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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 02-10-2011, 12:35 PM
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Default Montessori Method Or Curriculum

so anyways, I'm wondering which method do you use. I think of offering the montessori method more than cirriculum, I'm finding that even thou the kids will do cirriculum its the simple stuff that they can't do. Like everyday thinking stuff.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:37 PM
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so anyways, I'm wondering which method do you use. I think of offering the montessori method more than cirriculum, I'm finding that even thou the kids will do cirriculum its the simple stuff that they can't do. Like everyday thinking stuff.
I'm going with the 'Melskids' method! LOL!!


(....although, I am interested in learning more about the Montessori approach IF I can add the pretend play into it.)
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:40 PM
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I'm going with the 'Melskids' method! LOL!!


(....although, I am interested in learning more about the Montessori approach IF I can add the pretend play into it.)
After checking out the tot trays, It gave me lots of ideas.

I have tons of creative/imaginitive play toys, but I really like getting the other things in there.

I remember how exciting it was when my 8 mth old daughter could put a straw back into the hole of a subway cup! And i was so thankful when my sister video taped it for me (because I wasn't there). But something like that is very difficult for lo's to figure out, AND succeed.

I've decided to get together some things and although I will not make "trays" I will make boxes of things so they are easy to store.

Whoever posted that link in the other thread, I think it's great!
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:50 PM
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I'm going with the 'Melskids' method! LOL!!


(....although, I am interested in learning more about the Montessori approach IF I can add the pretend play into it.)
i have a "method"! i feel special now!!! LOL

you will get alot of good ideas if you google montessori, or reggio emilia. both approaches are different, but i take what i like from each and "smoosh" them together. you can google emergent curriculum too.

i love the creative curriculum (you can get it on amazon)

and the book "reflecting childrens lives: a handbook for planning child centered curriculum" by deb curtis is another good one.

and to be honest, i have THIS forum to thank. i came here with questions, and another member here said something that lit a spark under me and i have been hooked ever since. i can NEVER go back to a formal curriculum.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:12 PM
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Would the tray method be given as a table activity along with art supplies that are left out (pencils, paper, and crayons really) and puzzles?
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:28 AM
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this is what i do.....

i have what i call "blue table toys". i have an area set up with (what happens to be) a blue table. the shelves have fine motor, manipulatives, math/science, puzzles, and alphabet games. this is where i put the tot trays. the kids know anything they take off the shelf gets played with only at the blue table, and put away before they choose anything else. there is alot of materials, so i do rotate them frequently.

the writing area (desk) is stocked with paper of different sizes/types, envelopes, pencils, crayons, markers, letter stamps, glue sticks and scissors, lap size dry erase boards, sand paper letters, and letter stencils.

the cozy corner is also the libary/book area, and has headphones w/ cd players for listening to books on tap/cd.

dramatic play is set up like a home, but changes with topics, like Dr.s office, grocery store, a bear cave, etc. there are menus, clipboards w/ paper too. and dress up clothes.

the block area has a couple of different types of blocks, and baskets of people, cars, trains, animals, and other props. there are clipboards there too, so they can "design" their buildings first. sometimes i even have an old digital camera there so the kids can take pictures of what they build and post them on the wall (i'm also still looking for old blueprints to add there too.)

the sand table is always available, and has tools to measure, scoop and pour, and letter/number sand molds.

the art area (which is my favorite place) has two shelves stocked full of art supplies. i do rotate some stuff, cause i just have sooo much. currently there are stickers, stamp pads and heart stamps, dot markers, watercolors, a box of wood srcaps, and playdough. there are different types of paper, foam and cardboard, crayons, markers, glue, scissors, those fancy scissors, hole punchers, yarn and ribbon. the art easel is always available. there is paint on one side, and chalk on the other.

