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Curriculum Post any curriculum ideas, activites or projects that wouldbe helpful to our Daycare community. What is your teaching philosophy?

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Old 03-07-2011, 12:21 AM
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Abigail Abigail is offline
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Default What Are Your Popular Weekly Themes?

I'm going to be changing my work hours soon so I can focus more on child care and developing my future program. I'll soon be starting with creating weekly themes and want to know:

1. The titles of your popular themes...
2. The specific week you do them if they're a specific theme like Valentines or the time of year if it's a seasonal theme like Spring.
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:19 PM
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I don't really do pre-planned themes, but what I do is when the children show an interest in something then we study that topic. Some of the topics we've done in the past couple of months:

Farm Animals
Zoo Animals
Construction (a HUGE hit!)
Pets (another big hit)
Weather (doing this right now)
Food/healthy eating

Here's a website to a preschool that has all of their themes planned out for the year, they have a lot of common ones that you'd find in preschools.

She also has a ton more resources on there.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:46 PM
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creative inventions
garden time
nature and my 5 senses
under the sea
all about me

I could give you some of the themes from my MGT that we have done over the last year, Im not using MGT much anymore, but still have all the books. You could make up your own lessons to go with the themes...
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:24 PM
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I'm a big planner, but I spent the last hour talking to my sister (mom of four) about creating themes for the year. I've decided to start out with 2 art activities and 1 science activity per theme for each week and then decide later on what else to add. I believe children learn through play and don't want to have an hour by hour activity planned like some of the books I have.

The book I'm looking at now is called "The Complete Daily Curriculum for early childhood" and honestly it would drive me nuts having to follow such specific things for each day. My "circle time" is going to be a welcome everyone to daycare time with the calendar, color, shape, number, and letter which leads to the activity for each theme for art or science etc. I like having structure, but don't find the need to know what specific song, finger play, and book we'll read until I decide the week of....kwim?

Thanks so far for those who shared popular themes....any specific time of year you do those? BTW, what seasonal themes do you have that you do at the same time/week every year?
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:49 AM
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My themes are also based on the interests and abilities of the children in care. I typically do a letter of the week and the work within that. Often times we will do several different things within the letter.

I have been pulling together activity ideas for themes/letters so it doesn't take as long to pull things together but since the kids' ages and stages change throughout the years I pull together ideas for the following on each theme/letter:

Infants: physical, cognitive, creative (at least 3 for each)
Toddlers: physical, cognitive, creative (at least 3 for each)
Preschool: fine motor, gross motor, sensory, construction, science, cooking, dramatic play, language, music and creative (how many depends on the activities since some can pull together from many domains)
Family Involvement (donations, items to borrow, opportunities to come into the program or prepare things for the week, announcements of field trips, ect)
Physical Activity Plan: I pull together themed physical activities to use during transition times like waiting to wash hands, getting ready to go outside, cleaning up, ect.

I also plan out the environment to include the free-choice stations where items are put out intentionally to help the kids learn a concept or explore a theme. My learning stations are: dramatic play, math/science, quiet corner, construction zone, please touch table and art wall. Sometimes these stations maintain the same items/theme for several weeks with minor changes for the theme/letter of the week.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:33 PM's Avatar is offline
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Default My kids favorite themes

My kids specially liked Monster theme, Dinosaurs, Under the Sea and Jungle Animals.
I do develop my curriculum too and sometimes I use 1-2-3 learn Curriculum. and diferent blogs.
If you want I can share some of the ones that I made myself.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:39 AM
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I tend to do a more "Child led" program. (which is a fancy way of saying, we just wing it..and, I'm too lazy to plan)

Last year, the kids were obsessed with rubber ducks. SO, we did a whole month long theme with rubber ducks...which morphed into other things. I get some nice ideas from here.

Next week, I'm bringing a bunch of bugs in bags home.... live bugs! Lowes has Praying mantis and lady bugs! We are going to release them, then do a few things about bugs.

I only have a few kids this week... but, I am pretty sure the leprechaun will be hiding treasures all over the yard! (flattened out marbles from the fish dept at walmart) And, we are going to learn about treasure this week.
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