How To Choose The Best Toddler Curriculum For Your Classroom
When you’re teaching toddlers, it can be difficult to know where to begin when selecting a curriculum for the year. There are a lot of options, and you should never blindly pick something and hope it’s right for your classroom’s needs.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a toddler curriculum – what subjects does it cover, will it address the right developmental activities, and of course, will the parents approve.
Here are six tips for choosing a child care curriculum that’s sure to keep your toddlers engaged, learning and meeting their developmental milestones.
Choose a toddler curriculum that’s comprehensive.
Kids coming into the classroom are there to learn both school smarts and social smarts. If you don’t have a curriculum that meets both of these needs, you aren’t getting all you can out of the day.
To help ensure your curriculum is as comprehensive as possible, make sure to pick a plan that meets both the educational and the social development needs of your students. You’ll want to ensure the toddler curriculum is packed with lessons on literacy, math and science, and includes hands-on activities to keep engagement high. Keeping the kiddos engaged is key, because if they aren’t excited then you’ll have trouble keeping them interested and on track.
Make sure it includes tangible goals.
A good way to set up for success is to make sure your curriculum outlines clear and tangible goals for all your students and for you. There is a lot to accomplish, and only so many hours to do it when you factor in potty breaks and snack time.
Find a toddler curriculum that outlines goals for everyone. When children know what is expected of them they tend to perform better and can feel good working toward something attainable. Teachers feel good helping them get there and their students’ accomplishments – making it a win for everyone!
Find one that has a variety of activities.
When you do the same thing day after day you’re likely to lose focus – and that’s without having a toddler’s attention span.
You’ll want a child care curriculum plan that can evolve as you learn, and that uses a variety of techniques so you can see what students respond to best. Plus, switching it up keeps everyone more interested and makes kids much more likely to keep up with what you’re doing because it isn’t predictable – after all, the only thing more disruptive than a bored toddler is a classroom of bored toddlers.
Don’t forget about assessments.
No, we’re not suggesting your toddler curriculum comes with burdensome assessment tools, but it should have a way to track and evaluate that goals are being met.
Select a child care curriculum that comes with a way to check in periodically to make sure everyone is progressing appropriately and meeting their individual goals. Sure, this is a lot less fun than show and tell, but it will help out in the long run, and it’ll be a feather in your cap when your students are the smartest kids in the center.
Ask yourself, “Can this be easily adapted?”
Every good plan has a backup, and a backup to the backup, and a backup to the…well, you get the idea.
One of the most important things to consider when looking through toddler curriculum ideas is its adaptability. Some activities and lessons will take longer than expected, and others take half the time you’ve allotted, leaving you with a lot of children looking for something fun to do next.
Make sure you can flow between projects, and that your curriculum plan includes extra activities just in case something isn’t well received. Occasionally, this will be taking out something from the day’s schedule, and other times you may have to completely change your activities based on the reaction of your class.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Even the best teachers don’t know everything – but usually, co-workers are happy to collaborate! Make sure to chat with your cohort about their plans and share ideas about yours. You never know what may spark a great idea.
Whatever toddler curriculum ideas you go with, LifeCubby’s award-winning childcare management software can help you organize it and put it into action. We help make your life easy by providing a variety of ideas to incorporate into your chosen curriculum to keep you and your students on track for the school year ahead.
Want to learn more about how LifeCubby can help make center life simpler? Click HERE to schedule a free demo today!