Early Childhood Education Handbook

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1 Early Childhood Education Handbook

2 Maple Bear Early Childhood Program Learning for Life In a Child-Centred, Safe and Caring Environment Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfill their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future opportunities. Maple Bear sets high standards to ensure children s readiness for elementary school. Maple Bear gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provides the right foundation for good progress through school and life. Maple Bear is founded upon many elements of program design and implementation which ensure high standards: The Maple Bear Early Childhood Program is modeled upon current Canadian early childhood practice. Integration of subjects in thematic ways provides a rich and stimulating programme that encourages The program is designed to educate the whole child - physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. creativity, imagination and self-expression. Our basic language of instruction is English in all countries. Where English is the second language, we follow the highly successful Canadian Immersion model of language learning. Instruction in children s primary language as well as other languages is provided as needed. Maple Bear is a secure environment where risk-taking is encouraged and where the children see themselves as capable and competent learners. Diverse learning styles and stages of development are respected at all times. Maple Bear is an exciting place where children develop a positive self-image and are encouraged to be true to themselves and to their heritage. A priority of the child-centred program at Maple Bear is Language Arts. Language Arts involves the areas of listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and representing. Children will be taught how to listen carefully and speak fluently. They will learn how to read and will also develop a love of reading which is a skill for life. Reading is an enabler that opens the door to all learning. Your child will, in this way, gain confidence and acquire the skills required to become a life-long learner. Writing is a process that is on a developmental continuum from the early stages of simply scribbling to being able to write complex sentences and express ideas. Children will be carefully guided and encouraged to make progress along this continuum. Viewing and representing means learning the techniques and conventions of visual language to become more conscious, critical, and appreciative readers of visual media, and ultimately become more effective creators of visual products. In Mathematics, the Maple Bear program provides children with many opportunities to develop and strengthen their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, and calculating simple addition and subtraction problems. Children will explore and learn about shape, space, measurement, patterning, and data management. The Maple Bear Science program has been designed to take into consideration the developmental stages of pre-school children. At this young age children require many experiences that are essential for enquirybased learning. In Social Studies, children will be guided to make sense of the world around them and their community through opportunities to explore, observe, and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. All staff at Maple Bear is trained annually by highly qualified and experienced Canadian Educators. Experts sent from Canada conduct an annual Quality Assurance Inspection. This review is comprehensive, including inspection of the school building, operations, and implementation of the educational program. MapleBear - Early Childhood Education Handbook Page 1

3 There are three fundamental aspects of the Maple Bear approach to Early Childhood Education and they are: I. Incorporating eight developmental areas into curriculum and daily plans. II. Identifying and striving to achieve the learning outcomes by the end of Kindergarten. III. Assessing and reporting achievement. I. Incorporating the Eight Developmental Areas into Curriculum There are eight developmental areas that are fundamental to our early childhood programs and are addressed every day through careful, intentional planning by Maple Bear teachers and well-designed Canadian programs. Early Years learners in our schools will be given hundreds of meaningful experiences that will allow them to draw conclusions and practice variations of them. 1. Social and Emotional Development At this age, healthy social and emotional development of a child is extremely important. Children will work on developing many positive behaviour traits such as sharing, caring, empathy, turn taking, respect and responsibility. Children need loving relationships and loving interactions with the adults around them. Children who receive warm and positive reactions from adults learn that they are valued. In that safe and secure environment they feel free to explore, experiment, and communicate. They can thrive. They will develop cognitively, physically and socially. Children also like relating to other children. It is common for a child to indicate a desire to play with another child or an adult by offering an object. Every interaction with children is a social interaction. Social lessons are learned by example. Maple Bear teachers model desired social behaviour throughout the day. MapleBear - Early Childhood Education Handbook Page 2

