Rochester Pre-K provides a quality educational program for a diverse population of children with widely varying levels of development and ability by following the HighScope curriculum. In the HighScope curriculum, adults and children are partners in learning. Through active participatory learning, young children construct their knowledge of the world - finding out how the world works through their own direct experiences with people, objects, materials, events, and ideas.
- HighScope's 5 Ingredients of Active Learning
- Daily Routine
- Key Developmental Indicators (KDIs)
- COR Advantage Assessment
- HighScope at Home
- HighScope Website
Programs offer abundant supplies of diverse, age-appropriate materials. Materials are appealing to the senses and are open ended - that is, they lend themselves to being used in a variety of ways to help expand children's experiences and stimulate their thoughts.
Children handle, examine, combine, and transform materials and ideas. They make discoveries through direct hands-on and "minds' on" contact with these resources.
Children choose materials and play partners, change and build on their play ideas, and plan activities according to their interests and needs.
4. Child Language and Thought
Children describe what they are doing and understanding. They communicate verbally and nonverbally as they think about their actions and modify their thinking to take new learning into account.
5. Adult Scaffolding
"Scaffolding" means adults support children's current level of thinking and challenge them to advance to the next stage. In this way, adults help children gain knowledge and develop creative problem-solving skills.
Pre-K classrooms follow the HighScope Preschool Curriculum. Components of the Daily Schedule are described below.
Each staff member is fully engaged in planning curriculum, implementing curriculum both indoors and outdoors, child assessment and supporting family engagement through home visits, conferences, and parent meetings. The work is collaboratively shared.
Large Group Time
The whole group of children and adults gather for playing games, making up and singing songs, learning dances, or playing musical instruments. Large Group Time provides an opportunity for each child to participate in a large group, sharing and demonstrating his of her ideas and trying out and imitating the ideas of others. He or she can sometimes be a leader and sometimes a follower. This provides an opportunity for children to learn the social skills of imitation, turn taking, listening to others, and group effort. Adults assist children during Large Group Time by sitting near them, making sure they understand how they can participate, and encouraging them to share their own ideas with a larger group.
Small Group Time
Each adult meets with 8 children to work on the activities planned by the team, to provide some of the key experiences of cognitive growth. Adults plan Small Group activities around the interests and abilities of the children, allowing for individual ideas and differences. They use this time to observe children, expose them to new materials, and give them a chance to find new ways of using materials they already know.
Adults and children meet together to talk about what each child wants to do and how the child might go about doing it. Children decide for themselves how they will use their work time and the adult encourages the child to say or demonstrate what he or she would like to do. The adults helps them learn how to identify choices for themselves. Children who plan for themselves see that they can make things happen. They begin to view themselves as people who can decide and who can act on their own decisions.
Work Time is the heart of the preschool day. The children may use the entire classroom to explore, learn new skills, try out ideas, and put together what they know in ways that make sense to them. Adults move among children, observing and helping as needed. During Work Time, a child and adult make work together on various skills such as fine/gross motor activities or identifying numbers, colors, and shapes.
Children put away the toys and materials they have been using. They may also wipe tables, wash paint brushes, jars, or cooking utensils, and sweep or vacuum floors. As they sort, pile, stack, empty, and fit together materials as they clean up, they learn where things go and that similar things to together. This helps them begin to understand the system for finding things hey need. The symbols on the shelves stand for real objects, a realization necessary for reading. Sorting things, putting materials back, and cleaning up also helps children see that cleanup is part of any activity. Adults assist children by encouraging them to clean up throughout Work Time. Adults warn the children toward the end of Work Time that in a few minutes it will be Cleanup Time, giving a clear and consistent signal that Cleanup Time has begun, defining specific individual tasks for children who are having difficulty understanding what constitutes Cleanup Time and assisting in cleaning up.
Recall Time gives children the opportunity to remember and represent what they did during Work Time. By looking back at what they have done, children can start to see the relationship between their plans and their activities and can develop more awareness of their own actions and ideas. In the process of recalling, children attach language to their actions. Talking about, recalling, and representing their actions help children evaluate and learn from their experiences. Recalling in a small group helps them get ideas from each other about things they might light to try.
