Play Based Learning and the Creative Curriculum

Zion’s Hill Preschool Program is committed to the education of young children through our play-based curriculum. Each day, the teachers develop lessons and activities to engage the children and strengthen their knowledge of the world around them. Along with our play-based philosophy, the teachers incorporate The Creative Curriculum. This curriculum uses a balance of both teacher directed activities and child initiated learning to help focus on the needs of each and every individual child. Having this combination of activities, allows the teachers to place an emphasis on responding the children’s learning styles and building upon their strengths and interests.

The Creative Curriculum incorporates many child development theories that have been tried and true to the profession over the decades. With the likes of Abraham Maslow’s understanding of basic needs and learning, Erik Erikson’s theory on how emotions effect learning, Jean Piaget’s logical thinking and reasoning, Lev Vygotsky’s ideals on social interaction and learning, Howard Gardner’s concepts on Multiple intelligences, and Sara Smilansky’s principals on play and learning, this curriculum covers all developmental areas of the young child.

The Creative Curriculum enhances social and emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development. Goals and objectives for each of these developmental areas are created and assessed throughout the school year for each child. These goals are then discussed during the Fall and Spring parent teacher conferences.

Once the goals are created, developing an appropriate learning environment is key. In order to do this, the environment should maintain interest area and have an established classroom structure that includes the daily routine and schedule, choice times, and small- and large-group times. Additionally, at ZHPP we strive to create a classroom community that promotes positive relationships and an environment where children make friends and learn social skills to be good citizens.

The Creative Curriculum identifies the knowledge, skills, and concepts important for preschool children to acquire in each content area: literacy, math, science, social studies, the arts, and technology. There are many key concepts to each content area which include:

• Literacy: vocabulary and language, phonological awareness, letters, words, print, comprehension, books and other texts, and sources of enjoyment

• Mathematics: numbers; patterns and relationships; geometry and spatial awareness; measurement; and data collection, organization, and representation

• Science: physical science, life science, and earth and the environment

• Social Studies: spaces and geography, people and how they live, people and the environment, and people and the past

• The Arts: dance, music, drama, and the visual arts

• Technology: awareness of technology, basic operations and concepts, technological tools, and people and technology

Another important part of the Creative Curriculum is bridging the gap between home and school. At ZHPP, we welcome families to take part in many family activities, become a part of our Board of Directors, be a room parent, read to the class and so much more. We value the relationships that are formed every day and appreciate your passion to educate your children in a fun and nurturing environment.