriate curriculum, keep in mind the philosophy behind the curriculum.  Is the curriculum based on the works of an early childhood philosopher that exposes the children to early childhood development principles?  Does the curriculum allow the teacher to implement those principles and apply them in a classroom that provides hands-on, center-based activities that promote the development of emerging skills for each individual child?  The role of the teacher is to facilitate learning, allow children to make meaningful choices, and build self-esteem through staging "successes" that encourage further exploration and learning.

Classroom management is often one of the most difficult skills for a new classroom teacher to master.  Without proper planning and appropriate classroom materials, many teachers experience  the frustrations caused by a classroom out of control.  A teacher who fails to plan using a developmentally appropriate classroom curriculum, that includes an appropriate implementation plan, will quickly find it impossible to maintain an appropriate classroom environment.

In a well organized classroom with pre-planned, developmentally appropriate activities, children are busy exploring and there will be less opportunity for conflict.  A classroom that provides activities using a developmentally appropriate curriculum creates an environment that is less frustrating and as a result, the teacher will find joy in daily activities.  Most importantly, a developmentally appropriate classroom environment will result in happy children and satisfied parents.

Curriculums that include topics such as appropriate scheduling, creating a developmentally appropriate classroom, and making the most of learning centers, will help create a classroom environment that actively engages the child and keeps his or her attention.  When implemented in the classroom, these components contribute to less discipline problems and a smoother day.

When selecting a curriculum, teachers should consider the development of the children to ensure the suggested activities in the curriculum are adaptable to the varying skill levels of each child in the group.  Developmentally appropriate curriculums offer open ended activities that allow children to make choices and include objectives for the activities offered.

  The foundations of a developmentally
  appropriate curriculum are the needs and
  interests of each individual child.  These
  curriculums are filled with numerous activities
  to choose from on a daily basis, giving the
  classroom teacher the opportunity to
  incorporate a balance of teacher-directed and
  child-initiated activities.  This allows for
  planned learning experiences as well as those
  guided by the children's interests and abilities.  Curriculums that offer suggestions for field trips, community service projects, and special visitors in the classroom will help the children build a sense of belonging in the larger world around them.

The curriculum should include opportunities for child initiated activities that are offset by opportunities for teacher directed activities.  Child initiated activities allow children to learn independently through exploration and discovery with the guidance and supervision of the teacher.  With teacher directed activities, children are given specific teacher instructions and are expected to follow a specific plan as outlined under the direction of the classroom teacher.  In both teacher directed and child initiated activities, the curriculum selected should include objectives for the planned outcome of the activity and provide a well-rounded, engaging learning environment that stimulates children's growth in all developmental domains.  Whether it's climbing, singing, painting, or spending quiet time in a cozy corner, children will delight in an atmosphere that allows them to explore, investigate, learn, and discover!

Curriculum activities may often be repeated throughout the week.  Repetition of daily routines and experiences helps reinforce learning and leads to the mastery of skills. Curriculum should be designed to allow for flexibility in modifying activities to meet the individual learning styles, abilities, and interests of each child. Activities should incorporate cultural awareness through integrated holiday themes, stories and legends, art projects, and musical experiences, including input from individual children and their family's culture, traditions, and rituals.

A curriculum should incorporate a strong literacy component and academic options that meet the standards for school readiness and help support children's emerging skills in reading and writing in a developmentally appropriate manner.  Character education built into a curriculum will allow a teacher to help children develop positive character traits and set the foundation for high moral character in adulthood.  Recognizing that parents are partners in a young child's journey through education, suggestions should be made to keep them involved in the program, both at home and at school.

Ongoing observation and assessment is crucial to meeting the constantly changing needs of young children. Look for a curriculum that contains an appropriate assessment component to help the teacher evaluate the children.  An appropriate assessment component aids the teacher's efforts to meet the individual needs of each child and make program improvements as necessary.

Once familiar with the curriculum, a teacher must continuously evaluate the needs of the children and decide which
enrichments are best suited for each child.  By using weekly objectives, paired with the child's needs, teachers will be able
to offer opportunities for the maximum growth and
development of each child.  Because children's interests vary
on a daily basis, a variety of activities must be planned for them to choose from.  By recording daily observations about  the children's interactions with the materials and activities in the learning centers and with each other, a teacher will become familiar with the children's interests and abilities.
These anecdotal notes will provide the teacher with the information needed to make better decisions about
which centers can be used to appropriately enrich the classroom and which activities to include or eliminate from future plans.

Early childhood professionals who dedicate themselves to working with young children, find that each new day presents an opportunity to help them become all they can be.  A child's natural curiosity and eagerness to explore combined with a nurturing teacher and a well-rounded curriculum provides a magical recipe for enhanced learning and growth in all areas of child development.  A curriculum offering teachers a multitude of ideas in an easy-to-use format,  makes the burden of program planning lighter and provides the classroom teacher more time to meet the individual needs of each child.

Join the CCEI Discussion Thread and share how well implemented curriculum has affected the learning environment in your classroom. To help you learn more about curriculums and their value,  CCEI offers course CCEI1001 - Curriculums - Do you really need one?  CCEI also offers the Pinnacle Curriculum.  Click to learn more about Pinnacle!

