Understanding the Pre-K Curriculum

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Researchers have conducted numerous studies over the last decade on the topic of preschool curriculum models and which of these models have the most positive impact on student success.

According to the latest research, early childhood education experts have determined specific criteria preschools must meet in order to deliver the best pre-k curriculum for your child. When researching pre-k learning options, we encourage parents to look for a pre-k program that:

  • Is grounded in the latest child development research
  • Is feasible to implement
  • Delivers educator support and training
  • Engages children of different learning styles

Pre-K Learning: Giving Children the Right Tools    

The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL), which was created to help young children make strides in early learning and development, identified 13 components that need to exist in an effective early childhood education curriculum:

  1. Grounded in child development principles
  2. Evidence-based
  3. Shows effects on child outcomes
  4. Comprehensive across learning domains
  5. Depth for each covered learning domain
  6. Specific learning goals
  7. Well-designed learning activities
  8. Responsive teaching
  9. Supports for individualized instruction
  10. Culturally and linguistically responsive
  11. Ongoing assessments
  12. Professional development opportunities
  13. Family involvement materials

At Cadence Education, we believe it is also essential that a preschool’s curriculum is easily adapted for all age groups, not simply preschool-age children. Infants and toddlers require a curriculum that supports their need to explore and discover the world around them, led by supportive, responsive educators and caregivers.

A ‘Whole Child’ Approach to Learning

Cadence Education’s proprietary curriculum, Ascend, uses a “whole child” approach to learning that ensures each student is engaged, supported, challenged, and having fun. What does this mean?

Our schools’ pre-k activities and programs aim to embrace the development of cognitive, physical, social-emotional, and creative skills through the following nine learning components:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Science & Sensory
  • Technology
  • Physical Fitness
  • Creative Expression
  • Kind Child (Social-Emotional Understanding)
  • Cultural Understanding
  • Spanish

Our Ascend curriculum supports the belief that the most effective way to support academic skills development is to give children some control over their learning process.

We accomplish this effort by offering children a diverse range of experimental and playful activities, and by encouraging them to pick what they want to participate in each day. Their teacher is the facilitator of the learning experience, introducing skills progressively and age-appropriately.

For example, each month our preschool classroom teachers focus on particular skills to teach students. Because we teach these skills at a challenging pace, not all students in that age group will master each skill. Nevertheless, they still gain exposure to many different learning opportunities, helping them to hone those skills over time through repetition.

An effective pre-kindergarten curriculum should provide the tools to help teachers recognize where each child scores on a specific skill, and then offer the elements to take them to the next level without comparing their learning pace to that of their peers.

At Cadence Education, all activities that our preschools offer can be modified to provide more challenges or more support to a child’s skills.

Small Group Instruction Through Learning Centers

The Ascend curriculum encourages children to participate in classroom activities in a variety of ways, all occurring simultaneously within the same classroom.

For instance, while one teacher works more closely with a small group of students on a specific activity, other students may be engaged in fun, hands-on learning with classmates in various learning centers in the classroom.

This approach allows us to deliver more personalized interactions between teachers and students. As a result, our students can take more responsibility for their own learning, and in turn, we watch their independence and creativity blossom.

Providing a Social-Emotional Understanding

At Cadence Education preschools, we provide learners with our proprietary, age-appropriate “Kind Child” program, which helps us nurture and strengthen every child’s social skills and character development.

This unique program is built upon the premise that young children can only begin to develop empathy by understanding feelings, both their own feelings and the feelings of others. As part of this program, we focus on monthly social-emotional skills and a different character trait every two months. The goal of “Kind Child” is to elevate every child’s feelings of happiness, improve their well-being, and enrich their friendships.

Providing the Building Blocks

Cadence Education schools use Ascend, our expertly developed, early childhood education curriculum refined over time to provide every student with the skills and confidence for the next chapter in their life.

This core Ascend curriculum, along with our diverse enrichment programs and dedicated, hard-working teachers, work in tandem to teach math and problem-solving skills, increase literacy and vocabulary, polish physical and motor skills, and enhance emotional and social development so that your child is ready to excel in kindergarten.

Find a preschool in your area or contact us today for more information.

1 reply
  1. Amy Winters
    Amy Winters says:

    I’m glad you pointed out that it’s important for a child’s pre-K education to include many things, like ongoing assessments and specific learning goals. My daughter is the right age to start a pre-K program this year, so I’ve been doing some research about the benefits that pre-K programs offer. I’ll definitely take your advice and choose a care program that strives to meet the curriculum you outlined!

    Reply

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