The basis of most learning is
language and it is an integral part of all of our curriculum. We model language, for the children through
conversations, directed group activities and singing. The children are also supported
emotionally by being encouraged to “use their words” to express feelings and to solve problems.
Cognitive Math and Science
The conceptualizing of mathematical
learning is going on constantly through the children’s interactions at the
center. The children are surrounded by materials that invite them to think and
remember color, shape, design and number. As they play, they learn about matching, classifying, seriation and
counting. Mathematical concepts are integrated into
every area of the program.
Science is the on-going process of
discovery, observation, experimentation and understanding. Children are natural
scientists as they interact with all aspects of the program. The COC campus provides a lovely environment
for observing seasonal change, as well as the studying the life cycle of the butterflies. Other activities include: experimenting with what can float and sink, observing
changes in substances as we cook together, and caring for classroom plants and
Art activities include motor
perceptual skills, discovery and sensory experiences, and encourage language and socialization. Most
important, children are encouraged to be
creative, to use their imagination and express their individuality. We
emphasize the importance of what happens during the creative process rather
than emphasizing the product. The art
done at the center is the child’s unique effort; there are no models to follow
or teacher work added. Each experience
is designed to be a success for the child at his/her own level of development.
* Note: One of the limitations we have as adults is
that we like to see the tangible evidence of our child’s creative
experiences. Many times those
experiences cannot be carried home. The
child who spent time building wonderful creative things in the block corner is
meeting his/her creative inventive needs. The child stirring and swirling and pouring at the water table or in the
sandbox was dreaming and discovering and meeting his/her creative needs that
Music & Movement
Music and movement are vital parts
of the daily routine at the center. We
sing “good morning,” “good bye,” “its clean-up time.” We sing about concepts like color and numbers.
We sing about feelings.
Music and movement activities are
planned to involve the children as they: respond physically to different
rhythms; sing, play instruments, express themselves creatively; follow
directions and listen quietly. The activities encourage using motor perceptual
skills: eye hand coordination, laterality, ocular tracking, spatial
relationships, balance and locomotor skills.
The foods children eat affect their
growth, development, ability to learn and general behavior. Including the children in cooking and snack
preparation not only provides a healthy
nutritional experience, it also provides other learning opportunities. Practical math concepts are applied as the
children measure, mix and pour. Cooking involves scientific investigation and discovery. Socializing, sharing food and eating together
is a common cultural exchange and reinforces appropriate social behavior.
The center observes good nutrition by
using a minimum of sugar, white flour,
salt and virtually no processed ingredients in the preparation of snacks.
Teaching Children to Value Diversity
Valuing diversity is an important
part of the center. We integrate
differences and similarities among people into regular daily activities. This includes incorporating holidays,
language, traditions, foods, family lifestyles that are important to the
families in our school into our curriculum. We encourage families to share their customs and traditions. We
recognize alternative, extended, and
nuclear families from a variety of cultures and economic backgrounds. We
encourage children to talk constructively and without embarrassment about the
differences they notice between people (race, sex, handicap).