The High/Scope preschool key experiences provide a composite picture of early childhood development, are fundamental to you children’s construction of knowledge, take place repeatedly over an extended period of time, and describe concepts and relationships young children are striving to understand. They occur in active learning in which children have opportunities to make choices and decisions, manipulate materials, interact with peers and adults, experience special events, reflect on ideas and actions, use language in personally meaningful ways, and receive appropriate adult support.
Children are involved in direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, ideas, and events. While teachers share control and initiative with children, they are guided by 58 key experiences that all children need to have as part of their intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development.
You will see children choosing materials on their own, deciding how they want to use the materials, or maybe just exploring ways to use them. You will also hear children talking about what they are doing or what they have just done.
Adults observe and interact with children at their level to discover how each child things and reasons. Adults interact with children in ways that empower children to take control of their own learning.
You will see adults interacting at the children’s physical level: sitting on chairs, sitting or sometimes even lying down on the floor. You will see them observing and listening to children, talking with then about what they are doing and becoming a partner in the children’s play by following their interests and ideas, using the same materials the children are using and following directions given by the children.
Classroom furniture and equipment are arranged in several clearly defined interest areas that enable children to find, use, and return the materials they need for exploring, inventing, and learning about their world.
You will see clearly defined areas with simple names that make sense to children, like “block area”, “house area”, “art area”, “book area”, “toy area”, and “computer area”. You will also see a variety of materials in each area, and these materials are labeled so the children can easily find them and return then when they are finished using them.
Each day follows a similar schedule of events, providing a consistency for both children and adults. A daily plan-do-review process is at the core of the High/Scope routine and gives children the opportunity to pursue their own interests, make plans, follow through on them, and reflect on their experiences with peers and adults.
You will see a schedule of events that is consistent from day to day.
High/Scope teachers regularly record notes on children’s behaviors, experiences, and interests. They use these notes to assess each child’s development and to plan activities that will facilitate their growth and development. They also use these notes in parent meetings to help parents understand their children’s development.
You will see teachers taking brief notes throughout the morning on what they see children doing. During daily team planning they will share these observations and record them on the High/Scope Child Observation Record, an assessment tool that helps them to better understand each child’s development. The teachers use this information to plan around children’s interests and strengths for the next day’s activities.
Planned and spontaneous activities.
Individual and/or small group oriented.
Children are encouraged to pursue their own interests and make choices.
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