FunShine Tells: Why Use Curriculum?

Nursery children playing with teacher in the classroom

Running a preschool or childcare center can bring excitement, gratification, and joy as well as uncertainty and challenges. Starting from the moment that first idea sparks until you finally see it come true, one of the best tools to have on hand is the support of an educational curriculum. The strategies, structure, and interactions between adults and peers provided by the use of an educational curriculum in a child’s first years of learning is proven to form a student who not only will enjoy the learning process in the preschool years, but also in school years to come. Continue reading

Charlie’s Cues: Using the Alphabet Word Cards

The sounds, words, songs, rhymes, and illustrations children are exposed to influence the ways they speak and communicate. This is why an environment rich in writing, letters, and vocabulary offers them the opportunity to develop strong language skills.

The Fireflies curriculum, for ages 3-5, becomes part of building a writing-rich classroom by including Alphabet Word Cards as part of your monthly kit. The cards show the letters that will be taught that month, accompanied by illustrations. Each month the letters taught are different but the purpose behind the cards is the same: to help children acquire vocabulary, learn new letters and their sounds, encourage repetition, and familiarize children with and help them become comfortable with using new words.

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Charlie’s Cues: Using the Counting Cards

We are exposed to math concepts from the time we are born and this continues as we grow. We learn how and when to communicate when we are “all done,” and how to ask for more when there is a little bit of food left. Through transitions, we begin to learn the concept of time, and then we continue to learn math concepts through stories, rhymes, and songs. As teachers and caregivers, we also make math part of the children’s day by counting toys when cleaning up, counting the days of the week on the calendar, or when we celebrate birthdays together. Math is everywhere!

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The Inclusion of STEM/STEAM in Preschool

by Katie Brazerol

In recent years there has been a push to include more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills in education. As the trend has shown success, educators have recommended the application of STEM activities in early childhood as well. Incorporation of STEM activities will help children observe, analyze, and make predictions about things in their environment. They will learn to fulfill their natural curiosity and develop inquisitiveness about subjects and how things work. They will also strengthen math skills beyond shapes, colors, and counting, such as analyzing quantities, measuring, collecting data, and recording results.

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