Does anyone have a great recommendation for a Pre-K curriculum?

Question:I will be opening my school in 2008 and I want to start weeding through some curriculum options. This will be a private school so I don't want anything that is religious based. The school also has a huge emphasis on creative arts/play and learning through play.
Do any teachers out there have something you have loved or hated? Can you tell me why? What did you like or dislike?

I'd appreciate any input you might have for me.

Nadine

Answers:
My vote is with Creative Curriculum as well. I appreciate the fact that the curriculum adheres to the teachings of Piaget; namely that "Children learn thru play."
There is a curriculum used by the Los Angeles Unified School District, it is the DLM or Diversified Learning Materials. I find that it is too regimented, and doesn't allow the children any free choice. It employs numerous ditto sheets, and leaves absolutely no room for choice or creativity.
Personally, I would go with the Creative Curriculum.

Agape,
Rhonda
Hi Nadine,

I LOVED the McGraw-Hill letter people for preschool, as well as the Exceed Now program. If you hire creative teachers, they can use the lesson plans provided and expound upon them. Both programs stress cognitive as well as social growth.

I especially like the fine motor skill work (lots of prewriting and cutting) and the center time to improve social skills.

Good luck! Beth
I am Early Childhood Special Education Teacher and our school district and many states are using the Creative Curriculum because it aligned with many state standards. The Creative Curriculum really emphizes children learn thought play and is very child centered. I enjoy it and so do many of my coworkers.
I use the Creative Curriculum. It is a great Curriculum especially if you believe that children learn through play. I also like it because it is very easy to supplement with other curriculum.

It's also very teacher friendly:)
The Creative Curriculum is great as is High Scope. Both emphasize creativity and choice. They are not packaged curricula that tell you what to do every day, they give you a framework to use that lets you respond to the needs and interests of the kids. The problem is that both of them require a well trained staff with a commitment to flexibility and intellectual curiosity which is sometimes difficult to accomplish. Avoid any of the prepackaged ones such as Mother Goose or even Scholastic's. Mother Goose in particular is loaded with cookie cutter art and is far to academic and does not encourage creativity and flexibility.
I love "Creative Curriculum" you can keep up with the childs development by documenting it on line. I love it because parents can see their child's developmental charts on line and get ideas on how to help their child individually according to their developmental stage. They can also see growth as the months go by. All the parents have to do is enter in their code or pass word. At the time of parent teacher conference the teacher can easyily sum up a summary of the childs progress. I used it when I work as a Head Start Teacher and I loved it and so did the parents. The website had so many ideas for teachers and parents.
We use the Creative Curriculum which is OK. It's a good place to start but doesn't provide specific activities. We use it as a guide. http://www.teachingstrategies.com/...

For teaching literacy we use two programs Fletchers Place and the Letter People. They both have positives and negatives. Fletcher's is good because it uses videos the kids enjoy and it has many age appropriate games. The company also provide a lot of support when you begin the program. However the program was created for Kindergarten so some of the activities are too difficult for Pre-K. But I like it anyway. The Letter People is wonderful but it's costly. the children relate to the characters and their puppets. It really helps with letter identification and phonics.

Fletcher's Place Website: http://www.readingrevolution.com/...

Letter People Website: http://www.abramsandcompany.com/letterpe...

For Math we use Everyday Math. The good thing is it's age-appropriate and the activities are fun. I recommend using the pacing calendar loosely. It's a great tool but should not be used as an absolute. You have to teach to where the children are. Sometimes you need to spend more or less time on a particular skill and the calendar doesn't allow for teacher's to make that determination. Their website: http://www.wrightgroup.com/index.php/pro...

Good luck. It takes time to find a curriculum that will work so be flexible.
I used to teach PReK nad I used the creative curriculum sometimes, and the Peaceful Classroom, and the Theme based appraoch. The themes based Approach takes quite a bit of work, but the children relaly beenfited fomr it. THe preschool taht my daughter just finsihed largely used the REgigio MEilia curriculum. I really nejoyed the cooperation between the satff adn us parnets and chlidren. I;ve enver felt veyr strongly about teh envioment beign such abig part of leraning. I knwo MOnterssori has quitea bit of research behind it.
if you are starting a new center i would not recommend using creative curriculum. It has great fundamental but i would recommend it for someone who has doing it for 15 years. CC is more of a do it your self kind of thing. The Best program that i have found and that i use is Curosity corner. I use it with my threes and fours and they love it. It deals with a cat that is your tool. The Program set your up day by day. it even gives snack suggestions. if you need any more help just message me!
I teach at a private preschool and we are accredited by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). We follow the state standards and NAEYC guidelines. I just use themes and make sure I am using developmentally appropriate practices. I definitely reccomend applying to NAEYC.

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