Our curriculum is updated annually to include the latest developments in the early childhood field. Each week, our teachers write lesson plans based on Le Chaperon Rouge curriculum goals in each category (see below). Our teachers are well-equipped with different ways of taking abstract concepts for children, such as letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, and presenting them in more concrete ways- through stories, songs, painting, tracing, games, and other activities. At Le Chaperon Rouge, curriculum objectives exceed the normal standards of teaching preschoolers, and incorporate additional goals we feel are important for tapping into your child's unlimited potential.
Reading & Writing Readiness
Reading, writing, and oral language, are the ways in which we are able to communicate with each other. All of these things are done on a continuum of complexity. First, a child says one word, then a phrase, then a sentence. The same is true for reading and writing. Important language skills contribute to reading and writing readiness, such as recognizing syllables, rhyming, name recognition, letter recognition, and differentiating letter sounds.
Le Chaperon Rouge focuses on a new letter each week- the recognition of it, being able to write it, the sound of it, words it commonly starts with, and finding it in our environment. Different language skills are highlighted each week in lessons by the teacher. Teachers work with children daily on an individual basis to improve handwriting.
Math is the study of numbers. Math is also the ability to categorize, pattern, measure, problem solve, collect data, and understand shapes and space. Math is in every part of a child or adult life.
Math is used throughout the classroom environment, and is also an important focus in teacher lessons. Le Chaperon Rouge reviews a different shape
and number each week with all children 18 months and older. In addition, teacher's daily lessons focus on groups using math skills to complete projects, such as measuring ingredients to complete a recipe, or creating a necklace with a repetitive bead pattern .
Science and Nature
Children are natural scientists- always curious, often observant. Science, like math, is constantly happening in the world around us. Science is a process that children can easily participate in through active engagement- naturally following the steps of the scientific method without even knowing it! Science is also something that encourages children to ask a lot of questions about how the world works- where does the moon go, or why do the leaves on the trees come back in the spring?
Science is introduced to children at Le Chaperon Rouge in concrete lessons- like learning the life cycle of a butterfly or the ingredients needed to grow a plant - in conjunction with lessons of discovery- watching a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, or planting seeds, taking care of them, and watching them become plants. Scientific processes of questioning, prediction, observation, and drawing conclusions are encouraged as hands-on science lessons unfold. Areas are specifically designated in the classrooms with science tools- microscopes, magnifying glasses, bug catchers, tweezers, magnets, measuring cups, science encyclopedias, and many “real” science objects, such as plants, seashells, river rocks, seasonal gourds, leaves in the fall, snow & ice in the winter, etc. Sensory bins of sand, rice, water, and other alternating materials are always available for the children to explore.
Social studies is the episodes of daily life, the way that families and friends form a community, the understanding of holidays, the introduction of different cultures, and the appreciation and acceptance of diversity throughout our planet.
Our “Country of the Month” program is an original Le Chaperon Rouge variation of a diversity program. Each month, the children are introduced to a different country's culture, geography, music, games, clothing, inventions, cooking, language, history, and artists. In addition, Le Chaperon Rouge educates the children about different holidays around the world each month and has small class celebrations. Small projects concentrating on family, friends, and community are incorporated in the classroom as well.
Our ‘Historical Person of the Month' is also included in Social Studies. People that have made history like John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. Galileo, Shakespeare, and Gandhi are just a few of the people our students get to know in age appropriate lessons.
The ‘Artist of the Month' introduces little minds to the great painters of the world. Artists like Picasso, Monet, and Da Vinci to name a few are introduced and explored in lessons about the person, their painting style, and techniques. The creative style is practiced through painting, coloring, and 3D art. One of the most successful ways to create an appreciation for art later in life is to introduce it early in childhood.
Art is a way of expressing the creativity that every child possesses innately. Art can be a journey in discovering new processes and skills. Art can be an outlet to pursue fresh ideas or reference old ones.
Art is incorporated into your child's day at Le Chaperon Rouge in many ways. Art is present every day at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Some art projects are used to teach concepts that coincide with teaching goals to improve fine motor skills such as holding a marker or cutting. Some are open-ended with various resources available for children to explore. Some are based on Le Chaperon Rouge's “Artist of the Month” curriculum. This part of our curriculum teaches children about different artists' famous works and how to use the artists' style to create his/her own rendition. The classrooms are well stocked with an art center filled with bins of crayons, colored pencils, markers, glue, scissors, craft materials such as old magazines, wallpaper scraps, bobble eyes, foam letters, multi colored construction paper, writing paper, and so much more. There is also an easel that is age appropriate in each classroom.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills are the small movements made by the fingers, hands, and wrists. These skills are art & writing skills, snapping, buttoning, tying, lacing, and picking up small objects, to name a few. Skills are developed by very patient teachers and lots of daily practice.
