The KidSparkz approach to planning curriculum in early childhood education: How does it help you as teachers and parents, and the children as learners?
- It is immediately accessible – print and do. Most, if not all, of the thousands of activities available both in the site and in the downloadable curriculums can be completed using just a short list of everyday materials and supplies. You can plan ahead, or start fresh every day, whichever teaching method works best for you. By following the easily navigable links, you can usually find whatever you need within 3 seconds.
- The printable activity pages are NOT worksheets. They are designed to be used as teaching/learning props, hands-on tools and motivational supports. Many worksheets that you can find on the web are basically assessment tools – they are designed to be used to “test” if something has been learned after the fact. Pages like connecting words to pictures, and number addition and subtraction require that the concept has been learned and understood previously. KidSparkz activity printables TEACH the concept.
- The importance of child/adult interaction: the children and an adult/teacher/facilitator work together on the activities and games, not just a child alone. The teacher acts as a guide, eliciting answers and ideas with open-ended questions, and encouraging a back and forth discussion. This approach works equally well with an individual child or a small group, and at every developmental level. And the children who do the activities and play the games at school can easily take them home and play again, with the family.
- More than letters and numbers. Of course, learning to read and to add are important, and there are many KidSparkz activities and games that support the development of these skills. But early childhood education consists of so much more than letters, numbers, shapes and colors. How about oral language, storytelling, critical and creative thinking, logical process, whole body movement, music and art experiences, the hand/eye/brain process, and encouraging the developing awareness of a “self” in relationship with our earth and a larger community with early science and social studies concepts? The KidSparkz activity pages and curriculums provide all of this.
- The educational theory supporting the activities has been taken care of for you. Theory is important. It is all-important. But busy teachers and parents do not have the luxury of time to be able to read about and understand the educational reasons behind every activity, every day. Go ahead and use the KidSparkz printables and curriculums, knowing that an educational professional has designed and created them, with the latest ideas and theories of early childhood educational thought in mind. All activities are supported by the comprehensive Washington State Standards, and NAEYC recommendations
- The activities and games are fun. So many teachers and parents have written to say, in so many words: “Thanks for this site. It makes things so much easier for me to plan and create, but best of all, the kids love the activities.” We all learn best when we enjoy what we are doing.