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Curriculum>Creating a Curriculum From Scratch!
Abigail 10:32 PM 08-15-2010
I want to create a curriculum from scratch and maybe you want to also. I would just start creating themes and google to find related activities to these themes. I would probably find a few books, a song or fingerplay, and an art/craft activity for each theme.

Ex. Bugs--do this theme for one or two weeks depending how well the kids enjoy it and how many things you want to share with the children.
A. Books--I know their are tons of books about bugs, lol.
B. Song/Fingerplay--The Itsy Bitsy Spider (Bonus, it's a song and finger play!) The Ants Go Marching In! (Can dance to this one-large motor)
C. Art/Craft--make a ladybug using paper plates, paint, black pom poms, and google eyes.

I just thought of that BUGS theme as I typed it, seriously, and I don't know many kids songs and stuff since I'm just getting started and waiting for a few books to arrive from ebay and amazon, lol. I would work in math with the art project by counting the poms poms for example.

My goal is to create many themes, like bugs, but have around a dozen pages per theme to choose the best activities for the needs of the children. I would make sure to cover at least some books, songs/fingerplays, and art/craft projects to have in a folder to qualify as a theme. All the pages for songs would have "Song" typed small in the upper right-hand corner, or "Song/Fingerplay/Large Motor" if something qualifies for all of those. Then I would know how many of each category I have within each folder.

If anyone is willing to share ideas I would greatly appreciate it! I'm really excited to do this!
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Jewels 04:35 AM 08-16-2010
When I started my daycare, I made my own curriculum, But after spending hours and hours on it, and ending up having no time to myself, and a crabby husband, who was starting to really dislike daycare, cause I was always working on it, I decided it was much better to purchase it...And have been so much more relaxed since......you can get so many great ideas online though, preschool printables.com has lots of worksheets........Good Luck!
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alyssyn 07:45 AM 08-16-2010
I have been doing my own for a long time. I have a lotta workbooks that I make copies from and several craft books. There are many on-line sites to find info. on too, which I'm sure you already know!
I use dltk-teach.com and also littlegiraffes.com But I've been thinking, and honestly say it may be better to buy boxed than doing on my own. The time you spend searching, then putting it all together, then the ink to print....ugh!
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Abigail 09:15 AM 08-16-2010
Originally Posted by alyssyn:
I have been doing my own for a long time. I have a lotta workbooks that I make copies from and several craft books. There are many on-line sites to find info. on too, which I'm sure you already know!
I use dltk-teach.com and also littlegiraffes.com But I've been thinking, and honestly say it may be better to buy boxed than doing on my own. The time you spend searching, then putting it all together, then the ink to print....ugh!
But anything I create, I can use over and over. I'm very organized. I'm sure it would take about an hour per theme, so it will take awhile, but even if I get a good start with 30 themes, I can always add to it. Eventually (When I hit 52 themes, LOL) I will be forced to quit searching, ha ha.
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melskids 09:56 AM 08-16-2010
Originally Posted by Abigail:
But anything I create, I can use over and over. I'm very organized. I'm sure it would take about an hour per theme, so it will take awhile, but even if I get a good start with 30 themes, I can always add to it. Eventually (When I hit 52 themes, LOL) I will be forced to quit searching, ha ha.
oh, you will NEVER be done searching....

i use the same themes each year, and still find new stuff to add to them all the time. i'll never be "done" with building the curriculum. i have too much fun doing it
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WImom 12:30 PM 08-16-2010
I also build my own. I love it. I used boxed for 2-3 months and hated it cause I was always finding more stuff I wanted to do. I have 50 themes right now. I plan on getting tubs and putting them in my basement for each month of the year with 4 themes per tub so I can put stuff like puppets, books, puzzles, etc relating to that theme in it.
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MarinaVanessa 12:53 PM 08-16-2010
Me too!! I love building my own themes and always find new ideas to add and it doesn't take much to plan. Once you have tons of activities you can just recycle them and modify them to work for each theme. I take a photo of the kids while they are doing the activity or of the finished product and put the picture in a word document and add a description of how to do the activity/craft, a materials list, the benefits (what they learn), notes etc. and print each out on a sheet of paper and then file them by theme. Each week I take out a file based on the theme I want to do and I already have the activities there and all I need to do is prepare the materials. Sooo easy.
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Abigail 04:30 PM 08-16-2010
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa:
Me too!! I love building my own themes and always find new ideas to add and it doesn't take much to plan. Once you have tons of activities you can just recycle them and modify them to work for each theme. I take a photo of the kids while they are doing the activity or of the finished product and put the picture in a word document and add a description of how to do the activity/craft, a materials list, the benefits (what they learn), notes etc. and print each out on a sheet of paper and then file them by theme. Each week I take out a file based on the theme I want to do and I already have the activities there and all I need to do is prepare the materials. Sooo easy.
Would you mind sharing how you organize your word document? That is what I plan to do. When I get back from work tonight I'm going to attempt my first theme and see how it goes. I'm going to type everything into a Word document, just not sure how I'll set it up. I do want to include what type of skill the activities requires on the upper right-hand corner though so I make sure to have a variety of art/crafts, songs/fingerplays, dance/large motor skills, etc. Can you attach a sample file or take a picture of what one of your pages looks like? Thanks
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MarinaVanessa 02:10 PM 08-17-2010
Originally Posted by Abigail:
Would you mind sharing how you organize your word document?
All I have is the word document itself but I'll copy and paste the general layout for you. Of course if someone does something similar and has more ideas I'd love to hear about them! I'm always looking for ways to improve my methods.

