HELP! Approved Curriculum

I'm creating a new training for folks in Michigan, as we are going through a Quality Improvement Program. One of the "point" areas in the assessment includes using one state approved curriculum. 


The list of approved curriculum is currently as follows:

Bank Street
Creative Curriculum (PreSchool)
Creative Curriculum (Infant and Toddler)
Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care
High Scope (PreSchool)
High Scope (Infant and Toddler)
Jackson Early Head Start Curriculum Guide
Parents as Teachers
Project Approach
Thematic Approach from MSU (Mississippi State University)
Montessori
Partners for a Healthy Baby
Reggio Emilia
Tools of the Mind

I would love to share insight from folks who are actively using one of these curriculum in your center/program/home. OF course I will give you credit and send folks to find out more from your websites/blogs (if you have one). I intend to make this training session available online for those looking to make a change in order to meet a higher quality rating on the scale. IF you are interested in being interviewed for this project, please email me at amyahola@hotmail.com

Comments

Anonymous said…
We use Creative Curriculum in our preschool program, along with a few other curriculums (Letter People and Every Day Math) I’m sure it goes without saying, but I think it’s all about balancing any program with other programs and ideas. We mostly use the program for a guideline in areas such as room arrangement and lesson planning. I am currently redesigning my science area around a watered down version of this curriculum. The idea is the children pick a topic, or you select a topic based on what you have seen the children show an interest in. You continue with the topic until a new one sparks their interest. One example was you notice the children are very interested in the playground balls. You do your overall theme around balls. Then you notice they are becoming more interested in building ramps for the balls. New topic! Creative Curriculum does have some nice resources available (for purchase).

Honestly I have only looked at the others you mention in classes and research. As I understand it, Bank Street and Project Approach are along the same lines of focusing on one topic and all aspects of that topic until the children change focus. I visited a Montessori school before over the course of a week, and love to pull some of their fine motor and center activities into my classroom. We work on small group activities mostly, but I look to Montessori for ideas about activities preschoolers can do alone and independently.

Good luck!
My experience with Creative Curriculum preschool is short, but I personally did not like the subject areas. It was great for assessment and some ideas. I found that it did not give you the materials you would need for each lesson and in a small town they were hard to come by. I also did not think the books they supplied were age appropriate.
Tom Bedard said…
Amy, check out the Minnesota Reggio Network newsletter. There is a teacher profile in that newsletter which explains one teacher's journey in understanding the Reggio Emilia approach. It is an approach to EC not a curriculum. Here is the link: http://www.mnreggio.org/?page_id=10
jwg said…
Am I the only one who finds it sad that all these so called Quality Improvement programs insist the providers, be they centers or homes, base their curriculum on somebody else's ideas? Whatever happened to the concept that good curriculum is based on the kids before you at the time and everything, from goals to activities to routines is based on that? Sure, it's nice to have a framework and a general idea of the kinds of things kids probably need to know by the time they hit school but beyond that I wouldn't want to know in October what we will be doing in June. In addition, many of the curricula you mentioned require a tremendous amount of documentation and documentation carried to extreme takes time that could be better spent with kids. I've been in the field for close to 40 years and while I recognize the need for more recognition of what we do I am disturbed by the whole institutionalization of the field. The downward spiral seems to have started as Universal Pre-K grew and I am pessimistic about it getting any better.

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