everything is down on their level and available for them to choose what they want to do. many of you may think how messy and chaotic it must be, but its really not. they are taught early on, to choose one thing at a time and pick up before they move on to the next activity. so if they have playdough out, and want to move over to the sand table, the playdough must be picked up, put away in the right spot,AND the table must be wiped clean for the next child. just because i follow the childs lead, it doesn't mean they can run wild and tear my home apart. that's not really what "child centered" means. (to me anyway)

i have an 18 month old who is tearing through shelves like nobody's business. but i take the time to work with him and teach him the proper way to play, and clean up. its more work now, but by age 2, they have it down pat. and to me that is part of the "curriculum".

everything is labeled with the word and a picture, so the kiddos know where everything goes. it does make cleanup much easier. there is a limit too, of how many kiddos can be in one area at a time.

and occasionally we do make premade "cookie cutter" crafts. there is always something so adorable about handprint ladybugs, or turkeys, or snowmen. and the parents DO like to see these things as well. but they are offered in addition to the open area of art supplies.

letters/shapes/colors/numbers are everywhere, and we learn them through everything we do. it all comes very naturally and organically. we talk about shapes and numbers when we build. We count out forks and plates when we set the table. they learn letters when they sign themselves in every morning and check the job/helper chart. i dont need to sit in a circle and drill flashcards in their heads to teach them. (JMO-please dont anyone take offense) i'd rather take the time to see a child master a real life skill, then to see how much info i can cram into their head. and the funny thing is, they all leave more then ready for kindy. i'm all about early childhood education, just not in a hurry up, gotta make them smarter then the next kid kinda way.

i wish i could post pics to show you my set up, but i have a dinosaur of a computer, and dial upit takes HOURS just to get one pic up...maybe i'll try it this weekend.
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:38 AM
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Melskids - I have a somewhat similar set up but would like to do more. I would love to see pics so hopefully you can get them up. I've thought about limiting the amount of kids to a center but wasn't sure if my two year olds would understand. What do you for limiting?
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by WImom View Post
Melskids - I have a somewhat similar set up but would like to do more. I would love to see pics so hopefully you can get them up. I've thought about limiting the amount of kids to a center but wasn't sure if my two year olds would understand. What do you for limiting?
well, the sand table is only big enough for one, and so is the art easel. the art table can hold two. now, this is the same table we use to eat, and can seat six, but when they spread out with art supplies, it really only has room for two at a time. the writing desk and cozy corner is also one at a time. the blue table (for table toys/manipulatives) can hold two. dramatic play and blocks can hold 2-3 at a time, but sometimes that gets a little hectic, and i only allow 2, or even 1, if they are not working together nicely.

so there are techincally 12 or so "spots", but there are only 5 kids here daily, (1 infant, 18 months, 2- 2yr olds, 1- 4 yr old) and 8 when the SA are here. ( the SA are allowed to take their toys into the living room to play, so the little kids dont bother them) so there is always enough room for them to spread out. (and my area isn't really all that big either!!!) but it works well. i'm sure it wouldnt always be so easy if i had 10 or 12 kids here all the time, and thats actually the reason i dont want to expand. i like the small group size.

and again, alot of time is spent teaching them how to take turns, play properly, and cleanup. i do alot of redirection and prompting. they are still choosing, i'm just helping it along sometimes. the 2 yr olds and up have it down pat. the 18 month old is still learning, but i keep him close under my wing. i do have a small area just for the 2 and under crowd, so he plays there alot, and when he's REALLY in the mood to seek and destroy, i gate that area in. he can dump HIS shelves until his heart is content. (but i haven't had to do that in weeks now.) when he gets into wanting to disrupt the block builders, i just block that area off so he can't get in and ruin their building. and he is too little to be set free in the art area, so he can't go in there without me.

some people use charts and name tags so the kids know how many can be in one area at a time. which would work, i'm sure. but to me, and this is JMO, that seems too much like school, or a classroom. i really strive to keep my home cozy. (and i dont call them "centers". they are "areas". again, JMO, but it just sounds less institutional to me)

