A curriculum provides classroom staff with a clear plan for delivering quality learning experiences to children of any age group. Without a curriculum, it can be difficult for staff to identify activities and lessons that are developmentally appropriate for the age of the children and that cover a wide range of learning areas (for example, social-emotional development, literacy, math, and science). Choosing a curriculum that is aligned to the state’s early learning guidelines helps ensure that the activities and lessons within the curriculum are appropriate for children in the class.
Once a program has selected a curriculum for a class, it often takes time for staff to practice implementing that curriculum in high quality ways. Sometimes staff need practice following a clear lesson cycle or managing children’s behavior during activities. Often, staff may need to learn new teaching strategies in order to make the most out of the curriculum–for example, strategies that help all children participate in activities regardless of their specific skill levels. Assessment data can also inform when and how parts of a curriculum are used. Therefore, curriculum implementation is an area of continuous improvement that goes far beyond understanding the structure of the curriculum product.
What curriculum products is your program currently using? Are they on state-approved lists for high quality curriculum?
What supports are provided to teachers at your program to make the most out of the curriculum (e.g., lesson planning time, professional development)?
How confident do you feel that your program is using the curriculum:
What support do you need from your Texas Rising Star mentor to help you improve your use of curriculum?
The Children’s Learning Institute partnered with the Texas Workforce Commission to provide free, online training that guides caregivers in understanding early childhood development and in making the most of each day during the early years of growth. Educators can use the information in these courses to implement and adapt strategies to support learning and development across a variety of settings and formats.Age group(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool
Here is an exemplar of a weekly lesson plan for a school-age classroom. The exemplar shows there are planned activities aligned with early learning standards that help children meet specific developmental benchmarks.Age group(s): School-age
The CIRCLE Pre-K Curriculum supports the cognitive, social, and emotional development of pre-K children. Professional development resources such as video tutorials, lesson plan templates, and the teacher’s manual act as curriculum planning supports for weekly planning and instruction. This research-based curriculum and its resources are freely available to early learning programs through CLI Engage.Age group(s): Preschool
The CIRCLE Activity Collection: Infant and Toddler translates research into practice through a variety of hands-on, play-based learning activities that teachers can implement in their classrooms in whole groups, small groups, and with individual children. Access the collection for free with your CLI Engage account.Age group(s): Infant, Toddler
The CIRCLE Activity Collection: Pre-K to Grade 2 translates research into practice through a variety of hands-on activities that school-age teachers can implement in their classrooms. Filter these play-based activities by learning area or setting (e.g., small group). Access the collection for free with your CLI Engage account.Age group(s): Preschool, School-age
The Early Learning Matters (ELM) Curriculum is an extensive, research-informed program created to support the optimal learning and development of children from birth to five years of age. ELM offers a comprehensive, developmentally appropriate approach to meaningful learning for all children.Age group(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool
This weekly lesson plan template is for infant/toddler practitioners to document structured learning activities and additional instruction notes. Using a template similar to this shows there are planned activities with learning objectives aligned with early learning guidelines, and there is evidence teaching staff receive feedback on lesson planning as a type of curriculum support on a regular basis.Age group(s): Infant, Toddler
Here is an instructional plan template for practitioners to document the learning goals and instruction details for a structured classroom activity. Using a template like the one provided shows the planned activity has a learning objective aligned with the early learning standards or guidelines that help children meet specific developmental benchmarks.Age group(s): Infant, Toddler, Preschool, School-age
This weekly lesson plan template is for preschool practitioners to document structured learning activities and additional instruction notes. Using a template similar to this shows there are planned activities with learning objectives aligned with early learning guidelines, and there is evidence teaching staff receive feedback on lesson planning as a type of curriculum support on a regular basis.Age group(s): Preschool
Here is a weekly lesson plan template for practitioners to document their structured learning activities, as well as additional instruction notes, for the school-age specified age group. Using a template similar to the one provided shows there are planned activities with learning objectives aligned with early learning standards that help children meet specific developmental benchmarks.Age group(s): School-age
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) are the state standards for what students should know and be able to do. A high-quality curriculum ensures full coverage of TEKS, is aligned with research-based instructional strategies in each subject area, and supports all learners.Age group(s): School-age
The Texas Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines (ITELG) describe expectations about what children should know and be able to do across domains of learning during specific age ranges, as well as what steps caregivers should take to support healthy development. ELPs should consider these guidelines when choosing a curriculum. Visit CLI Engage for free ITELG training.Age group(s): Infant, Toddler
The Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines (TPG) have been developed to provide guidance for planning quality learning experiences for all children three to five years of age. Aligning intentional instructional practices and opportunities for play, exploration, discovery, and problem-solving with the learning outcomes will promote successful learning for all children. Visit CLI Engage for free TPG training.Age group(s): Preschool
View more resources by clicking the link for each measure in the Define section.