At Generations Early Learning & Family Center, we believe in providing children the opportunity, resources and guidance to expand their natural curiosity, resulting in the development of a unique learning style. We believe each child should have access to experiences, activities and interactions that support individual learning styles as well as personal developmental needs. We believe it is essential to partner with families to meet our collective goals of supporting children’s learning and development throughout their early years. We implement curriculums and assessment tools that allow our teachers and administration to uphold these beliefs while supporting each child’s learning and development.
Our preschool classrooms use The Creative Curriculum, an award-winning and research-based curriculum that is fully aligned with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. The Creative Curriculum is based on 38 learning and development objectives across 10 areas of development, including: social-emotional, language, physical, cognitive, literacy, science and technology, mathematics, social studies, the arts, and English language acquisition. This curriculum allows teachers to bring their own creativity and expertise into the classroom while ensuring they meet early learning standards every day. The Creative Curriculum also aligns with our preschool assessment tool, Teaching Strategies Gold, which assists teachers in developing goals, planning lessons, and providing individualized instruction to each child. Another example of our commitment to ensuring our children develop skills needed for success is seen in our consistent structure of routines and transitions. Our daily activities include small group instruction, large group activities, 1:1 time with an adult, socialization and play time, movement opportunities, and exploration in the arts and sciences. It is our goal that by using The Creative Curriculum, we are able to offer a complete, developmentally appropriate program to our families so children can succeed in both school and community.
Our Rainbow and Garden classrooms use the Ages and Stages tool as a curriculum guide and to assess children’s development. Goals and learning objectives that align with Washington State Early Learning and Development Guidelines are created from these assessments. In addition, we then develop lesson plans for the class based on results from individual assessments, observations and input from families. We share these plans with our parents on a regularly-scheduled basis through weekly newsletters and by always having activity and lesson plans posted in classrooms. Parents are encouraged to visit and volunteer in their child’s room to ensure transparency between what we present and what we implement.
As early childhood educators, we believe it is our responsibility to create an atmosphere where children feel safe, emotionally secure, and have a sense of belonging. We strive to provide surroundings where children can experiment and explore according to their own interests. Our curriculums allow us to set up the environment and interact with children in meaningful ways. Our teachers facilitate children’s learning by engaging with them in play and encouraging them to develop new interests and persist with challenges. In our living and learning space, children find specific areas to play, to learn, and to socialize. Supplies and materials are stored in easily accessible spots and children quickly learn to get out and clean up materials independently. We offer a rich variety of gender-neutral toys and materials as well as traditional games, books, manipulatives and equipment. Children are encouraged to visit different areas of the learning room where they can develop their own awareness of what interests and attracts them as individuals. Children become active participants in development of their own learning process .
We believe children learn social values such as cooperation, respect, negotiation, and the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior through their play activities and interactions with others. Our curriculum empowers children to engage in creative and meaningful interactions. Learning to compromise, make decisions, and problem solve are all taught through naturally occurring interactions. In the process, children discover their own interests and strengths. By thoughtfully observing children who are playing and learning together, our teachers assess the specific needs of the those in their groups and use strategies to introduce and reinforce positive behavior. Social skills are not taught in isolation. Rather, we try to engage our children in thinking socially and encourage them to see their own behavior through the eyes of others. Through observations and upon completing the assessments offered by the Ages and Stages tool and Teaching Strategies Gold, teachers develop objectives and activities based on results, observations and input from families.
Our center has consistently strived to provide a unique early childhood education program within a residential care facility, benefitting the residents, children, families, and staff members through mutual interactions and continuing relationships. These intergenerational interactions between children and residents support the child by providing a “grandparent” or other friend for daily contact and reinforcement. Encouraging a child’s sense of self-worth through our extended family concept, the Intergenerational program helps us achieve our mission of nurturing growth, furthering education, and developing a sense of community for all ages.
Our classrooms also integrate other early education curriculums, including Letter People, DECA, Second Step, I am Moving I am Learning (IMIL) and Kiddikins. We also use the Second Step curriculum, as self-regulation, emotional expression, and positive social relationships are key goals in our program. Teachers incorporate these lessons to promote optimum social and emotional development.
Our Center is a print-rich environment that promotes early literacy skills. Quality children’s literature is shared everyday between children and staff members. The Letter People curriculum is used to introduce letters, sounds, and reading concepts in our Rainbow and Garden classrooms.
We track children’s progress throughout their time at Generations using a portfolio system. Your child’s portfolio will follow them as they grow and move onto the next classroom. Families are welcome to look at their child’s portfolio at anytime. We ask that you review your child's portfolio at least three times a year. A review and signature log is located in the front of your child's portfolio. Please sign and date it anytime you look at your child's portfolio. Our staff will provide opportunities for portfolio review throughout the year.
It is an expectation that families participate in developmental assessments for their child in order to best meet children's developmental needs at home and at school. An age-specific developmental screening tool is included in our registration packet and is required for all children enrolled. For children in the Rainbow and Garden classrooms, Ages and Stages questionnaires will also be required. If you have any questions or concerns about our assessments, please do not hesitate to contact our administration team.
By providing a curriculum that takes into account developmental milestones and individual needs,an environment open to exploration, and meaningful interactions across generations, we have built a program that offers every child the opportunity to feel valued and successful.