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Pre-K Curriculum

A good beginning for children in pre-kindergarten is important. The basic skills and attitudes acquired during this initial school experience establish the foundation upon which the individual builds his/her educational future.

Clayton County's Pre-kindergarten Program focuses on the total development of each individual child. The program develops the basic concepts and skills in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, art, music, health, safety and physical education in a way that is appropriate to young learners. It is designed to meet individual needs socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically.

The curriculum is designed to be flexible, child-centered and developmentally appropriate. The philosophy behind the curriculum is that children learn best by doing. We believe play is the work of young children and provides the foundation of learning. Children are given opportunities to be successful at learning by working with meaningful materials. The most important goal of our program is to help children become life-long learners.

Children's self-esteem and positive feelings toward learning guide teacher preparation as they follow the Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards (GELDS). The GELDS promote quality learning experiences for children and address the question, “What should children from birth to age five know and be able to do?” They are a set of appropriate, attainable standards that are flexible enough to support children’s individual rates of development, approaches to learning, and cultural context. The GELDS are a continuum of skills, behaviors, and concepts that children develop throughout this time of life.

Developed to serve all Pre-K children, We Can is a proven, evidenced-based, early learning solution that supports teachers of all experience levels addressing key foundational skills in the Common Core State Standards and other state standards for kindergarten.


"WE CAN" Curriculum
We Can!™, an early childhood (3 & 4 year olds) and research-based comprehensive 12-month curriculum, takes a proactive approach to advancing a child's personal, social, decision-making, and communication skills while they learn and develop phonics, pre-writing, oral language, vocabulary and math skills.
The program also accommodates multilingual instructional strategies in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language. Additional materials and supports include:
o Effective/Easy-to-use classroom management strategies
o Manipulatives and literature to support classroom activities, including informational texts in Big Books
o The ability to utilize cross-curriculum subject matter.
o Strong Literacy and Numerical learning progression. The students will finish prepared to learn, common-core K standards. Adaptive lessons can be used for 3 and 4 year olds at multiple levels.
o Multiple assessments and progress-monitoring tools. Tablet friendly online benchmark assessments tool to track student progress. Benchmark assessments are given 2-3 times a year.

We Can! is aligned to state and national standards including the Head Start Outcomes Frameworks and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


Phonological Awareness and Phonics Skills
We Can! provides systematic and explicit instruction that helps children identify sounds in words used in conversations. They begin to connect sounds to letters represented in print. Children physically move to rhymes and songs. We Can! teaches isolating and blending sounds, segmenting words into parts and syllables, and combining parts to say the word. Included are Letter Cards, Posters, Flashcards, and Memory Cards that aid in teaching and reinforcing phonological awareness and alphabetic knowledge. Children frequently sing the alphabet song and play games on the computer where alphabet characters introduced in the phonics program, Letter Sounds & Strokes, come to life. American Sign Language (ASL) provides a physical movement that cues recognition of letter names and sounds, helping children to discriminate between letters b and d or n and u.

Concepts of Print
We Can! supplies teachers with the tools to create a print-rich environment. Children listen and read together as teachers reread the text to connect spoken and written language. They also read poems and recipes, discuss Venn diagrams, and compare data on charts. Children author and illustrate their own stories to capture their ideas in print and art. Teachers read printed words from Big Books, storybooks, poetry, and the Class Books that children create. Included is also informational text Big Books. Children learn to use five writing strokes in the I Can Draw Pre-Writing Program that introduce orientation, alignment, parts to whole, and correct writing habits using their grip, pressure, and body posture. They practice listening and following teacher directions while using the strokes to draw objects. Children improve their printing skills using developmentally appropriate art activities as they listen, talk, define, and tell stories about their work.

Background knowledge
Math, science, social studies, and fine arts are incorporated throughout We Can! in order to expose children to basic concepts and general knowledge about the world.
Math—Teachers incorporate geometry, shapes, colors, sizes, measurement, and numbers and number concepts throughout the curriculum. Teachers use the Math Big Books to connect number sense (how many), the numeral, and the number word. Counting objects are presented in vertical lines to help children see the one-to-one correspondence when they compare sets for more or less.
Science—Children participate in Learning Centers and activities that encourage manipulating materials to discover scientific concepts. Teachers read books to extend learning experiences about animals, people, environments and habitats, and weather and seasons. Children conduct experiments and chart their observations to problem-solve and create solutions. Science becomes an adventure and opportunity to discover, analyze, and problem-solve.
Social Studies—We Can! includes suggestions for group discussions and activities using thematic units that explore and honor diversity in languages, cultures, people, and animal groups in their environments.
Fine Arts—Students finger paint, color, draw with markers, tear and glue paper, and explore using art materials. We Can! Sing English and Spanish CD-ROM and cassette enable children to learn to enjoy and appreciate music.
The interactive CD-ROM, titled The Learning Zoo: Games and Activities for Pre-Kindergarten, provides practice opportunities that reinforce recognition of shapes, colors and color words, numerals and number words, counting skills, and letter sounds and names.

Continuous student monitoring and assessment
We Can! integrates assessment with instruction in each daily lesson plan. The program includes multiple opportunities to identify, monitor, and assess children’s needs, progress, and achievement. Observational and instructional data is collected through the use of several assessments including 2-3 benchmark assessments which are tracked via a tablet-friendly internet based tool. Data collected through assessment can be used to make teaching decisions that include student grouping, activity planning, and material usage that ensure student-learning experiences are inclusive and culturally and linguistically responsive. The numerous tasks and variety of difficulty levels in each activity allow teachers to use assessment data to differentiate instruction. Teachers record assessment data in each child’s portfolio, which can be shared with the child’s family and future teacher.

Critical Areas of Development
Activities such as The Learning Zoo (web-based and tablet friendly), We Can! Sing English and Spanish CD-ROM, Magnetic Letters, games, and I Can Draw Big Books encourage students to represent their learning in multiple ways. We Can! uses a systematic Classroom Management System. Included is video-based teacher instruction on how to create and manage a classroom community. Teachers learn how to create choice and order within their classrooms so children learn to control themselves. Children practice making choices and learn to be accountable for them. ASL serves as a behavioral tool that teachers use to signal and maintain attention, clarify expectations, and compliment children’s efforts and achievements.
Children share responsibilities and participate as Helpers in the classroom by using appropriate communication skills to solve problems. They learn how to contribute, how to help others and themselves, and how to be responsible and share the work in classroom communities. In most activities, children are encouraged to engage in dramatic play while beginning to understand relationships.
We Can! provides teachers with activities to teach children fine motor skills and concepts about body awareness, space, motion, and boundaries. Integrated into We Can! are activities that discuss good health habits, safety rules, and ways to care for themselves and others.

We Can! Early Childhood Curriculum is a comprehensive early childhood program that uses direct, systematic, explicit and scaffolded instruction. The program aligns with the research findings on how to promote the development of early and emerging literacy as well as general cognitive, social, and emotional functioning.




Bright from the Start:
Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning
(formerly the Office of School Readiness)