Brain Development Research Can Influence Early Childhood Curriculum
By: Judith Colbert

  The scientific community is one of the most valuable
  sources of information about the learners in your
  care. Recently much has been written about the latest
  findings of researchers into brain development in
  young children. Why is this research important to you
  as an early childhood professional? How can the
  findings of these studies be implemented into
  your classroom? How will this recent brain
  research affect your role as a curriculum developer?
   Read Article
Printed Courtesy of Early Childhood News
Organization: The Key to Daily Activities and Curriculum Development
By: Caroline R. Tomlin
  Professional teachers and staff recognize the
  importance of organization in planning daily
  activities and curriculum development.
  Curriculum is the manner in which a teacher
  accomplishes goals and objectives. In doing
  so, a relevant program meets the child's needs
  based on their abilities-for the present, as well
  as the future.

  Read Article
  Article Courtesy of Early Childhood News
The Mississippi Child Care Quality Step System has approved the CCEI coursework to be used to meet the professional development requirements of the Quality Steps.  Age specific child development programs are offered as required in Step 3 through 5 of the Quality Step System.  Our approval can be found at www.qualitystep.msstate.edu. From the home page, select Training and Workshops on the left hand navigation.  (A sub-menu will appear, select Online Courses.)
CCEI coursework has also been approved by the West Virginia Early Childhood Training Connections & Resources.  Courses are listed by Early Care and Education Core Knowledge Area as required by the Career Pathway.  For a listing of CCEI approved courses, Log on to http://www.rvcds.org/Professional_Development_Calendar/event_menu.asp and select online training.

For a full list of CCEI's state approvals, click here.
Child Development Associate Renewal
If it's been a while since you earned your CDA, you may want to start thinking about renewal.  Stay up-to date by completing your CDA Renewal before your credential expires. The 45 hours of coursework can be completed online with the CCEI Online CDA Renewal!

The flexibility of CCEI's Online CDA Renewal Program allows you to access your courses from any computer with Internet access.  Take courses from home, work, or the library.  The convenience of distance learning allows you to maintain your busy, work, personal, and social schedules.   Access to courses is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The program is instructor supported, giving you access to support at just a phone call away.  CCEI faculty and help desk are designed to help you every step of the way.

Renew your CDA for $399!  Registration is just a phone call away!  If you are a CCEI CDA Graduate, get $50 off your CDA Renewal!

Child Development Associate Certificate
Meet the requirements of the Council of Professional Recognition for 120 hours in formal child care training with CCEI!
  CCEI is pleased to offer the College Credit Eligible CDA.  Students successfully completing all required coursework in the CCEI College Credit Eligible CDA will not only meet the coursework requirement for the CDA, but will also be eligible to receive up to 26 quarter-hour credits from Kendall College.  Additionally, the program has the support of an Education Coach.  The Education Coach is an experienced child care professional available to assist you with coursework and preparing for the credential application. CCEI also offers a non college credit Instructor Supported CDA and an Online Self Study CDA.  With all programs, you work independently and at your convenience, with access to courses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Director's Certificate
CCEI provides a specialized professional development certificate for the child care director. The Director's Certificate
coursework concentrates on core competencies that facilitate the management of a child care center.  A Director's Certificate Renewal is also available.

Head Start Parenting Certificate
The Head Start Parenting Certificate is designed to provide parents the opportunity to enhance their parenting skills by understanding the developmental and educational needs of their children.

Pinnacle Curriculum is an early childhood curriculum written by a team of 31 early childhood experts.  Designed with both teachers and students in mind, Pinnacle provides teachers flexible programming to fully engage each and every child.  Teachers are provided with clearly stated learning objectives that help teachers engage children in developmentally appropriate activities.  Pinnacle is purchased in easy-to-use daily or weekly formats with 5 weeks of curriculum for each month that include lesson plan guides, suggestions for activity enrichment, patterns for classroom enrichment, and long range goals linked to key standards.  Pinnacle is reusable; purchase Pinnacle once and use it year after year.  Comprehensive programs are offered for: Infants, Toddlers, Two's, Threes, Fours, and School-Age children.

A Summer Curriculum that gives children "A Summer of Wonder" and Excitement!
Pinnacle's 'Summer of Wonder' introduces children to the wonders of weather and nature.  The
15-week curriculum for school age children provides a "Summer of Wonder" filled with activities
and lessons related to weather preparedness, how weather phenomena effect nature, animals,
and the effect the constellations have on geography, tides, and seasons.

For a limited time, CCEI is offering Summer of Wonder for $49.99.  The program includes 15
weeks of curriculum, 50 Parent Promotion Letters, 11x17 "A Summer of Wonder" promotional
poster, 2 "A Summer  of Wonder" buttons for teachers to wear, and a complete Summer Camp
Curriculum with interchangeable topics and themes designed to adapt to your scheduling needs.
To take advantage of this special offer, call CCEI's Curriculum Specialist, Elaine Bullard, at
800.499.9907 ext. 522.  Click to learn more about Summer of Wonder!

Calendar of Events

June 8 - 10, 2008 - Visit CCEI at table #61 at the National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development in New Orleans, LA.

July 11 - 12, 2008 - Visit CCEI at 2008 FACCM Annual Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fl.

Miss an issue? Visit our newsletter archives!

Coming in next month's issue...Professional Development: Meeting State Requirements.

Some links provided may be time sensitive, and their target content is not created nor controlled by CCEI.
This news is provided for informational purposes, and does not indicate endorsement of any kind.

2008 ChildCare Education Institute. All rights reserved.
CCEI provides training and education programs and makes no guarantee of employment, promotion or retention.
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