Sunday, June 7, 2009

Teaching Pre- & Preschool Kids

I was asked today about curriculum standards for those teaching the very young....those 2, 3, and 4 y/o's. There's not much out there on where exactly your child should be developmentally...oh there's much in the way of recognizing if there is a problem, but not much in the way of planning educational play and what your child would be learning if in an institution like a preschool. See, the one who had asked had found a website that was unbelievable in what they asked these youngsters to know (at This list is not only unatainable for 99% of children, but I think it's irresponsible to give 2 y/o's such manipulatives as buttons and noodles and not expect them to put them in their mouths, making them choking hazards!! See the Core Knowledge Curriculums are like that - one or two grades above most accapted levels..
So I put together what I believe is appropriate for these age groups. Keeping in mind that all children are different...some may advance faster in one area but lag a little behind in another. There's no reason to stress if your child doesn't fit into a mold, as long as they are trying and progressing at a steady pace.

Age 2

Language Development:
  • can use 2-3 word sentences
  • recognizes the people in their life and can say their names (mom, dad, bro/sister, grandma/pa, etc) anyone they see weekly or more often.
  • attempts to sing along for the alphabet song, but will probably stumble over the l,m,n,o,p, portion (blending it together)
  • may be able to recognize some of the upper case letters.
Writing Development (fine motor skills):
  • Can hold a fat pencil or crayon in a fist like hand position
    scribbles in unrecognizable pics but it's fun (and builds up to better motor skills)
Math/Number Sense:
  • can begin to count to 5, using finger or other manipulatives
  • can begin correlating (putting similar objects all the red cars).
  • Might be able to recognize a circle, square and triangle.
  • can recognize several animal pics (I'd say about 10)
  • Can associate some animal sounds with pictures of the recognized animal (cow sayes moo, etc) - about 1/2 (so if they recognize 10 animals they can also remember the sounds of 5-6)
  • Learning about personal hygiene (but still needs supervision) for potty training then washing their hands, even brushing their teeth. They can remember the steps and attemt to teach a stuffed animal those remembered steps.
  • Can identify 1 or 2 articles of clothing (socks, shoes, shirt, etc) and begin to attempt to dress themselves.
Social Studies:
  • Begins to recognize characteristics of the sexes (generally associating all women with mom and men with dad so if dad has a gotee then all men will have facial hair, if mom has long hair then all people with long hair are girls, etc)
  • When asked their age they can hold up the appropriate number of fingers.
  • Begins to follow directions (put the toys in the toy box, those instructions with only 1 step)
  • When asked they can say their first name (although at this age they will probably be shy of saying it to strangers).
Social Development:
  • Begin to be able to play independently or with other children without having to have mom or dad (or other caregivers) within eye sight, for about 15 minutes.
  • Understands the concept of sharing (even if they don't do it..LOL)
  • Begins to understand some safety rules (don't cross the street without an adult, don't touch the hot stove, etc).
  • Can focus on a task for about 10 minutes before changing topics.

Age 3
Language Development:
  • can use 4-5 word sentences
  • recognizes the people in their life and can say their names (mom, dad, bro/sister, grandma/pa, etc) anyone they see weekly or more often.
  • can sing common songs independently and get them about 90% correct (like the itsy-bitsy spider, ABC's etc)
  • can recognize most upper case letters (may confuse W/V, E/F, O,Q)
  • Can look at a picture book and tell you a story to go with the pictures.
  • Can guess what comes next in a story.
  • Can retell they favorite stories with some success
  • Begins to be able to express themselves verbally - if their upset or hurt they can tell you what happened and why they are upset.
  • Repeats simple instructions, scentences or stories with some accuracy
  • Can identify the letters of their first name, and attempt to trace or write them.
Writing Development (fine motor skills):
  • Can trace different lines (zig-zagged, curvy, straight, etc) with some success
  • Attempts to copy pictures, shapes, etc.
  • scribbles, then can tell you what it was they drew.
  • likes to work with different mediums (paint, crayons, markers, etc)
Math/Number Sense:
  • can count to 10 with success and to 20 with some mistakes through the teens
  • understands somce of the concepts of opposites.directionals (more.less, top/bottom, over/under, etc) with some success
  • Can recognize about 1/2 of the primary colors
  • Can recognize most of the primary shapes.
  • Can match items by similarities (color, size, type, etc) --- can put away the laundry or groceries in the appropriate places.
  • recognizes common farm and zoo animals as well as pets
  • can identify animal sounds for those common animals
  • can identify animal homes for about 1/2 of the animals they know (bears live in a cave, etc)
  • Recognizes parts of the body
  • Can perform their own personal hygeine (brushing teeth, going potty) with only needing minimal help.
  • Atempts to dress themselves with some success, attempting buttons, snaps, and zippers.
  • Recognizes several attributes of the seasons
  • Recognizes different types of weather and which clothes would be appropriate for different weather patterns
Social Studies:
  • Can understand there are a variety of people on the planet of different races and religions (but can't identify those differences, just acknowledges that they are in fact different).
  • Knows their ages and their First & Last name
  • Understands some of the different service jobs (policemen, firemen, mailmen, etc) and can give a very general description of that job.
  • Can identify some different modes of transportation
  • Can point to our country/state/continent on a map & globe
  • Can recognize common street signs (stop, walk, etc)
Social Development:
  • Can interact with other children comfortably.
  • Can identify friends and family by first name
  • Can share well with new children
  • Understands safety and health rules (don't talk to strangers, look both ways before crossing the street)....
  • Can take care of their own belongings - performing simple chores
  • Can play or work independently for short periods of time.
  • Can focus on a task for about 15-20 minutes
Age 4  or

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