Walled Lake uses the High Scope Curriculum and the High Scope Child Observation Record assessment tool in all of our programs. High Scope is play-based, child-centered, and grounded in research. In our classrooms, children are guided to explore, interact, and exercise their creative imagination through purposeful play. High Scope and COR are aligned with Michigan Department of Education Early Childhood Standards of Quality and Common Core. It's designed to provide a solid foundation for building your child's school readiness skills.
Our classrooms provide a structured, predictable daily routine that helps children feel safe and comfortable. Here's what a typical day looks like in our classrooms:
- Morning message - Morning message provides time to build relationships, discuss changes in the day such as a special visitor, and build early literacy skills such as reading and writing. Children learn to decode pictures, letters, and eventually words!
- Small group - During this time, a small group of children meet with an adult to experiment with materials, try out new skills, and solve problems. Adults develop a small-group activity based on children’s interests and particular skills, materials, or content areas that suit children’s developmental learning needs. Though the adult plans the activity and sets it in motion, children make choices about how to use the materials and freely communicate their ideas.
- Planning - Children use this time to plan what interest areas they will play in, the materials they will use, and/or the friends they will play with. Plans can of course change, but the act of creating an action plan builds school readiness skills such as initiative, planning, and problem-solving.
- Work Time - As Maria Montessori said, "Play is the work of the child." This is a time when children can get deeply involved in an activity that is freely chosen by them. Children use this time to carry out their plans, discover their interests, and problem-solve. Throughout Work Time teachers move around the classroom to provide individual
- Clean Up - Clean-up actually teaches many wonderful skills. Our classroom is labeled with pictures of toys and words, so children know where to find materials and where to return them once they're finished. Clean-up is a great time for early literacy, math, and social-emotional skills like respect and responsibility.
- Recall - This is also called review time. It is an opportunity for your child to reflect on both their initial plan and what they learned during work time. It builds many skills such as working memory and expressing ideas.
- Large Group Time - Large-group time builds a sense of community. All children and teachers come together for movement and music activities, interactive storytelling, and other shared experiences. Children have many opportunities to make choices and play the role of leader.
- Snack or Meal Times - Meals and snacks allow children to enjoy eating healthy food in a supportive social setting. Our programs use "Family Style Dining" meaning teachers and children eat at the table together. Children participate in setting the table, serving themselves, and conversing with their peers and teachers to build a sense of family.
- Outside - We know that your child's brain and body will work better when it has proper nutrition, proper rest, and plenty of exercise. Your child will have opportunities to jump, run, swing, and climb throughout the day.
5 Ingredients of Active Learning
Active Learning means children are deeply involved in the learning process. Rather than a teacher giving information while children simply listen, active learning provides ample opportunities for hands-on instruction. The High Scope curriculum hinges on "5 Ingredients of Active Learning."
1. Materials: Children’s home, culture, and language are reflected in a variety of age appropriate, open-ended materials for them to explore.
2. Manipulation: Children make discoveries when they are encouraged to handle, examine, combine, and transform materials and ideas.
3. Choice: Children choose materials and play partners, change and build on their play ideas, and plan activities according to their interests and needs.
4. Child language and thought: Children communicate verbally and nonverbally — thinking about their actions, expressing their thoughts about what they understand, and modifying their thinking — as they learn and explore.
5. Adult scaffolding: Children gain knowledge and develop creative problem-solving skills with the help of well-prepared adults who support a child’s current level of thinking and challenge them to advance to the next stage, also known as “scaffolding.”