At Le Chaperon Rouge, fine motor skills are worked on in various ways- buttoning a shirt, rolling play dough into a long snake, using a pair of tweezers to pick up small objects, putting together tiny puzzle pieces, practicing handwriting, or using a plastic butter knife to cut an apple. Our curriculum indicates weekly skills and goals for teachers to practice with individual instruction, encouraging manipulation of the small hand muscles in fresh and diverse ways.
Gross motor skills are the large movements made by the entire body usually associated with physical fitness activities. These skills are worked on in stages- walking before running, hopping on two feet before hopping on one, or bouncing a ball before being able to catch it.
Le Chaperon Rouge is designed to provide extra large play areas for children to engage in physical activity both indoors and outdoors. Indoor play areas in the new prototype buildings feature Astroturf floors and over 1000 sq. feet of play space. Each class is allotted double the time required by the state for gross motor activity- once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Skills are introduced through organized play and practiced each day. For example, galloping, kicking a ball, walking on a balance beam, or doing a somersault. Group activities like music through movement, yoga, basketball, obstacle courses, ball games, and others involve the children and the teachers together. Time is also allotted each day on the playgrounds for the children to be closely and safely supervised doing what children do best- play.
Language Arts, Storytelling, and Dramatic Play
Language arts incorporate many different sources of creativity for children- reading books, listening to stories on tape, acting out stories with puppets, acting out scenes in a dramatic play center, telling stories with a felt board, or creating their own stories. Through oral language and reading books, children start to develop other skills- new vocabulary, a child's own ability to narrate an event, or the knowledge that words move from left to right and top to bottom on a page to name a few. These skills will make your child eager and ready to read.
Our storytelling curriculum concentrates on language skill development as well as broadening creative horizons for children by exposure to new stories and ideas. At Le Chaperon Rouge, we have a innovative way of bringing storytelling to life by introducing a mixture of old folktales and new children's authors, incorporating various sorts of props, and encouraging child participation.
Music & Movement
Music is an expression of humanity and creativity that everyone is drawn to in some way. Music is taught through singing, dancing, instruments, and, most importantly, listening. Music can be used for storytelling, social studies lessons, creative expression, celebration, and so much more.
Le Chaperon Rouge understands the importance of music to children. Exposing children to various kinds of music creates new communication between synapses in the brains of very young children. W e use music in the classroom beyond a typical music lesson such as learning a new song or taking instruments on a parade. Music is interwoven into a child's day. Soft, classical music is played in the background during focused lesson times. Dancing music is played during free play times to encourage movement. Diverse music is used in different ways in between these times. Music is also used to teach lesson content (a song about the seasons), tell a story (Little Red Riding Hood), or in social studies as a cultural piece (dancing to Celtic Music).
Social & Emotional Management Skills
Childhood is filled with the waves of dealing with one's emotions properly within the limits of a certain environment or situation- wants versus needs, actions versus reactions, impulse versus what is socially acceptable. Social skills are the most important lessons that any adult can teach to a child. How to solve a relationship problem, or effectively communicate your feelings to another person are valuable tools in life.
What differentiates Le Chaperon Rouge from other schools is that we believe in small groups, which allows us to give children more individual attention and provides a home-like family atmosphere. We take great pride in teaching children social and emotional skills to help him/her manage throughout life. Manners are encouraged, and children are taught to problem solve along with teachers for better peer interactions. Specific social skills- such as table manners, personal space, and hygiene - are highlighted at each age and development level so that they are keys for teachers to enforce, and are reflected in a teacher's weekly lesson plan. Above all else, our teachers know to give plenty of hugs and use kind and nurturing words throughout the day whether to comfort a child, in resolving disputes between peers, or to put on a joyful smile when a child wakes up from his or her nap.
The curriculum is right on track for their age group and is presented in ways that spark my girls' interest and make them want to learn. They go to school and come home excited and happy! They have also been exposed to art, music, history, French, dance, morals and values, manners, indoor and outdoor play, and many other areas which are helping to mold them into very well-rounded little girls.
---- Kristin Livingston, mother of 2