OMG! i've never posted so much in my life as i have in these last two days!!! but curriculum for HOME daycare is something i'm pretty passionate about
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by melskids View Post
this is what i do.....

i have what i call "blue table toys". i have an area set up with (what happens to be) a blue table. the shelves have fine motor, manipulatives, math/science, puzzles, and alphabet games. this is where i put the tot trays. the kids know anything they take off the shelf gets played with only at the blue table, and put away before they choose anything else. there is alot of materials, so i do rotate them frequently.

the writing area (desk) is stocked with paper of different sizes/types, envelopes, pencils, crayons, markers, letter stamps, glue sticks and scissors, lap size dry erase boards, sand paper letters, and letter stencils.

the cozy corner is also the libary/book area, and has headphones w/ cd players for listening to books on tap/cd.

dramatic play is set up like a home, but changes with topics, like Dr.s office, grocery store, a bear cave, etc. there are menus, clipboards w/ paper too. and dress up clothes.

the block area has a couple of different types of blocks, and baskets of people, cars, trains, animals, and other props. there are clipboards there too, so they can "design" their buildings first. sometimes i even have an old digital camera there so the kids can take pictures of what they build and post them on the wall (i'm also still looking for old blueprints to add there too.)

the sand table is always available, and has tools to measure, scoop and pour, and letter/number sand molds.

the art area (which is my favorite place) has two shelves stocked full of art supplies. i do rotate some stuff, cause i just have sooo much. currently there are stickers, stamp pads and heart stamps, dot markers, watercolors, a box of wood srcaps, and playdough. there are different types of paper, foam and cardboard, crayons, markers, glue, scissors, those fancy scissors, hole punchers, yarn and ribbon. the art easel is always available. there is paint on one side, and chalk on the other.

everything is down on their level and available for them to choose what they want to do. many of you may think how messy and chaotic it must be, but its really not. they are taught early on, to choose one thing at a time and pick up before they move on to the next activity. so if they have playdough out, and want to move over to the sand table, the playdough must be picked up, put away in the right spot,AND the table must be wiped clean for the next child. just because i follow the childs lead, it doesn't mean they can run wild and tear my home apart. that's not really what "child centered" means. (to me anyway)

i have an 18 month old who is tearing through shelves like nobody's business. but i take the time to work with him and teach him the proper way to play, and clean up. its more work now, but by age 2, they have it down pat. and to me that is part of the "curriculum".

everything is labeled with the word and a picture, so the kiddos know where everything goes. it does make cleanup much easier. there is a limit too, of how many kiddos can be in one area at a time.

and occasionally we do make premade "cookie cutter" crafts. there is always something so adorable about handprint ladybugs, or turkeys, or snowmen. and the parents DO like to see these things as well. but they are offered in addition to the open area of art supplies.

letters/shapes/colors/numbers are everywhere, and we learn them through everything we do. it all comes very naturally and organically. we talk about shapes and numbers when we build. We count out forks and plates when we set the table. they learn letters when they sign themselves in every morning and check the job/helper chart. i dont need to sit in a circle and drill flashcards in their heads to teach them. (JMO-please dont anyone take offense) i'd rather take the time to see a child master a real life skill, then to see how much info i can cram into their head. and the funny thing is, they all leave more then ready for kindy. i'm all about early childhood education, just not in a hurry up, gotta make them smarter then the next kid kinda way.

i wish i could post pics to show you my set up, but i have a dinosaur of a computer, and dial upit takes HOURS just to get one pic up...maybe i'll try it this weekend.
This is my end goal...to a T!! I've been open a little over a year and do use a curriculum (MGT) but much prefer the open endedness of free art and other activities that encourage their creativity. I would love to switch between now and September and have a setup that is more like this and drop the pre-packaged curriculum.

