Implementing Curriculum through the Planning/Observation/Individualization Cycle
When teachers incorporate academics into the curriculum, they raise
the level of accountability. When they incorporate learning goals in the
planning and observation process, teachers remind themselves that indeed
they are thinking first and foremost about learning.
It’s important for teachers to communicate to others about their
goals for children’s learning. When they do, teachers help others witness
how much they know about the children’s growth and development and
how hard they work to support and challenge each child. Chapters 2 and
3 show ways that teachers can use planning and reflection frameworks
to document their attention to learning goals. Chapters 7 and 8 address
many ways teachers can share learning goals with families and incorporate
learning goals into the assessment process.
Learning in Daily Classroom Routines
Let’s look more closely at the idea that curriculum happens throughout
every minute of the preschool or kindergarten day. You may ask yourself,
“How can learning be happening from the moment a child arrives until he
leaves?” You may think, “I see learning when I lead small- or large-group
time, but is learning really happening during the daily routines? Are chil-
dren always learning as they play?”
Let’s consider the daily routine of arrival time and analyze the learning
it involves. As a child arrives, he makes a transition from the familiarity
of home and family to the classroom. In the classroom, he must get along
with twenty or so other children. He must follow the routines of the day
and accept the guidance and authority of adults who are not his parents.
As he arrives, he needs to be supported in this transition, welcomed
warmly, given clear instructions for a familiar arrival routine, and given
time to ease himself into the social group.
Many teachers plan several tasks for each child to do on arrival. After be-
ing warmly greeted by the teacher, the child is expected to put his backpack
and coat in his cubby and to sign in, writing his name down at the sign-in
table or moving his photo from the “At Home” column to the “At School” col-
umn on a magnetic board. He may also be asked to answer the “Question of
the Day” by putting his name card under “Yes” or “No” in the pocket chart.
Then he must choose from some table activities where hands-on materials