Curriculum of our Fishers Child Care

The Tot Spot Way: Is to use our proprietary system to create a 4E experience: Engaging, enriching, and exceeding expectations, every day.

At our Fishers Child Care center we expertly combine academics and play for students 6 weeks to kindergarten in a safe, nurturing environment.

True individualized lesson planning, not based on the majority of children in the USA, but on our actual students, here in Fishers, Indiana at The Tot Spot, in Your child’s class.

We introduce new concepts and skill when your child is ready, not when the majority of the class is teachable. At the same time, our Fishers Day Care center continue to review and re-enforce existing skills

Teacher are taught to: expect the unexpected, anticipate parent concerns and prevent them, make sure children are learning to their ability, be extra ordinary in everything they do and teach these same skills to their children.

The organization of the curriculum

There are five basic components that comprise the curriculum. From these five categories, focus and planning can be aimed so that learning is best achieved.

  • Knowing children — describes the social/emotional, physical, cognitive and language development of children
  • Creating a responsive environment — offers a model for setting up the physical environment for routines and experiences in ways that address the developing abilities and interests of children
  • What children are learning — shows how the responsive relationship you form with each child, the interactions you have every day, and the materials and experiences you offer become the building blocks for successful learning
  • Caring and teaching — describes the varied and interrelated roles of teachers who work with children
  • Building partnerships with families — explores the benefits of working with families as partners in the care of their children

Goals

  • As a school, our emphasis is on community. We need to work together to help learning continue. The importance of working together also extends between school and home. Teachers, staff and parents must communicate and share ideas so the child’s interests are best met. Through this bond, we will develop an individual care plan and update it as your child grows and changes. Our Fishers Child Care can help your child acquire the skills, attitudes, and habits to do well in school and in life. We have seven main interest areas from which learning emerges. Through these topics, we can build off what children know to explore and comprehend the unknown.
    • We build language and literacy skills through sounds and words, books and stories, and writing.
    • We discover mathematical relationships through number and size, patterns, objects, and shapes.
    • Learning through play experiences and by imitating and pretending builds imagination, promotes social skills and helps children gain a better understanding of daily experiences.
    • Connecting with music and movement transforms moods and motivates us to move our bodies.
    • Creating with art by using different materials and exploring what they can do with them is fascinating to children. They are less interested in making a product.
    • Tasting and preparing food promotes thinking and social and fine motor skills.
    • Exploring sand and water is funs because it’s a natural part of everyday life. It becomes a special activity when toys are added to it to explore. Sand play leads to discoveries, develops fine motor skills and promotes pretending as children create things like sand castles. We encourage children to observe, take things apart, build and see what they can find out. The more active children are in their work, the more they learn and remember. As children play, we watch how they use materials. We listen. We talk with them to find out what they are thinking and trying to do. We observe what they do and take note. Through those notes, we can plan activities that interest them but still teach skill building within the four stages.

Beliefs

Our Fishers Child Care believes in a core list of traits for each teacher and classroom to follow. These traits inform lesson planning and are why we are here — to impact your child’s life and help him or her on the path of learning. These beliefs hold true for each classroom and are the basis of our curriculum:

  • Build a trusting relationship with each child
  • Provide responsive, individualized care
  • Create environments that support and encourage exploration
  • Ensure children’s safety and health
  • Develop partnerships with families
  • Observe and document children’s development in order to plan for each child and the group
  • Recognize the importance of social/emotional development
  • Appreciate cultural, family and individual differences
  • Take advantage of every opportunity to build a foundation for lifelong learning
  • Support dual-language learners
  • Include children with disabilities in all aspects of the program

At The Tot Spot, we know that the care infants, toddlers, and twos receive and their experiences during their first three years has a powerful influence on how they learn and grow throughout their lifetime.

In fact, brain research that used to say 50 percent of what an individual learns over a lifetime occurs by age 5, now suggests that this might even occur earlier – as early as age 3. Acknowledging, during this vital learning period, The Tot Spot’s curriculum for infants through age two is based on the nationally recognized and tested Creative Curriculum for Infant, Toddlers, and Twos, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) guidelines, and Indiana Foundations (Birth to Five Standards).

