Choosing a Pre-K curriculum is a large task. Whether you are tasked with selecting a new program for your school or you are a member of an adoption committee, there are several things to consider.
At the most basic level, a curriculum needs to address the learning objectives adopted by your center, school, district, and/or state.
- Is the program aligned to my standards?
- Is the program comprehensive? Does it deliver learning across all domains?
- Is the program built upon a solid base of foundational research?
But, ensuring that preschoolers develop into fully kinder-ready students requires much more than just the basics.
As you consider what program to select, it’s critical that you look for a program that protects your investment by supporting both students and teachers, alike. The program you select must also meet these criteria as well:
Does this program make “comprehensive learning” manageable?
- Does the program provide everything teachers need to deliver learning effectively?
- Are lessons well crafted and designed to integrate learning so that each lesson covers more than one learning domain at a time?
Does this program ensure all students are always learning?
- Are there explicit suggestions for differentiating every lesson for 3-year-olds, students with special needs, ELLs, and advanced learners?
- Is there support for differentiating instruction at point-of-use on every lesson page?
Does this program drive mastery that lasts with approaches that cement learning?
- Does the program link instruction across whole class, small groups, and independent learning centers?
- Does the program carve out dedicated time for monitoring progress?
- Does the program provide suggestions for how to remediate and modify instruction based on assessment results?
Where is this program asking my teachers to spend the bulk of their time?
Above all else, you need to be sure that the program you select respects the value that teachers bring to the classroom, and empowers them to do what they do best–teach. So as you make your final decision, look for a program that minimizes distractions and maximizes teacher effectiveness.
Ask yourself this: Where is this program asking my teacher to spend his/her time?
- Is it in delivering streamlined, targeted instruction, or hunting down materials?
- Is it in making empowered educational decisions, or feeling paralyzed by too many options and choices?
- Is it in actively monitoring progress, or getting lost trying to interpret instructions in a Teacher’s Guide?
- Is it in celebrating student growth, or feeling buried in administrative paperwork?
- Is it in connecting with colleagues and families, or searching for help to manage day-to-day life in the classroom?
Trying to find a Pre-K program that fits this guide?
Choosing the best Pre-K program for your district not only sets the tone for the rest of the year but for many years down the road. Interested in learning about how our program, DIG, fully meets each of the criteria above? Simply fill out the form below to learn more!