Outside Time is when children can run, jump, skip, climb, slide, race, hide, and dig. Aside from the obvious advantages to their health and well-being, the main rationale for Outside Time is that it enables children to try out Work Time ideas and discoveries outside of the classroom. Outside Time is less constricted and intense than work time. Some otherwise quiet children can open up, talking and working with other children more freely than they do inside. As they play, adults talk with children about what they're doing and help them solve problems.
As a state licensed program, we are required to have a quiet/rest time in classrooms that operate for more than 5 hours a day. The children are not forced to sleep and those who are awake are given the choice of quiet activities such as books, soft music, stories or fine motor manipulatives.
Within HighScope's eight content areas, listed below, are 58 Key Developmental Indicators (KDIs) which define important learning goals for young children.
Each KDI is a statement that identifies an observable child behavior, reflecting knowledge and skills in areas such as, language and literacy, math, creative arts, and physical development. HighScope teachers keep these indicators in mind when they set up the learning environment and plan activities.
A. Approaches to Learning
2. Planning: Children make plans and follow through on their intentions.
3. Engagement: Children focus on activities that interest them.
4. Problem solving: Children solve problems encountered in play.
5. Use of resources: Children gather information and formulate ideas about their world.
6. Reflection: Children reflect on their experiences.
B. Social and Emotional Development
7. Self-identity: Children have a positive self-identity.
8. Sense of competence: Children feel they are competent.
9. Emotions: Children recognize, label, and regulate their feelings.
10. Empathy: Children demonstrate empathy toward others.
11. Community: Children participate in the community of the classroom.
12. Building relationships: Children build relationships with other children and adults.
13. Cooperative play: Children engage in cooperative play.
14. Moral development: Children develop an internal sense of right and wrong.
15. Conflict resolution: Children resolve social conflicts.
C. Physical Development and Health
16. Gross-motor skills: Children demonstrate strength, flexibility, balance, and timing in using their large muscles.
17. Fine-motor skills: Children demonstrate dexterity and hand-eye coordination in using their small muscles.
18. Body awareness: Children know about their bodies and how to navigate them in space.
19. Personal care: Children carry out personal care routines on their own.
20. Healthy behavior: Children engage in healthy practices.
D. Language, Literacy, and Communication
21. Comprehension: Children understand language.
22. Speaking: Children express themselves using language.
23. Vocabulary: Children understand and use a variety of words and phrases.
24. Phonological awareness: Children identify distinct sounds in spoken language.
25. Alphabetic knowledge: Children identify letter names and their sounds.
26. Reading: Children read for pleasure and information.
27. Concepts about print: Children demonstrate knowledge about environmental print.
28. Book knowledge: Children demonstrate knowledge about books.
29. Writing: Children write for many different purposes.
30. English language learning: (If applicable) Children use English and their home language(s) (including sign language).
31. Number words and symbols: Children recognize and use number words and symbols.
32. Counting: Children count things.
33. Part-whole relationships: Children combine and separate quantities of objects.
34. Shapes: Children identify, name, and describe shapes.
35. Spatial awareness: Children recognize spatial relationships among people and objects.
36. Measuring: Children measure to describe, compare, and order things.
37. Unit: Children understand and use the concept of unit.
38. Patterns: Children identify, describe, copy, complete, and create patterns.
39. Data analysis: Children use information about quantity to draw conclusions, make decisions, and solve problems.
F. Creative Arts
40. Art: Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through two- and three- dimensional art.
41. Music: Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through music.
42. Movement: Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through movement.
43. Pretend play: Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through pretend play.
44. Appreciating the arts: Children appreciate the creative arts.
G. Science and Technology
45. Observing: Children observe the materials and processes in their environment.
46. Classifying: Children classify materials, actions, people, and events.
47. Experimenting: Children experiment to test their ideas.
48. Predicting: Children predict what they expect will happen.
49. Drawing conclusions: Children draw conclusions based on their experiences and observations.
50. Communicating ideas: Children communicate their ideas about the characteristics of things and how they work.
51. Natural and physical world: Children gather knowledge about the natural and physical world.
52. Tools and technology: Children explore and use tools and technology.
H. Social Studies
53. Diversity: Children understand that people have diverse characteristics, interests, and abilities.
54. Community roles: Children recognize that people have different roles and functions in the community.
55. Decision making: Children participate in making classroom decisions.
56. Geography: Children recognize and interpret features and locations in their environment.
57. History: Children understand past, present, and future.
58. Ecology: Children understand the importance of taking care of their environment.