UNOW Day Nursery has a long standing commitment to a play based approach to learning. Play is embedded in the heart of the UNOW curriculum. When children are at play they are going about their work of learning. Through play children explore, investigate, and interact with others and their surroundings. Learning that is couched in play indicates that children feel safe enough and challenged just enough to take some risk. A playful environment implies that the learning environment is joyful and attends to the needs and interests of each child. These interests and developmental abilities are the springboard for curriculum plans. In 2016, UNOW joined a New Jersey state initiative for a Quality Rating System through Grow New Jersey Kids. As part of the initiative, UNOW adopted The Creative Curriculum® as their curriculum of choice. The Creative Curriculum® philosophically meets the play based traditions and philosophy of UNOW. The Creative Curriculum® is a nationally recognized curriculum founded on researched based theories of early childhood development and best practices. The curriculum is centered on the children and allows teachers creative latitude in their lesson planning while still meeting the developmental needs of each child.
Developmental Goals of The Creative Curriculum® in a Continuum from infancy to 3rd grade
Areas of Development include:
- Social-Emotional - forming attachments and feeling secure with themselves and the environment, regulating emotions and behaviors, establishing and maintaining relationships and participating cooperatively and constructively in group situations.
- Physical Development - large motor skills, balancing skills, gross motor manipulative skills and fine-motor strength and coordination.
- Language Development - listening, comprehension, use of language as expressing thoughts and needs and using appropriate conversational and other communication skills.
- Cognitive – approach to learning; memory and connecting experiences and thoughts; using classification skills and attaching symbols and images to represent something not present.
Content Areas of Development
- Literacy is often achieved by reading to children daily and providing an environment with multiple types of print throughout the classroom
- Mathematics including the use of number concepts and operations through counting, grouping, sorting, patterns; exploring and describing special relationships and shapes; comparing and measuring
- Science in creating a sense of wonder and developing scientific inquiry skills; exploring characteristics of living things and the earth’s environment; using tools and learning about how things work and the physical nature of balance and gravity.
- Social Studies and learning about the self and others; exposure to how others live; introducing familiar people and places; demonstrating geographic knowledges with mapping and charting.
- The Arts are explored and expressed through the visual arts, music and song, dance and creative movement, drama with action and stories.
- Language Acquisition of English and the appreciation of other languages.
Further understanding of the implementation of The Creative Curriculum® is expressed in the Classroom Experiences section of the Handbook.
Curriculum Enrichment “Specials”
As an enhancement to the curriculum provided by the teachers in the classroom, UNOW offers a variety of “Specials” for all age groups. “Specials” are taught by individuals that visit the classrooms once a week or a couple times per month. Some examples of “Specials” we offer may include: Art, Music, Storytelling, Creative Movement, Jr. Sports etc. These experiences are assumed within the regular monthly tuition rates and may change from year to year.