In each of our classrooms, there exists a shared belief in the value of play and exploration as the major vehicle by which children learn. Teachers facilitate play activities and help supply the words for the concepts and feelings children express in their play as they learn how to interact with the various elements that comprise the world. In group play, children learn sharing, consideration and tolerance, and develop meaningful relationships with other children and the adults who care for them. Importance is placed on overall development rather than isolated parts of it, and on creative environments in which both children and adults are encouraged to learn and grow.
Our programs operate in an open classroom setting with interest areas (e.g., role play, blocks, science). Structure is suggested through materials, classroom design, teacher activities and child initiated activities. Structure also occurs through daily routines, which provides a natural, real life structure. Although room materials and ways of learning may outwardly appear to be the same in each room, the complexity and manner in which your child interacts with these materials and the way in which they are presented change as your child grows.
Using the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards, curriculum in each of our classrooms is planned based on observations of each child. Daily activities are play focused and are organized around the domains of learning. Documentation of the children’s work can be found in individual child files and seen throughout the Center in the artwork, writings and photo displays.
Child files containing this documentation are kept in a confidential folder in the child’s classroom. Only Center staff, individual families, and those with written family permission have access to a child’s file. Activity plans are posted in each classroom and are also available in HiMama.
Keying into classroom topics and activities can also mean thinking of: 1) items you may have at home that may complement classroom activities (e.g., special book, a table loom, specialized maps, a collection of some sort); 2) guest demonstration that you or a friend or relative can provide (e.g., silk screening, dental tools, violin playing); 3) discards from your work place or places of business you come in contact with; and/or 4) field trip possibilities/contacts you may be aware of.
The Children’s Center in collaboration with the Oshkosh Area School District has a Ready 4 Learning program. In addition to incorporating Creative Curriculum, the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards, the teachers also implement Bridges Math, and Conscious Discipline.
In order for children to learn and grow, it is important that the adults in their lives demonstrate a respect, excitement and involvement in the activities children engage in. We encourage you to be involved in the themes and activities carried out in the classroom and to find ways to bring your personal interests, skills, and resources to these.
Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards
The Wisconsin Model early Learning Standards specify developmental expectations for children from birth through entrance into first grade. The standards reflect the domains of a child’s learning and development. The domains include health and physical development; social and emotional development; language development and communication; approaches to learning: cognition and general knowledge. Each domain is divided into sub-domains which include developmental expectations, program standards, performance standards and developmental continuum.
Based on research and supported by evidence based practices, the Wisconsin Model for early Learning Standards provide a framework for families, professional and policy makers to:
- Share a common language and responsibility for the well-being of children from birth to first grade.
- Know and understand developmental expectations of young children.
- Understand the connection among the foundations of early childhood, K-12 educational experiences and lifelong learning.
- All children are capable and competent.
- Early relationships matter.
- A child’s early learning and development is multidimensional.
- Expectations for children must be guided by knowledge of child growth and development.
- Children are individuals who develop at different rates.
- Children are members of cultural groups’ hat share development patterns.
- Children exhibit a range of skills and competencies within any domain if development.
- Children learn through play and the active exploration of their development.
- Parents are children’s primary and most important caregivers and educators.
The Wisconsin Pyramid Model for Social and Emotional Competence
The early years of life present a unique opportunity to lay the foundation for healthy development. It is a time of great potential and of great vulnerability. The first years are shaped by relationships the child has.
Pyramid Model is an evidence based prevention/intervention framework that prevents challenging behaviors and promotes healthy social and emotional development by supporting positive relationship[s, crating engaging environments, providing concrete teaching strategies and if/when needed, creating individualized interventions for children.
Pyramid Model is a way to enhance quality of care and promote optimal well-being for all children, it gives us evidence based practices to ensure a healthy foundation for future success.