"Well-developed projects engage children’s minds and emotions and become adventures that teachers and children embark on together."
- Judy Helm Harris (2000)
Children enrolling in the CEEC program come from diverse backgrounds and bring their individual personalities and experiences. Because all children share a curiosity and openness to learning about their world, the CEEC program focuses on the process of learning. Our goal is to provide opportunities for success, allowing children space and time to explore, create, and learn at their own pace, using their own style. In planning and implementing the daily program in each classroom, our overall goals are to:
- allow each child to develop his/her individual self and talents;
- provide meaningful experiences while promoting all aspects of development: emotional, social, physical, cognitive, and aesthetic;
- provide an environment that celebrates diversity.
Teachers organize the physical space into learning centers designed to foster creative thinking and independent choice-making. Teachers observe and talk with children to assess their interests, developmental skills, and areas for growth. Teachers then select an area or topic for exploration, which encourage children to listen, touch, explore feelings, play, and construct with materials. Ice, Wind, Monarch Butterflies, Measuring Tools, Keys, Ramps, What Lives in the Dirt? Our Homes, and Our Families have all been the subjects of in-depth project investigations in our classrooms. Murals, drawings, and dramatic performances may be created with the children as a way to demonstrate and summarize the exploration and learning activities.
In the classroom you will see children, individually and in small and large groups, working and talking about their activities. These activities may involve listening to a story with several other children, working alone on a series of puzzles, settling down for a nap with quiet music, or outdoor play. There are social times for eating and playing games; solitary and group art projects; small manipulatives and large blocks for building; and crayons, markers and pencils for drawing and practicing with letters. Throughout our classrooms we seek to challenge children to think creatively and, as age permits, analytically. Our approach to curriculum is to join with children's interests at their developmental level and then to encourage and provide for further exploration, enjoyment, and creativity.