Our teachers teach children based on their interests at the time. By allowing the children to choose what they want to learn, it empowers and engages them even more by giving them ownership in what they are learning. An example would be: if a teacher wants to teach dinosaurs, but the children are interested in transportation instead, the children are not going to get as much out of a unit on dinosaurs. The children learn alongside their teacher about that unit. The unit doesn’t have to end on a Friday because it’s the end of the week. A unit can go as long as the interest is there. Lessons can go for weeks if they children continue with their interest. This allows more in depth learning to happen.
The teachers line up the unit idea from the children’s interest with the SC Early Learning Standards.
“South Carolina’s Early Learning Standards (referred to as SC-ELS), serves as the shared vision for the education of South Carolina’s children, and answers the question “What foundational skills do children need to experience success in school?” By providing this common set of Goals and Developmental Indicators for children from birth through kindergarten entry, the hope is that family members, educators, administrators, and policy makers together can do the best job possible to provide experiences that help children be well prepared for success in school and life.”
Recently, our three year old children were able to enjoy water day in the outdoor classroom. They used tools to play with water dyes, different colors and water that had soap added to it. When they were finished playing, the children cleaned up their toys and the playground.
After the activity, they discussed the importance of not leaving things outside and making sure the children didn’t leave any toys or trash outside that might hurt animals or the environment. During the activity, the children were developing their observation skills and also describing characteristics of living things and the physical world. The children were participating in an activity that helps to care for the environment, with guidance and support. These are the Early Standards that the children were developing during this particular activity.