My problem is space and how to best set it up. I so hope you can get pictures up of your setup because I would love to see how you have it all organized. I have 2 Ikea round tables and a cool cubby shelve in my kitchen/dining area that could work for art supplies or tot trays but would love to see how you have it all set up.

I'd also of course have to start really working with the kids on choosing an activity and cleaning up that activity before moving on to the next.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:59 AM
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i'm trying with the pics, but like i said, i'm not really into the 21 century yet with equipement or understanding...lol

basically, my DC room is 13x20. everything in there is set up all the time. (dramatic play, blocks, the infant/toddler area, writing desk, the "blue table" toys, and the cozy area. i also have a small shelf set up w/ music instruments kind of in the dramatic play area. (i had no where else to put it).

the art shelves, easel, table, and sand table are in my dining room, (no carpet) which is almost fully open from the DC room, kitchen, and living room. (so i can always see whats going on, no matter where i am)

on friday nights everything in the dining room that is even REMOTELY related to DC is pushed back into the DC room. that way, i can have this side of my house back, at least for the weekend.

the art shelves are cheap walmart bookcases, that my hubby put wheels on the bottom, so i can easily wheel them around.

all of the school agers toys are in two rolling rubbermaid carts that get pushed into my living room during the day, and hidden in my sons room at night. (one draw is tiny toy type things, one is tiny legos, polly pockets, that sort of thing) they play with that stuff there, so the littles dont get into it, but they are also more then welcome to play in all the other areas.

the DC room, which was originally like a den, had these cool built in bookcases with doors. great for storing everything. ALOT gets rotated. i also have a good size closet (in another room, but it works) full of stuff. everything is on shelves in there or rubbermaid tubs that are labeled.

ok, now to figure out the pics....lol
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:43 AM
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Mel I love the way your DC sounds! Just curious what age groups do you have? I have two rooms that I will be using exclusively for day care and have been contemplating making the second room a more infant area and quiet sleep area. Is your "blue" table the small or large one, I actually just found a small square folding table at target for just 30 dollars, it comes with 4 "pinchless" folding chairs that I thougt would be great for an activity center.
\
and BTW you should write all of this stuff down and make it into a book for family day care providers, seriously, great ideas! Thank you
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:51 AM
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oo I just went back and actually read your age groups, I skipped that
But yes I would love to see pics too! Swith to optimum or something! lol
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:10 PM
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oo I just went back and actually read your age groups, I skipped that
But yes I would love to see pics too! Swith to optimum or something! lol
LOL i'm on a mountaintop with no cable, and i am to cheap to pay for sattelite (sp) so i'm trying to live with dial up. i just noticed you are in NY too!!!
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:14 PM
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LOL i'm on a mountaintop with no cable, and i am to cheap to pay for sattelite (sp) so i'm trying to live with dial up. i just noticed you are in NY too!!!
smartphone? to take pix and upload to a site? I am a newbie when it comes to technology and just got away from dial up last year. I was also too cheap to pay for satellite and am just now being schooled in high tech things...
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:50 PM
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smartphone? to take pix and upload to a site? I am a newbie when it comes to technology and just got away from dial up last year. I was also too cheap to pay for satellite and am just now being schooled in high tech things...
smartphone?!?!?! are you kidding me!?!?!?!? my cell phone is one of those shoebox size ones from the 80's, that only makes phonecalls, and i can barely figure that out j/k
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:53 PM
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smartphone?!?!?! are you kidding me!?!?!?!? my cell phone is one of those shoebox size ones from the 80's, that only makes phonecalls, and i can barely figure that out j/k
You're hilarious!!

Reminds me of a friend I had a few years back when cell phones first came out...he couldn't afford one so he used the receiver end of his home phone (the spirally cord still attached) and would drive around town holding it to his ear so he could look as cool as others!! The spirally cord was just dangling down by his lap but no one could see..... He was such a dork!!
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:57 PM
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omg! i just choked on my soda!!!
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:38 AM
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Check out my blog www.everydayonpurpose.blogspot.com
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