At both Caring Connection Children’s Center locations, teachers will plan their lessons based on a weekly theme (link to thematic learning) but we also employ an ideology of Emergent Curriculum. One way we do this is through the use Floor Books to help teachers add children’s ideas and input into the possibilities already planned by the teacher.
What is Emergent Curriculum?
Emergent Curriculum is a term that can mean many things to many people. To us it means that our teachers encourage and include children’s ideas and responses to the days’ activities. Our teachers have always tried to do this while reading, speaking with and listening to children but to add Floorbooks as a form of documentation, is a new addition to our curriculum. It also promotes our role as listener not just speaker.
The Floor Book
One way we do this is by utilizing the Floor Book to document in print, pictures or photos the children’s’ voice, ideas, opinions, hypothesis or creative perspective.
The happy result for parents is that the Floor Books allows a chronicled glimpse back into the daily activities and two-way conversations between children and teachers, to see how their ideas and spontaneity were included and added to the teacher’s plan.
An Adventurous Example
Here is one example. The theme was dinosaurs. But while the children were on the playground a plastic bag happened its way into the yard on the breeze. One of the children thought it was worth talking about. “It looks like a parachute!” says a child. Now, a new adventure has begun. The children and teacher begin attaching toy cars, people, dinosaurs onto the bag and take turns throwing it into the air see the toy parachute into the yard.
This unplanned activity lasted for more than a few minutes and then, the idea of parachute art extended into the afternoon. Coffee filters were painted, paper people were cut, strings were tied and finally everyone had their own parachute person. Why? Because a child had a creative idea. And the teachers listened, acted upon it allowed the children’s idea to become the plan. Just think, we might’ve have dismissed it as garbage and thrown the idea in the trash…and with it a child’s inspiration.