Here's an example of what one of mine looks like for the bird theme, it's pretty simple:

Dove Hand Activity

[Picture of the finished project]

Objectives:
1. To develop creativity
2. To develop small motor skills through painting, cutting, coloring and pasting.

Supplies:
Crayons
Paper
Glue
Paint
Feathers

Directions:
Have the children hold their four fingers together and stick their hands up and place their hands on the paper. Have each child trace his/her hands onto the paper with a crayon. Cut out both handprints and have them glue the two handprints together at the palms. Fold down the thumb for the head and have the children paint and decorate the shape as a dove or a pigeon.
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Abigail 09:28 PM 08-20-2010
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa:
All I have is the word document itself but I'll copy and paste the general layout for you. Of course if someone does something similar and has more ideas I'd love to hear about them! I'm always looking for ways to improve my methods.

Here's an example of what one of mine looks like for the bird theme, it's pretty simple:

Dove Hand Activity

[Picture of the finished project]

Objectives:
1. To develop creativity
2. To develop small motor skills through painting, cutting, coloring and pasting.

Supplies:
• Crayons
• Paper
• Glue
• Paint
• Feathers

Directions:
Have the children hold their four fingers together and stick their hands up and place their hands on the paper. Have each child trace his/her hands onto the paper with a crayon. Cut out both handprints and have them glue the two handprints together at the palms. Fold down the thumb for the head and have the children paint and decorate the shape as a dove or a pigeon.

That is very nice! I would add at the bottom three to five open-ended questions (title it REVIEW) you could ask the children when they're done. This is something we were required to do in our observation preschool and they had to be open-ended questions meaning the answer could NOT be YES or NO. Instead of "Is it white?" ask "What color is it?" etc. Sometimes it is hard to think of a few open-ended questions so I would recommend write a few down even if you don't use them. It would be perfect if you have someone helping with a project because they might not know what to say during the project.
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Abigail 12:19 PM 08-21-2010
Farm Animals

Hen (Chicken) Paper Craft



Materials:
Crayons
Scissors
Glue
Brass Paper Fasteners
Template

Directions:
Color and cut out the template pieces
Glue the feet, eyes, wattle, beak, comb, and wings to the body
Use brass paper fasteners to attach the wings to the body

Review:
Where do chickens live?
In a Chicken Coupe on a farm
How often does a chicken lay an egg?
In general, every 24 hours
How long does it take for an egg to hatch?
Usually around 21 days


This is my basic theme setup. I have the name of the Theme on the top....Farm Animals, just incase it gets left out of the folder. I took this specific project from http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/mpaperhen.htm

I kept the materials and directions list about the same, except chose to use brass paper fasteners so it isn't just solid paper. I printed off ONE template to keep behind this instruction sheet in a hanging file folder. I added the review questions myself making sure to keep them open-ended and took the time to answer the questions.

For each theme, I have a "References" sheet with the websites that I found the project from and the website where I found my questions/answers from if I ever need to go back. Any comments or ideas would be much appreciated!
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Lucy 03:27 PM 08-21-2010
These are all really neat ideas! I did a *sort of* curriculum four years ago when I had three 3-yr olds. Did it till they were all about 4 1/2 and one of them left, and I guess I felt they had learned all their numbers and abc's. I know there's always more to learn, but maybe I was burned out on it? Anyway, I now have three 2-yr olds and want to get back into it once they are 2 1/2 to 2 3/4. I used dltk before. Just went alphabetically as far as the abc's, and incorporated 2 craft activities that started with that letter. We did a letter a week with a number thrown in about every other week, and after every 5 or 6 letters, I did a review week. Not really a creative way to do it - no theme involved - but it did the trick. They all learned all their abc's and numbers! Their parents appreciated the crafts they would bring home and really appreciated the fact that they went to Kindergarten with a bit of a head start. Your ideas all sound really fun though. I might start getting this going. I have 6 or 7 months, as I want to start in the early Spring. Thanks for the ideas and keep them coming!!!
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Abigail 02:01 AM 08-22-2010
When I first started thinking about this last week, it was overwhelming. Now I think I will go the extra mile by keeping it simple. I'm going to just look at creative art projects that are hands-on and three-dimensional. Plain old paper can be used during table activities like coloring. I want to make actual crafts more interesting. I'm just going to find what awesome unique art projects I can find and start creating folders. Then, I will go back and add: songs with lyrics and titles and authors of related books. So, a theme will have to have a book, song, and art project. I will add other things into our learning experiences, but not necessarily "theme based". I'm not a teacher, but I can teach children a lot without each week entirely being surrounded by a specific theme. Good luck to anyone else who is creating a theme from scratch. A childcare provider's creativity is well worth a unique curriculum!
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Tags:art, creative, curriculum, music, scratch, themes
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