SCRC Educational Philosophy
The curriculum at Stanton Child Resource Center includes both structured and unstructured activities. Throughout the day, children engage in self-selected activities in the various learning centers of the room. Children also participate in teacher facilitated group activities. Each day is designed to follow a predictable routine to foster security in the children. Children are encouraged to plan what they will do during the self-selected activity times.
Art is an important part of our curriculum. Every day, children find a variety of art materials available on our shelves. Drawing, painting, cutting, pasting, and playing with playdough are not only enjoyable but also provide important opportunities for learning. Children express original ideas and feelings, improve their coordination, develop small muscle skills, learn to recognize colors and textures, and develop creativity and pride in their accomplishments by exploring and using materials.
Music & Movement
We do a lot of singing and creative movement in our program. Singing and moving to music give children a chance to move freely, practice new skills, and feel good about what their bodies can do. The children love our daily time for singing together, and it helps them develop the ability to cooperate in a group.
Blocks, the hard wood units that come in proportional sizes and shapes, are one of the most valuable learning materials in our classroom. When they build with blocks, children learn about sizes and shapes, spatial relationships, math concepts, and problem solving. When children lift, shove, stack, and move blocks, they learn about weight and size. Each time they use blocks, they are making decisions about hot to build a structure or solve a construction problem.
Although you're probably used to your children splashing in the bathtub and digging in a sandbox at the playground, you may be surprised to know that the sand and water area is an important part of our classroom. This is because sand and water aren't just fun - they're also a natural setting for learning. When children pour water into measuring cups, they gain a foundation for mathematical thinking. When they drop corks, stones, feathers, and marbles into a tub of water, they observe scientifically which objects float and which sink. When they comb sand into patterns, they learn about both math and art.
The library area is an essential part of our progran and of your child's life. It's where children gain the foundations of reading and writing. It's also a place where children can relax and enjoy the wonderful world of children's literature. We encourage children to use the library on their own. We invite them to look at books, to listen to taped stories, and to scribble and "write" throughout the day. We also work with children one-on-one and in small groups. Every day we read stories to the children. We read books to introduce new ideas, to develop pre-reading skills, to help children deal with problems, and mostly to develop a love of books.
The house area is a very important part of our classroom. The work children do in the house area is called dramatic play or pretend play. In the house corner children take on a role and recreate real-life experiences. They use props and make-believe about a wide variety of topics. The ability to pretend is very important to children's later academic success in school. When children pretend, they have to recall experiences they've had and re-create them. To do this, they have to be able to picture their experiences in their minds. For example, to play the role of a doctor, children have to remember what tools a doctor uses, how a doctor examines a patient, and what a doctor says. In playing the role of a doctor, children have to be able to cooperate with other children and defend their own ideas.
Table toys include puzzles, various table blocks, and other small construction materials such as Legos, Ring-a-Majigs, and collections of objects (including shells, bottle caps, and buttons). When children use table toys, they learn many new skills and concepts, including: sorting and classifying things according to their own categories; judging distance, direction, right and left, up and down; and describing what they are thinking and doing.
Outdoor play is an important part of our curriculum. When the children are outdoors, they like to run, jump, climb, and use all the large muscles in their bodies. They need space to work out and let off steam. They can race around, breath the fresh air, look at the clouds, or catch a ball or a bug. They not only satisfy their physical need for large muscle activity but also develop a sense of wonder about the miracles that take place in nature. When we take the children outdoors at SCRC, we talk about the things we can see, hear, touch, and fell so that the children become aware of changes in the weather and the seasons, the growth of plants, and animals. We help the children notice changes by asking them what is different about the trees, the caterpillars, or the sky.