New Albany Early Learning Center
The webpage provides general information about the curricula for New Albany Early Learning Center. Additional information about specific learning activities will be provided by teachers through weekly communication and a curriculum night that is scheduled every fall to provide families with information about what the students will be learning during their time at the Early Learning Center.
As with all of the New Albany Schools, the state’s learning standards are used when developing lessons and selecting materials for preschool and kindergarten students. Please visit the New Albany elementary curriculum webpage to review the standards for preschool and kindergarten.
Information about our programs and approaches are listed below. Links have been embedded on this webpage to allow for additional information about each topic if you so choose.
The program used at the Early Learning Center for math instruction is called Bridges in Mathematics (teachers often refer to the program as “Bridges”). Bridges in Mathematics is a comprehensive curriculum that equips teachers to fully address state standards in a rigorous, engaging, and accessible manner. Students gain a deep understanding of concepts, proficiency with key skills, and the ability to solve complex problems. The curriculum is composed of three distinct but integrated components: Problems & Investigations, Work Places and Number Corner.
For preschool classrooms that serve three and four year olds (these students will attend the preschool program for 2 years), the youngest learners are introduced to “Bridges” through planned center based activities created by the Early Learning Center Instructional Coach.
Learning to read is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning. Reading is a means of language acquisition, communication, and of sharing information and ideas. It is a thinking process that allows the reader to use their prior knowledge to understand what they are reading. The Early Learning Center teachers recognize that reading is complex and they utilize multiple methods to intentionally teach pre-reading and reading skills.
These programs and approaches are used to support Early Learning students with literacy.
Fundations: Fundations is a multisensory and systematic phonics, spelling, and handwriting program that benefits Early Learning Center students. It also includes a supplementary activity set for preschool students. Fundations materials are used to teach the foundational skills, and significantly supports reading, writing, speaking, and language expectations found in Ohio’s learning standards. The program addresses all five areas of reading instruction with an emphasis on systematic phonics and word structure.
Heggerty: The Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum provides Early Learning Center students with consistent and repeated instruction, and this transfers to developing a student's decoding and encoding skills. It is designed for whole class instruction for approximately 10 minutes per day. Teachers may also reinforce through small groups when additional instruction is needed. The distinction between Fundations and Heggerty is that Fundations focuses on phonics, spelling and handwriting, while Heggerty provides practice for phonemic or oral language.
Reading Groups: Additional reading instruction takes place daily in classrooms through read alouds, read-to-self and small group instruction. Small group reading instruction includes reading exploration through various texts (using both decodable and leveled texts). Small group instruction also includes additional reinforcement with Fundations or Heggerty practices. The Early Learning Center provides additional support in Reading and Writing through our Reading Support Team.
In preschool, writing instruction is multifaceted. One focus is on increasing hand dexterity (strength) and appropriate grip to support future writing. Writing opportunities happen in multiple ways during the preschool day - model writing, labeling, Fundations writing language, facilitated play (i.e. taking an order in playing restaurants in the dramatic play center), and small group writing practice that meets the skill set of the student.
In kindergarten, teachers use the Fundations program to support correct letter formation as well as a writing practice book that focuses on the mechanics of writing. For writing instruction, teachers use materials from the Writing Units of Study program developed at Columbia University.
Preschool students explore science through play based activities, exploratory experiments, as well as through developmentally appropriate literature. Teachers follow state guidelines when creating purposeful lessons.
Kindergarten teachers utilize a variety of resources in order to introduce key elements of the science curriculum. Through the usage of literature, project based learning methods, exploratory hands-on activities and inquiry based lessons, students are able to develop beginning fundamental scientific foundations.
Preschool students are introduced to social studies content through role play, social stories and play based exploratory activities. Educators also utilize developmentally appropriate literature and activities to explore history and our community. Teachers follow state guidelines when creating purposeful lessons.
In kindergarten, teachers follow state standards in history, geography, economics, and government to develop lessons with components such as literature, social stories, and multi-sensory activities.
Preschool Big Day Program
The Big Day for PreK program offers learning experiences and materials that support children's social and emotional, academic, and physical development. The program is organized into eight thematic units. Each unit includes weekly and daily lessons with whole-group learning activities, small group instruction, and learning centers. Houghton Mifflin is phasing out the Big Day curriculum. The New Albany Preschool Program will still have access to Big Day’s Teacher and Family Space until December 31, 2023. We are currently researching other comprehensive programs to propose for Board of Education approval.