4 2. Language and Early Literacy Development Understanding (receptive language) is a very different process from speaking (expressive language). Understanding develops earlier than speech. When dealing with Early Years children all activities are language-based activities. Children learn language naturally by hearing it used in context. They learn to talk by being talked to and listened to. When children try to express themselves, we do not correct the mistakes in grammar or pronunciation. Instead, we repeat the word or phrase correctly as a natural part of the conversation. Children develop pre-reading skills when teachers: Give children lots to talk about and opportunities to express themselves Tell them little stories Expose them to pictures Read to them from picture books Allow them to handle books Communicate the attitude that reading books is fun Provide lots of opportunities to learn about their world and to talk about it. Learning to love reading starts at a very young age. Children can learn that reading a book with an adult is a very pleasurable experience. Children at this age are encouraged and given many opportunities to experiment with the beginning stages of reading by handling and interacting with books. 3. Fine Motor Development Fine motor development relates to the growing ability to use the small muscles of the hands in a coordinated way. Note: we cannot teach children to acquire fine motor skills. What we can do is provide many opportunities to develop those skills while they have fun and figure it out for themselves. Maple Bear teachers create many positive opportunities for children to practice and experiment with objects in many different ways within the day. 4. Gross Motor Development This refers to the development of the large muscles of the body (arms, legs, and trunk). Again, you cannot teach a child to walk, run or move in a certain way before they are ready. At school, children will be encouraged to run, jump, climb, crawl, walk up, walk down, push, thrust, throw, pull, balance, ride, dance, move, and stretch in a safe, interesting, supervised and clean environment. MapleBear - Early Childhood Education Handbook Page 3

5 5. Cognitive Development Cognitive development refers to thinking skills. These allow the child to figure out how the world works and how things are organized. It is said that Early Years learners are like little scientists who engage in endless experimentation, make things happen, and find out about the physical properties of things around them. This will lead in later years to an ability to solve problems and to engage in more abstract thinking. Maple Bear teachers nurture cognitive development in Early Years children through: a) Sensory exploration Early Years learners need to use their senses to find out about the world seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling. Children will be given many safe opportunities to experience and use these senses. b) Cause and effect Early Years learners will begin to learn that they can make things happen throughout their school day. If I do this... then that happens. It starts as a random activity but soon becomes goal-oriented. c) Using tools Early Years learners will have chances to use simple tools such as hammers, ramps, and switches. d) Object permanence Early Years learners will be guided to learn that even when they cannot see a person or an object, it continues to exist. e) Size, shape and space Early Years learners will begin to develop notions of size, shape and distance through puzzles, games and activities that will develop these early foundations of future mathematical concepts. f) Using symbols Early Years learners will learn that a toy car can represent the family car and that pictures can represent people. Simple math symbols such as +, -, = will be introduced and taught through stories, games, and activities. Children will begin graphing meaningful data and learn that it gives them important information. g) Math concepts Early Years learners will be given many opportunities to count and explore concepts of more and less. There will be time to practice pouring liquids and experimenting with sand tables. h) Concept of time Soon, later, yesterday, today, after, and before will be learned by daily practice and repetition. MapleBear - Early Childhood Education Handbook Page 4

6 6. Arts and Creativity Development Early Years learners will be given Art activities that are developmentally appropriate to repeat and can be summarized this way: Painting Modeling with clay and play dough Learning to weave using a variety of materials Drawing with crayons, pencils, chalk, and markers Learning about and appreciating the different forms of Art and artists through books, movies, and DVDs Experimenting with finger paint Using glue sticks and paste Creating designs and patterns with sponges dipped in paint We believe that Art activities are important for many reasons as they can make children feel valued for their creations, give them the chance to combine elements to create a product, give them a chance to explore space and direction, and give children the opportunity to develop fine muscle control. 7. Dramatic Play Development Early Years learners love to pretend or make believe. Dramatic play is really important in Early Years child development. That is how they learn to make sense of the world around them and is important to cognitive development. Opportunities will be given for dramatic play as it fosters: Emotional development - Children will learn the roles of powerful people in their lives such as parents, doctors, and teachers. Social interaction - Children must work together to engage in dramatic play with others. Language development - Children will willingly practice language and communicate freely when playing roles. 8. Music and Movement Development Children love music and singing. They also learn the sounds, vocabulary, intonation and rhythm of a language through music. In Maple Bear, we promote this development by singing songs that are fun, engaging and involve movement. We believe that it is an outstanding way for children to internalize the sounds, rhythm and intonation of English. Music is an excellent way to teach children about a culture. MapleBear - Early Childhood Education Handbook Page 5

