Our Programs - Orlando Day Nursery
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. - Frederick Douglass
Orlando Day Nursery's educational philosophy is based on the belief that young children build or "construct" their knowledge of the world - they are "active learners." For this reason Orlando Day Nursery has chosen to follow the HighScope Curriculum. HighScope has a 40-year track record of providing high-quality education for young children with outstanding positive results.
The focus of Orlando Day Nursery is building the whole child. HighScope is a comprehensive curriculum that addresses all areas of development. HighScope has eight main curriculum content areas to organize children's learning in HighScope Preschool programs. Within these areas are 58 "key developmental indicators" (KDIs). The KDIs are early childhood milestones that guide teachers as they plan and assess learning experiences and interact with children to support learning. The eight curriculum content areas are:
- Approaches to Learning - Children learn to make appropriate choices, plan their activities, solve problems, and stay on task even when the task is difficult.
- Social and Emotional Development - Children learn to express their emotions using words, build relationships with adults and other children, collaborate in play working together toward common goals and deal with conflict in a constructive way.
- Physical Development - Children develop both gross-motor and fine-motor skills, coordination, balance and ability to follow movement directions. They also develop creativity in movement through dance and dramatic activities.
- Language, Literacy and Communication - Children build their vocabulary through personally meaningful conversations with teachers. Develop early reading skills such as comprehension, alphabetic knowledge, phonemic awareness, and concepts about print. Work on learning the basics of writing by dictating stories and many experiences with letters, paper and writing tools.
- Mathematics - Children explore the standards set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The areas of discovery are Number Sense and Operations, Geometry, Measurement, Algebra, and Data Analysis.
- Creative Arts - Children are given many opportunities to draw and paint, make models from clay, blocks and other materials, practice role playing and imitation during dramatic play, dramatize or act out a story they have learned, move to music, dance, play simple instruments and sing.
- Science and Technology - In science children will sort, match and classify both living and non-living items. They will practice the scientific method as they observe, makes guesses (hypothesis) about what will happen, experiment and record the results. Children will use technology in a variety of ways from playing computer games, to looking at items through a microscope, to going on virtual field trips.
- Social Studies - Children will experience government as they work together to come up with solutions to class problems. They will study famous people both present and past through stories and dramatic play. They will also learn and practice taking care of themselves, others and our environment.
Orlando Day Nursery's Toddler Curriculum is based on the principle that children learn best through direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, events and ideas. Children and toddlers are encouraged to discover the world around them by exploring and playing. The educational content of HighScope infant-toddler programs is built around 10 curriculum content areas:
- Sense of Self - ODN encourages every child to express initiative and all they can for themselves. By helping children learn to be independent, we are encouraging self-reliance and a good self-concept. Children are assisted as needed and supported in their attempts to solve problems independently.
- Social Relations - Children's social self starts with a firm attachment to a caregiver. For this reason, at ODN we work hard to build strong care-giving relationships with every child. From this secure adult-child relationship, children are then free to explore their own emotions and build relationships with the other children in their classroom.
- Creative Representation - Children start representing their ideas very early. Infants use their bodies and simple toys like play phones to represent what they have seen and experienced. Starting in our toddler rooms, children are given a chance to express themselves through the use of art materials from colors and markers to paint and play dough.
- Movement - Moving is not just a goal but a way of learning for young children. At ODN children are free to move in a safe environment as they develop and practice new skills from crawling to walking to running and jumping.
- Music - All children love music so at ODN we make it a part of every day. Children learn to listen and respond to music, explore their singing voices and build rhythm as they experiment with simple instruments.
- Communication and Language - Language is learned by actively engaging in communication with other people. Teachers in our classrooms take time to talk with children every day. Our teachers also read stories and teach children songs and finger plays throughout the day.
- Exploring Objects - The first science activities a child experiences are exploring objects. Teachers arrange materials in the classroom to encourage this exploration. As children explore, teachers add the vocabulary and build the language of early science such as "same" and "different."
- Early Quantity and Number - Even very young infants can experience "more." As teachers talk with them while they play, an understanding of numbers and one-to-one correspondence will grow. Through stories they learn the vocabulary of number and counting.
- Space - As children move and observe the world from various positions, they began to understand space and location. Through the many fill and dump activities available, children will expand on their knowledge of space. They will solidify their understanding as they putting puzzles and other toys together and take them apart.
- Time - Children learn about time through our classroom routines. They will anticipate and remember familiar events. They develop an understanding of fast and slow through movement activities. Teachers will help them learn to use the vocabulary associated with time, like clock, today, yesterday and tomorrow.