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5.5: The Curriculum Planning Cycle at a Glance
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Observation: Looking and Listening
- May be Spontaneous or Planned
- Watch and listen to children while they explore, investigate, play, problem solve, interact and socialize
- Keep an open mind as you gather evidence and artifacts, and look for what children CAN DO
Documentation: Recording and Collecting Objective Evidence
- Record what you see and hear
- Include date, time, and location
- Include child’s first name
- Include who else is engaged in the activity
- Document the purpose of the activity – highlighting what the child is supposed to do
- All recorded evidence should be concise, factual and have descriptive details
- Use a variety of observation and documentation methods and tools to collect evidence
Interpretation: Analyzing Data
- How did the child approach the activity and how long did the child stay engaged?
- Is this behavior typical for the child or unusual?
- Would this child benefit from peer scaffolding?
- Does this child need more individualized support?
- Does this child have more feisty, flexible or fearful temperament traits?
- How can I motivate this child?
- Were there any new play patterns or social interactions?
- Did the child master any new skills or milestones?
- Are there any skills or milestones that need further support?
- Were there any “red flags”?
Reflection: Planning for the Next Step
- How can I set up the environment to incorporate the children’s interests?
- What resources and materials will I need?
- What milestones, learning goals and objectives can I further support with this activity?
- How can I create a “good fit” for this child’s temperament?
- Did I acknowledge children when they met expectations, and did I provide genuine praise to reinforce positive behaviors?
- Am I setting clear expectations?
- Do I need to change the routines or schedule?
- Have I incorporated all the developmental domains and considered the whole child?
- Did I plan for individual activities, small group, and larger group opportunities
Implementation: Applying Best Practices
- Create quiet and active spaces
- Plan for indoor and outdoor learning experiences
- Provide a variety of materials that will encourage open-ended play and exploration
- Follow a consistent routine and schedule
- Plan teacher-directed activities and create centers based on children’s interest
- Consider the project approach and allow concepts to develop over time rather than a one and done
- Create a balance of play-based learning opportunities and skill-based learning opportunities?
- Plan to accommodate the diverse needs of each child
- Create a respectful and caring classroom environment that is supportive and nurturing to all learners