The Creative Curriculum is a preset teaching curriculum established by Teaching Strategies, Inc., which is used heavily in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services school readiness program, referred to as Head Start, reports CircleOfInclusion. This program furnishes preschool and elementary school teachers with a standardised set of lessons and instructional strategies to ensure optimal teaching effectiveness. Through proper implementation and use of this program, teachers can effectively educate students of various ability levels simultaneously.
- Skill level:
Check for standards alignment. Obtain a copy of your state curriculum standards from your state department of education, and compare these standards to the curriculum to ensure that all topics are effectively covered. While the Creative Curriculum likely covers all standards within your state, as state standards vary slightly from location to location, you might need to make some minor additions to ensure that all of these standards are achieved.
Discuss the curriculum with others who have used a similar program. You can benefit from the experiences of colleagues who have previously used the program. Discuss both their failures and successes to ensure that you avoid any potential pitfalls and achieve success.
Conduct a needs assessment to see what level your students are currently operating at. Use a sample state test, which you can obtain from your department of education website, or a standardised screening instrument appropriate for your grade level to complete the step.
Study the curriculum map carefully. Take some time before beginning to familiarise yourself with the curriculum as a whole. By reviewing the curriculum as a whole, you prepare yourself to address any challenging sections as they arise.
Create an environment conducive to learning. Set up your classroom, covering the walls with educational materials and preparing the space to allow students to engage in both independent and group work. Throughout the year, you will likely have students complete independent work, such as reading a book or completing a math problem, as well as group work like doing a group project or studying as a group. To make both modes of learning possible, either group your desks in clusters of two to four, or set up your room so that the desks can be easily moved into these clusters as the curriculum calls for group work.
Introduce the curriculum to parents and students. Send home a letter to the parents, describing the curriculum and attesting to its effectiveness. Tell students that you are going to be using the Creative Curriculum throughout the course of the year, and that the use of this curriculum should ensure that their learning is both fun and effective. Explain to students that many of the activities they will complete as part of this curriculum will be hands on and competitive, allowing them to get out of their seats and even play games as they learn, making the activity more enjoyable.
Follow the curriculum plan strictly. The Creative Curriculum is structured for maximum effectiveness. This means that the lessons are ordered strategically to ensure that they lead seamlessly into one another and provide the students with information in a systematic fashion. Don't deviate from the prescribed lessons any more than you need to. If you must make modifications for time or content, do so, but avoid doing so if at all possible.
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