Developing a Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum

A developmentally appropriate curriculum needs expert planning. Consider these guidelines as you plan and implement learning opportunities for kids.

Interesting: Kids give their attention to activities and learning materials with little prompting from the teacher. You should have hands-on activities and materials that kids can use with little or no assistance from the adults.

Integrated: It is difficult to categorize learning. A worthwhile learning opportunity addresses several areas of development and content areas. For instance, acting out the story Going on a Bear Hunt can develop language, literacy, social, and physical skills.

Sequenced Correctly: Each day and week builds on the experiences from the preceding day and weeks. Organize the activities so that kids are ready for the next step. This pacing allows

kids to build their understanding as you support their efforts.

Connected: Know your kids and plan a curriculum that is meaningful to them. Consider what experiences your kids have had and build on those experiences. Plan activities and give materials that connect to the kid’s home and culture, and individual interests.

Engaging: The curriculum’s focus should be on opportunities for kids to actively explore the world around them. Kids learn to ask good questions, predict results, and solve problems by investigating their topics of interest.

All-Encompassing: Every day should include activities that support growth and development in all areas: social, emotional, language, cognitive, and physical. Provide many opportunities for kids to explore and acquire key concepts in all subject areas. Ensure that your curriculum supports your program’s learning objectives.

Efficiently integrated: Your curriculum should encourage flexibility. A productive curriculum will encourage you to make adjustments based on the interests and needs of your group of kids. The curriculum should provide a predictable routine and allow flexibility for unanticipated opportunities for learning.

Connected to assessment: Your curriculum should enable you to observe and assess each kid’s progress. You use your assessment results to make adjustments in the curriculum for the group as a whole and for individual kids.

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