Instructions How to Write

Early Childhood Program Design

A major part in effective early childhood education is determining an overall educational philosophy that will guide your practice. This philosophy may be inspired by one or many theorists in the field of education, or it may be based on one or more overarching ideas based in best practices. The early learning environment is then designed to support that philosophy, using environmental layouts and materials that facilitate learning in specific ways. Finally, a daily schedule helps to guide daily interactions and routines to ensure that the overall program philosophy is adhered to and the program operates smoothly on a daily basis.

In Part 1, you will designate a program philosophy for a particular group of learners, design a room layout to facilitate that philosophy, and list what materials should be included in that space to support learning. You will also design a schedule showing how your program is run on a daily basis.

In Part 2, you will design a thematic curriculum/lesson plan to help you facilitate your program philosophy. You will then choose one activity from this lesson plan and describe it in further detail. The templates for these documents are provided below.

Note: Portions of this project were designed to help you build digital fluency, or the ability to work with various electronic tools, documents, and files. This ability will be beneficial in your communications as an early childhood professional, including in the daily updates that you send to families and the electronic assessments you may work with. This project will help you gain experience with varied forms of communication and allow you to use your creativity at the same time.

Part 1: Design an Early Childhood Program

In a minimum of two-pages, address the following:

Discuss program philosophy and ages(s) of children:

Explain the setting, philosophy, and the educator's role in play practices and activities.
Designate one age group to focus on (if designing a mixed-age program, describe the number of children and their age ranges).
Include at least three (3) credible sources of information to support your program philosophy, such as a scholarly resource (a journal or peer-reviewed article). Be sure to cite your sources and list them on an APA formatted reference page.

Design a visual of your classroom layout, including learning centers:

Include the physical room/environment plan and structure. To create the blueprint, you may use Microsoft PowerPoint or an Internet program such as the Classroom Architect to illustrate where you will place your stations and centers. Clearly label each area.
List at least two (2) materials/supplies for EACH of the following learning areas. (This information can go in your existing written document along with the philosophy statement.)

Music and movement
Dramatic play
Outdoor play

Develop a daily schedule:

Create a sample schedule that clearly displays times for each activity/routine and details about which activities happen throughout the day for the age group identified in your philosophy.
Indicate at least three (3) points on the schedule that will require you to help transition learners from one activity to the next.
Describe in detail how you will communicate to children that a change in activities is coming.
Explain how each transition can help them as they move from one activity to the next.
Note: This schedule must be an original daily schedule based upon best practice.

Part 2: Create a Thematic Web and an Activity Guide

To complete this part of the course project, download the following two (2) templates: Thematic Web Template and Activity Guide Template. Be sure to completely fill in all spaces on each template, using detailed descriptions.

Choose a curriculum theme. Be sure to choose a theme that will allow you to create developmentally appropriate activities, based on the age group(s) you focused on in Part 1.
Use the Thematic Web Template to create a weekly lesson plan that illustrates how you will integrate your theme into different learning areas.
List your age group and theme in the center of the web.
Use the "branches" of the web to indicate six different activities you will offer. Each activity should involve a different learning center (refer to the eight possible learning centers listed in Part 1).
Choose one of the activities listed in your thematic web/lesson plan to focus on. Describe the activity in detail by filling out the Activity Guide Template.
Submit the following in one (1) zip-file for grading:

Title Page
Part 1: Design an Early Childhood Program
Program philosophy and materials list, minimum of two-pages
Program Illustration/Layout
Program Daily Schedule
Part 2: Create a Thematic Web and an Activity Guide
Completed Thematic Web Template
Completed Activity Guide Template
Reference Page

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