Research tells us that every aspect of early childhood development is impacted by nurturing and caring relationships. These relationships begin during infancy when the adults and caregivers in children’s lives set the stage for learning and growing. Much of our work around caring for infants involves a focus on routines—feeding, changing diapers, and managing sleep schedules. It can be hard to step back and think about learning opportunities and implementing unique approaches for addressing each child’s needs. Sometimes the key to individualizing learning and meeting children where they are is to have a supportive classroom setup.
As I enter my third year as curriculum manager for FunShine Express, I can safely say that reviewing books for our curriculum is my favorite part of the job. Each fall, I work with our writers to finalize themes for the next year. Once those are in place, I can begin working with vendors and publishers to secure samples of books that explore the subject matter and concepts conveyed in each theme. My background is in writing for children and early childhood education, so I feel especially compelled to find books that are both imaginative and educational. Our offerings over the past few years have covered everything from concept and nonfiction books to retellings of nursery rhymes and books in song. We offered our first bilingual book in the September/October 2020 Buttercups Kit and strive to offer more in the future. This is just one highlight of many.
Documentation is a powerful tool in the early childhood classroom. Put simply, documentation is any evidence collected over a period of time that describes, narrates, or demonstrates a child’s experience. Documentation can involve teacher and parent notes, a child’s drawings and dictations, and recordings/photos of an event or interaction. Such evidence allows for parents, teachers, children, and other stakeholders to engage in meaningful discussions about children’s learning and growing.
Policies regarding the coronavirus are changing rapidly and schools are uncertain about whether it will be safe to open for in-person learning this fall. We’ve heard from many child care providers that children expected to transition to kindergarten will be remaining in child care. While our Fireflies® curriculum tackles and reinforces many skills and concepts essential to kindergarten, we felt it important to offer you resources that will support you in extending our curriculum to meet the needs of and challenge the kindergarten children in your care.