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Curriculum For Infants and Toddlers
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  1. Curriculum For Infants and Toddlers Responsive, Respectful, Relationship-Based

  2. Session Objectives • Learn about effective curriculum planning for infants and toddlers. • Understand the connection between observation, assessment and curriculum. • Become familiar with the concept of a responsive curriculum for infants and toddlers. • Learn strategies for supporting infant and toddler development within the context of a responsive curriculum.

  3. The Written Curriculum Plan • 1304.3(a)(5)Head Start and EHS requires a written curriculum plan that includes: • Goals for children’s development and learning • Experiences through which they will achieve these goals • Role of staff and parents • Materials needed to support implementation of the curriculum

  4. Popular Assumptions about Infant/Toddler Curriculum • Infants need only safe, loving care • Learning will occur naturally OR • Intellectual Stimulation is important • Adult-directed, pre-planned lessons or activities are necessary to stimulate learning

  5. What We Know about Babies • Internal motivation to learn • Natural Curiosity • Spontaneously explore what interests them • Exploration is more likely to happen when there is a sense of safety and security

  6. Video • The Next Step: Including the Infant in the Curriculum • Physical Development • Social Development • Language Development • Intellectual Development Program for Infants and Toddlers, West Ed California Department of Education

  7. Infant Toddler Curriculum • The most effective infant/toddler curriculum is • Driven by the interests of the child • Individualized and based on each child’s developmental level and needs • Not focused on activities • Focused on environments and interactions that support child-initiated learning • Built on positive relationships

  8. Responsive Curriculum • Responds to the needs and interests of each child • Respects individual differences in children and the ability to each child to communicate his or her needs and interests • Recognizes the emergent and comprehensive nature of learning and development in infants and toddlers

  9. Responsive Curriculum • Begins with the study of the individual child • Screening • Assessment • Observation • Recognizes that plans are flexible, not static. • Recognizes that teacher interactions and plans may change from moment to moment to meet child needs and interests.

  10. Responsive Curriculum • Safe, interesting environment • Management support for policies that encourage relationships- • Small groups • continuity of care, • primary caregivers.

  11. Responsive Practice • Watch • Babies have goals and try different strategies to meet those goals • Teachers watch children and document their observations.

  12. Responsive Practice • Ask • What is the child trying to do? • How is she approaching her goal? • What is the meaning of the baby’s actions? • What feelings are being expressed? • What are the real goals? • What do you feel about the baby’s goals? • How can you deepen your relationship and help the baby reach his goals?

  13. Responsive Curriculum • Adapt/Relate • Take action as a result of your observations and reflection. • Let the child know you recognize and are responding to his feelings. • Show an understanding of the goals • Support the child’s efforts in a safe environment.

  14. Responsive Practice Activity • Work with a small group • Choose a scenario from the handout in your packet. • Use the Responsive Practice Observation Guide and answer the questions. • Choose someone to report to the group.

  15. Infant/Toddler Curriculum Planning • Includes opportunities for child-initiated or adult-initiated learning opportunities • Reflects the role of the adult as facilitators, not director of activities • Anticipates developmental stages • Allows for individual variations in learning styles and temperaments • Recognizes emerging learning experiences

  16. Infant/Toddler Curriculum Planning • Assists caregiver in reading cues of each child • Provides responsive, fluid learning environments • Responds to all developmental domains simultaneously-supports development of the whole child • Based on sound child development practice

  17. Infant/Toddler Curriculum Planning • Prepares the caregiver to communicate with other adults in the child’s life • Includes specific opportunities for parent’s input and participation. • Respects family values, culture and beliefs and embeds this respect in the planning process.

  18. The Learning Environment • Integral part of Curriculum • Creates and responds to child interest • Encourages exploration • Maximizes opportunities for each child to use natural learning inclinations—curiosity • Responsive and respectful of what the child brings and wants from experiences

  19. Routines as Curriculum • Much of the time during the day is used for routines such as feeding, diapering and napping. • Use of this time is an important part of infant/toddler curriculum. • Understanding developmental milestones and how to support development throughout the day is an important part of curriculum for infants and toddlers.

  20. Routines as Curriculum Physical Development Milestones Meal time: • Ability to grasp and hold objects • Eye-hand coordination Diapering • Participating in self care • Increasingly participates in personal care by indicating when diaper needs changing Naptime • Ability to slow down and relax • Self regulation-ways to comfort themselves to sleep • Social Development

  21. Supporting Physical Development During Routines • Provide toys to grasp during diapering. • Allow children to feed themselves as soon as they can by providing child-size eating utensils and cups with lids. • Encourage children to participate in personal care-dressing, washing hands, brushing teeth.

  22. Routines as Curriculum Social Development Milestones • Learning to depend on others to provide their wants and needs (diaper change when wet, feeding when hungry, rocking or going to bed when sleepy) • Forming and maintaining secure relationships • Responding to adults • Beginning to try to learn to solve problems

  23. Supporting Social Development During Routines • Respond consistently and promptly to child’s needs for comfort and reassurance. • Hold, cuddle, hug, smile and maintain eye contact during routines. • Talk, sing and use rhyme and rhythms during feeding and diaper changes.

  24. Routines as Curriculum • Language Development Milestones • Shows enjoyment of sounds and rhythms of language • Imitates vocalizations and sounds • Enjoys patterns of rhythm and repetition of familiar voices, sounds, rhymes and songs. • Participates in simple word games • Plays with language, using nonsense combinations to explore sounds

  25. Supporting Language Development During Routines • During meals and diapering and before naps, sing and use rhythms and rhymes. • Repeat child’s sounds and play word games. • Give children time to experiment with sounds, especially as they wake up from nap.

  26. Routines as Curriculum • Intellectual (Cognitive) Milestones • Learns that people and things exist even when out of view (Object permanence) • Engages in tracking objects with eyes • Begins to understand cause and effect—when the baby signals, someone responds • Begins to learn about where own body is in space • Begins to explore physical properties of objects.

  27. During meal times, give babies time and opportunity to explore properties of food when they are ready to start feeding themselves. Provide mirrors near the changing table. Play peek a boo during diapering. During meal times, use words like “more” or “all gone”. Supporting Cognitive Development During Routines

  28. Factors to Consider • 3 Distinct stages of infancy • Young infants • Mobile infants • Toddlers • Development of sense of self of infants is directly influenced by adults in their lives. • Home culture is part of identity development and must be linked to care environment

  29. Factors to Consider • Language skills and habits develop early • Environments are powerful • Adults exhibit strong emotions and opinions regarding infants and toddlers • Caregivers • parents

  30. Factors To Consider • Is there anything causing concern for the child’s development? • Does the child have an IFSP? • How will you collaborate with service providers and parents to support the IFSP within the parameters of a responsive curriculum?

  31. Factors to Consider • Babies need time for exploration and discovery. • Caregivers need to ask • How is this activity/experience connected to the child’s interest? • How is this supporting the child’s development? • Curriculum must respect the value of the child’s choices.

  32. Factors to Consider • You are making a difference in the lives of the babies in your care! • Be kind to yourself, take care of your own health and mental health.

  33. Thank You!

  34. Contact Information Ann Janney-Schultz Manager, Infant/Toddler, ECE Specialist Virginia Head Start Training and Technical Assistance Center 540-520-2171