The RCSD Prekindergarten Curriculum
All 3-and 4-year-old prekindergarten classrooms in the Rochester City School District utilize the HighScope Preschool Curriculum, a research-based curriculum rooted in play-based learning. each day, children build academic, creative, social, and emotional skills by exploring learning materials and interacting with adults and classmates.
There are four major components of the HighScope Preschool Curriculum: Adult-Child Interaction, Learning Environment, Daily Routine, and Assessment.
In our classrooms, teachers are partners in play, working with each child and using both verbal and nonverbal communication to encourage learning. These learning experiences are led by the child, but guided by the adult. In a model HighScope classroom. teachers share control with children, scaffold children's play to extend learning, use encouragement instead of praise, and use the Six Steps to Problem Solving to resolve conflicts during the day.
Our classrooms are arranged to create a predictable and active learning environment. They are full of materials that reflect the homes, cultures, and languages of its students. The materials are often open-ended, which allows children to explore the wide variety of ways instructional tools may be used. Everything in our classrooms are labeled using both words and pictures to help children develop independence and provide them with opportunities to experience language in the natural world.
The Daily Routine gives children a predictable pattern of how they will spend each day in the classroom. It provides opportunities for large-group community building, small-group focused instruction, one-on-one interactions with adults and peers, and independent exploration. Throughout the Daily Routine children assist in taking care of their materials and classroom environment, develop social skills, learn physical and mental self-care habits, exercise their small and large muscles, and prepare academically for traditional schooling.
The most important part of the Daily Routine is the Plan-Do-Review process, which happens two times per day. During this process, children make a plan for what they will do during work time, carry out and expand upon that plan during play, then reflect upon what they did and with whom. This helps children to develop higher-level thinking skills which are needed to be successful in school and in life.
Assessment is an important part of the HighScope Preschool Curriculum. While we do not give children written exams, we are regularly observing and recording anecdotal observations throughout each day. These assessments do not generate grades for each child, rather, they guide us in what skills and content to address next in order to ensure each child's individual social, emotional, physical, and academic needs are being met.
A Typical Day in Pre-K
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Teaching Problem Solving
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