The Lab School begins with the mission statement and goals then looks at individual assessments and group interactions to determine the exact needs to be addressed. Content is designed to rotate through a two year cycle using the same four broad areas as a framework. The four areas of study are:
Fall: Understanding Myself Winter: Understanding My Family
Spring: Understanding My Community Summer: Understanding My World
Units of study are developed by the teachers and Director based primarily on:
*Parents as Teachers resources for the 0 -3 ages, Pam Schiller’ I/T Curriculum
*DLM resources for 3 -5 ages
*Knowledge and assessment of the child/children’s growth and development
*Knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices
The curriculum resources are nationally recognized and researched to support the needs of the developing child. These materials are supplemented with other teacher created lessons and selected teacher materials or guides as needed to meet the individual interests and needs in each classroom. Each unit is planned for a two week time frame but depending on the interests of children can blend into the next weeks.
Learning materials are rotated weekly to provide a variety of experiences for children. Themed materials are added to the learning environment to support the units of study. These materials can include math, science, music, literacy, writing, dramatic play and other materials. Field trips and guests, such as firefighters, etc. are also resources used to enrich the learning.
Families provide input into their child’s culture and heritage during the admission process (Cultural Sharing Page). Teachers use this information to include and celebrate the child’s identity. Such inclusion may be books, materials, songs, etc. which reflect the culture and heritage of the children in the classroom.
Families are given a parent lesson plan each month and asked to include goals they have for their child’s learning and development. Teachers use this information to plan their individual lessons for each child.
Families are asked to share ideas for concept development and evaluation of past lessons informally and formally through the conferences and surveys. As families share ideas, teachers use this information to guide the curriculum.
The goals of the curriculum are designed to provide maximum opportunity & resources to help children experience and master development in all the following domains:
Goals for Physical Development
Gross motor—Children will have a variety of opportunities, materials and activities designed to help use and develop large muscles—legs, arms, neck and torso.
Fine motor— Children will have a variety of opportunities, materials and activities designed to help and develop small muscles—wrists, hands, fingers, feet and toes.
Coordination and agility— Children will have a variety of opportunities, materials and activities designed to help children develop balance and master the use of motor skills.
Goals for Intellectual Development
Oral Language— Children will have a variety of opportunities, materials and activities designed to help listening skills and development of both verbal and non-verbal communication. The Lab School supports the use of the child’s primary language, whether English or another language.
Early literacy—Children will have a variety of opportunities, materials and activities designed to support the four stages of early literacy—listening, speaking, reading and writing. Opportunities to learn letter sounds, writing, and print-rich environment are embedded in the daily experiences.
Early Math-- Children will have a variety of opportunities, materials and activities designed to support the acquisition of math skills, including counting, number recognition, operations (adding, subtracting), attributes (big/small; more/less), geometry (shapes, dimensions), measurement, time, patterns and the language/vocabulary of math.
Science-- Children will have a variety of opportunities, materials and activities designed to support the development of scientific inquiry and knowledge, including the skill of observation, using simple tools, documenting the findings of observation, and the language/vocabulary of scientific terminology.
Social Studies-- Children will have a variety of opportunities, materials and activities designed to promote the development of children’s awareness and understanding of social rules and roles, the community (which includes the classroom, school, the campus as well as “the community of humanity”), how they can play a part in caring for the well-being of society and the physical environment.
Creative Expression and Appreciation for the Arts-- Children will have a variety of opportunities, materials and activities designed to support children’s creative expression in a variety of ways, including visual arts, music, dance, and dramatic play.
Health and Safety—Children will have a variety of opportunities, materials and activities designed to inform and enforce the practice of sound hygiene, health, safety and nutritional practices.
Technology-- Children will have a variety of opportunities, materials and activities designed to introduce age-appropriate technology which supports and enhances the learning in the classroom and supports the curriculum.
Goals for Emotional Development
Understanding Self—Through daily, consistent, and positive adult and peer relationships & implemented curriculum, children are supported in their development of understanding their individuality, self-worth and their ability to positively contribute to the community.
Expressing Self— Through daily, consistent, and positive adult and peer relationships & implemented curriculum, children are supported and encouraged to express both verbally and non-verbally their needs, wants, and individual creativity.
Self-management—As children learn about themselves and others, and with supportive, intentionally planned learning experiences, children learn to develop the capacity to delay gratification for a few moments, resolve conflict positively, and learn the give and take of negotiating.
Goals for Social Development
Understanding Others—Through daily, consistent, and positive adult and peer relationships and implemented curriculum, children are supported in the development of positive relationships with both adults and peers. Children are given opportunities through the learning environment and curriculum to develop an understanding of the value of diverse cultures and people.
Positive interactions with others—Through the daily structure and curriculum, teachers provide opportunities throughout the day for children to have regular practice with interacting with peers and others, playing cooperatively, negotiating and managing conflict.
Curriculum Structure and Organization
Concepts: Each unit of study has concepts to be addressed and can be accessed in the Director’s files, lesson plans and unit collections in the resource room.
Objectives: Each activity or lesson has objectives that can be found in the curriculum guides or lesson plans. The objectives are tied to meeting the domain/developmental goals for children at each age level.
Evaluation: Evaluation occurs in reflection on daily lessons, and weekly outcomes, as well as in team meetings and formal assessment. Evaluation is also provided through the formal/informal feedback from the families. Current research and best practice serve to inform both short and long term modifications. Evaluation leads to the monitoring and adjusting of the ongoing appropriateness of the curriculum and overall mission.