Learning activities are organized around an area of study (AOS) designed to build on children’s interests and background knowledge. Typically, the area of study is four weeks in length, but may extend if the interest and needs of children indicate its relevance.
The area of study permeates the day and the classroom. Teachers co-create learning centers with children and determine next steps by observing children’s investigations. Learning goals and activities are appropriately sequenced to allow each child to effectively integrate and retain new knowledge.
There are three Big Ideas that spiral through this curriculum: Communities, Living Things and Change is All Around Us. These Big Ideas are examined through the Areas of Study.
Creating and Constructing
This Area of Study focuses on the many different ways to create and construct. Students will have the opportunity to explore and create using various classroom and real-world materials. There is a strong emphasis on the planning and preparing stages of creating. Students will be encouraged to think critically about the process of creating throughout the AOS. Students will gain a greater understanding of the creative process, ways to create for the purpose of helping others, and ways to express their own identity and culture through their creations. Big Idea: We are part of Communities.
Students created puppets in the art center after learning how to make them in small group as an oral language lesson focused on names of the parts of the body. Then the OL group taught the other students in the class how to make the puppets.
This shared reading was introduced during morning meeting and practiced at transitions for over a week. Once students were able to recite the lines independents, the poem is placed in either a literacy or building center. Students are able to go to the center alone or in groups and sing the poem, practicing concepts about print by matching the print in both lines; pound the nail, saw the wood, drill a hole, stack the bricks, paint the walls, stir the paint, turn the screw.
Helping in Our World
This Area of Study focuses on the many people who help in our world. The study builds over the weeks by starting with students' own experiences of being a helper where they live (chores) and at school (cleaning, sharing, caring for the room.) The focus then expands to the family, school and people in the community who help. Students will understand we cannot meet all of our needs alone, so we need a community of helpers to survive and thrive! Big Idea: Communities.