7 ll. IDENTIFYING AND WORKING TOWARD KINDERGARTEN LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of Kindergarten we strive to achieve the following overall learning outcomes with all our Early Years learners in the following subject areas: Literacy Communicate effectively by listening and speaking. Demonstrate understanding of a variety of written materials that are read to them (e.g. stories, poems, non-fiction material). Have a good understanding of alphabet symbols. Make sense of simple written materials that are appropriate for beginners. Use phonic strategies to approach unfamiliar words in texts. Use approximate spelling and spelling strategies to express ideas in writing journals and simple text. Communicate thoughts and feelings using writing strategies that are appropriate for beginners. Use and respond to media (e.g. computer programs, DVDs, CDs). Communication and Language Development Listen attentively in a range of situations. Listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events, and responding with relevant comments, questions or actions. Accurately use past, present and future forms when talking about events or experiences. Express themselves effectively showing awareness of listeners needs. Develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events. Follow instructions involving several ideas and actions. MapleBear - Early Childhood Education Handbook Page 6

8 Mathematics Count forward and backward to 10 using one-to-one correspondence. Represent and describe numbers to 50. Calculate simple addition and subtraction to solve problems Identify, create and extend patterns using one or more attributes. Describe, sort, classify, and compare shapes and figures. Demonstrate awareness of graphing: the function and construction. Use simple problem solving skills. Orally compare and quantify sets of objects and describe the relationship between them. Use mathematical language e.g. all together now, how many are left, more than, greater than and is equal to. Science and Technology Demonstrate curiosity and a willingness to explore and experiment. Demonstrate an understanding of and care for the natural world. Demonstrate an awareness of characteristics and functions of some common materials, e.g. paper, water, sand. Identify patterns and cycles in nature using their own observations, e.g. sprouting of seeds, opening of buds, falling leaves, life-cycle of butterfly. Work with others in using technology, e.g. share tools, build as a group, and work in pairs at the computer. Demonstrate awareness that familiar objects are designed to suit the human body, e.g. mittens, gloves and tricycles. MapleBear - Early Childhood Education Handbook Page 7

9 Understanding the World Demonstrate an understanding of the things that make them unique, and can talk about some of the similarities and differences between themselves and others. Learn about family customs and routines and willingly share them. Talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. Demonstrate an understanding and sensitivity to the similarities and differences between themselves and others, among families, communities and traditions. Demonstrate an understanding of the similarities and differences in their lives in relation to places, objects, materials, and living things. Ability to make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes. Music and Art Identify feelings evoked by art forms, e.g. happiness after listening to a song, sadness when looking at a picture. Move and respond to the rhythm and mood of music, e.g. fast, slow, dreamy and exciting. Show an appreciation of art works, folk songs and dances in their own and other countries. Identify colour, shape, and size of objects. Use a variety of media to express ideas. Co-operate and collaborate with others on artistic projects. Communicate their responses to music, art, drama and dance. Express pride in their work. MapleBear - Early Childhood Education Handbook Page 8

10 Physical Skills Develop coordination, control and movement. Learn to use different kinds of equipment safely and with ease, e.g. riding toys, balls, hoops and the outdoor climbing structure. Develop balance and flexibility of movement, e.g. running, hopping, jumping and climbing. Demonstrate an awareness of health and safety rules. Begin to develop the ability to share possessions and take turns. Co-operate with others during games and activities. Develop an understanding of the importance of physical activity. Learn about making healthy choices in relation to food. Social and Emotional Well-Being Demonstrate independence and a willingness to take responsibility for their own learning and other activities. Recognize and respect similarities and differences between cultures. Develop a positive sense of self and of others. Develop confidence in their own abilities. Learn how to express their feelings in a socially acceptable manner. Show respect and a caring attitude for self and others. MapleBear - Early Childhood Education Handbook Page 9

11 lll. ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING ACHIEVEMENT The purpose of Assessment is for the teacher to gather information about what a student knows, is able to do, and is learning. Assessment is a continuous process that is an integral part of the instruction of the child. To be effective, assessment should be focused on the student s strengths and should provide information regarding their development over a period of time. In our early childhood classrooms, assessment is informal and takes the form of anecdotal records and daily written observations of the student s performance. Portfolios are also part of the assessment procedure. These are collections of the student s work that exhibit their efforts, progress and achievements. The purpose of a portfolio is to show skill development over time. Teachers and students select samples of work that are shared with parents during the school year. Parent / Teacher Conferences are arranged to provide opportunities for parents and teachers to discuss the student s progress, strengths, and areas of concern. This is done a few times throughout the school year. Report cards are also completed at different times throughout the school year and shared with parents. Parents are encouraged to talk to teachers at any time throughout the year regarding learning, development and areas for growth. MapleBear - Early Childhood Education Handbook Page 10

12 Early Childhood Education Handbook Copyright Maple Bear Global Schools Ltd.

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