Mannheim Early Childhood Center Curriculum

Our curriculum is a play based curriculum, which means you will see the students interacting in their natural environment. Preschool helps children develop the social, emotional, and pre-academic skills they need to succeed in school and in life. 

The Illinois Early Learning and Developmental Standards (IELDS) provide reasonable expectations for children’s growth, development, and learning in the preschool years.

The IELDS provide guidance to teachers in early childhood programs to create and sustain developmentally appropriate experiences for young children that will strengthen their learning and development.

Illinois Early Learning Standards 

We work on increasing students’ oral communication abilities. Below are ways that students work on listening and speaking skills.

Students demonstrate understanding through age-appropriate responses.

  • Follow simple one, two, and three-step directions.
  • Respond appropriately to questions from others.
  • Provide comments relevant to context.
  • Identify emotions from body language.

Students communicate effectively using appropriate language.

  • Use language for a variety of purposes.
  • With teacher assistance, participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners (e.g., peers and adults in both small and large groups) about age-appropriate topics and texts.
  • Continue a conversation through two or more exchanges.
  • Engage in agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening, making eye contact, taking turns speaking).

Students use language to convey information and ideas.

  • Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with teacher assistance, provide additional detail.

Students speak using conventions of  language.

  • With teacher assistance, use complete sentences in speaking with peers and adults in individual and group situations.
  • Speak using age-appropriate conventions of language grammar and usage.
  • Understand and use question words in speaking.

Students use increasingly complex phrases, sentences, and vocabulary.

  • With teacher assistance, begin to use increasingly complex sentences.
  • Exhibit curiosity and interest in learning new words heard in conversations and books.
  • With teacher assistance, use new words acquired through conversations and book-sharing experiences.  
  • With teacher assistance, explore word relationships to understand the concepts represented by common categories of words (e.g., food, clothing, vehicles).
  • With teacher assistance, use adjectives to describe people, places, and things

In Preschool, the sound a letter makes is taught first. Bilingual classes use the Estrellita sequence and English classes use Jolly Phonics.  Both programs provide sight, sound, and physical movement to help the children acquire letter sounds.  

The letter sounds are connected to the written letter so the children can begin writing.

Through these systems, the children will begin to understand the alphabet, spoken words, syllables, letter sounds, and phonetic spelling for writing as stated in the Illinois Early Learning Standards. 

Jolly Phonics Parent Teacher Guide 

Jolly Phoncs Resources 

Writing in Preschool has many stages of development. It can be making marks on the paper, scribbling, letter representation, letter stringing or early phonemic spelling. These marks are a way to represent meaning. Drawings are another form of writing to represent meaning. Children’s “letters” gradually develop into forms that resemble conventional forms. Forming letters conventionally requires fine motor skills. Letting children explore with different materials and writing tools gives them experiences and needed practice.

The MECC incorporates mathematics learning into each of the Creative Curriculum’s interest areas through meaningful experiences throughout the day.

Preschool Mathematics Content:
1. Number & operations
2. Geometry & spatial sense
3. Measurement
4. Patterns
5. Data analysis

Five Process Skills of Mathematics:
1. Problem solving
2. Reasoning
3. Communicating
4. Connecting
5. Representing

Science is an exciting time to explore in a sensory and social-filled environment!  This is all about the students’ using their senses of sight, touch, smell, hearing, and even taste to learn about the world around them.  

Activities can include:

  • Cooking
  • Mixing Materials
  • Messy or Sensory Tables
  • Nature/Neighborhood Walks
  • Experiencing movement and how things move (bikes, gears, etc.)
  • Exploring New Objects: Balloons, Leaves, Anything!

Science will promote discussion with peers, imagination, and curiosity in school and their everyday lives!

Social studies is the study of people and the ways they relate to others.  Everyday experiences provide the foundation for learning social studies.

There are four main objectives for learning social studies.

  • Demonstrates knowledge about self.
  • ​​​​​​​Shows basic understanding of people and how they live.
  • Explores change related to familiar people.
  • ​​​​​​​Demonstrates simple geographic knowledge.

Teachers build upon children’s interests and background knowledge to introduce children to other places, traditions, and cultures.

Teachers also focus on self-development within social settings.

Physical Health and Development is a time for students to get active and engage in play using their gross motor skills. Everyday Students have access to either the playground (weather permitting) or multipurpose room for 20 minutes. During this time students will be able to acquire movement skills and understand concepts needed to explore the environment, demonstrate awareness and coordination of body movements, develop habits for lifelong fitness, and develop team-building skills by working with others.

Gross Motor Activities Include:

  • Playground jungle gym
  • Tricycles
  • Sea Saw
  • Chalk
  • Bubbles
  • Balls
  • Parachutes
  • Blocks
  • Cars
  • Balance Beam
  • Basketball Net
  • Hula Hoops

Social emotional development during the preschool years involves socialization, the process by which children learn the values and behaviors accepted by society.

There are three main objectives for social emotional development and learning.

  • Objective 1-Regulates own emotions and behaviors
  • Objective 2-Establishes and sustains positive relationships
  • Objective 3-Participates cooperatively and constructively in group situations.

These objectives are met in the classroom using our SEL Second Step Curriculum and Calm Classroom techniques.

SEL Second Step Parent Resources