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Developing an Early Childhood Curriculum

            I have been working at People's Institute Childcare Center for almost seven years. During these years, I have worked with many different age groups. I have worked with two years olds all the way up to five year olds. I have only worked full time as a co-lead teacher in the toddler room, which is ages one and a half to age two and a half, and in the four-year-old room, which is ages three to five. I have helped develop the curriculum in both of these rooms, and the fact that I have done this really helps me understand the process of developing a curriculum in a preschool. It also helps me understand what works and what doesn't. We are given a lot of freedom at People's Institute when it comes to curriculum development. There is no set in stone way that we are supposed to set it up. This is both a blessing and a curse because there is much room for error. However, my experience being around certain curriculums and eventually helping develop curriculums for two classes makes me certain that the skills I have in that area are strong.
             I attended Greenfield Community College from 2009 until 2013 on and off earning my associates degree in Early Childhood Education. One class that was required to take a curriculum development class. In this class, you are required to come up with a unit and construct the curriculum for it that would last a month. You had to do 20 lesson plans, an indoor and outdoor map of the learning area, letters to parents, a snack schedule and a puppet that related to the unit. The unit had to be nature based. My unit was on whales. We had to do four lesson plans in each of the following areas: math, science, art, dramatic play, and reading. This experience taught me a great deal about curriculum development. I learned about how to come up with goals that were in depth not just "to have fun". Some goals that I came up with for certain activities were things like "to strengthen fine motor skills" or "to deepen then understanding of (insert whatever the lesson plan was based around)".

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