At our Fishers Child Care center, learning and development are tied together around four areas of the child’s development – social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language — and are promoted through experiences that challenge and interest children.

The Tot Spot recognizes that children learn best when they take an active role in the learning process. We therefore have an array of activities that support social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development, encouraging children to explore, experiment, and create. Specifically, the program includes: Daily, age-appropriate lesson plans for children individually, and as a group.  In addition to encouraging children’s creativity and independence, The Tot Spot helps children learn to follow directions, to understand early math concepts, and to cooperate in groups. These are essential to Kindergarten and all future learning.

Examples of some of these experiences include:

  • Exposure to various learning opportunities to develop skills needed to regulate the child’s emotions, behavior and attention.
  • Engagement in one-on-one interactions and small groups to foster the development of social skills.
  • Exposure to materials and objects of various textures, shapes and sizes that promote mathematical concepts.
  • Exposure to opportunities that promote the use of their senses to learn about objects in the environment, discover that they can make things happen, and solve simple problems.
  • Engagement with literacy experiences that build on the child’s interest and enjoyment of songs, rhymes, interactive games, and various types of books.
  • Participation with opportunities to gain an appreciation of art, music, drama, and dance in all of its cultural diversity, through age-appropriate learning experiences and materials.

At Fishers Child Care center we observe the children and plan activities and experiences that provide optimal learning and development for every child.  Additionally, a large part of our curriculum is centered on the responsive environment in which kids learn.

Creative Curriculum

The Creative Curriculum for Preschool, a proven research-based curriculum, serves as the foundation for our preschool curriculum at The Tot Spot.

Based on six components – literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, and technology — the Creative Curriculum guides how children develop and learn in an environment that is most conducive to their development and learning. The Creative Curriculum is linked to a valid and reliable assessment instrument designed to assess the child’s progress and development and guide program planning. At The Tot Spot, teachers and families serve as partners in the assessment and reflection of each child’s development and growth. Four rigorous independent studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of The Creative Curriculum for Preschool. Each study found positive impacts from improved classroom quality, resulting in less discipline needs, and stronger academic and social skill development.

A major piece of The Creative Curriculum is the play-based environment in which children learn.

Accordingly, the preschool classroom is designed by utilizing centers (interest areas) that address at least one developmental area. These centers include dramatic play (including kitchen sets and dress up closets), technology (a center with computers and educational software), arts and crafts (easels, paints, craft supplies), building blocks (allows for construction and destruction), quiet time reading (books and a quiet reading area), science and math, carpet and table games. Children are given blocks of free-choice time to work throughout the classroom as well as teacher guided activity time. A large emphasis of our program is on early literacy. All of the centers are print rich and give ample opportunities for children to journal about their play or to read. We believe that it is critical to instill a love of reading in our children at a very early age and children at The Tot Spot are read to from infancy thru preschool.

Play is central to the child’s learning process: play is a Child’s work. Children have a natural desire to learn and it is through playing with real objects and materials that they begin to make sense of the world.

Our Fishers Child Care center is structured, but offers flexibility and play time because we understand that each child learns and develops at his own unique pace.  Our structured curriculum enables us to lead the children in purposeful, high-interest learning experiences… but is inherently flexible. We also complete assessments of the children to help guide us in our lesson planning.  We adapt specific materials, activities, and schedules in response to the children’s changing needs and interests.

For example, our curriculum (which is play-based) may be focused on the winter season. You’ll find “snow” sculptures in the sensory bin, weather experiments at the sensory table, and books or Internet searches for hibernating animals in the classroom.  Based on the children’s interactions with these theme-related items, we will implement additional winter stories and “w” games for building literacy skills, a snowball counting contest for emerging math skills, a marshmallow taste-test to enhance language development, and bear relay races for the growing physical abilities.  It may look like “play time” at first glance, but with a careful balance of small group activity and large group interaction, our classroom provides the ideal learning environment for the diverse group of little learners.

Programs

Some outstanding aspects of our program: