Key Factors That Influence the Red Door Curriculum
Our curriculum is a blend of best practices from experts in the field of early childhood education.
We teach children to be thinkers and problem solvers, while also helping them gain confidence in expressing themselves. Through developmentally appropriate practices and play, students will acquire the skills needed to be fully successful in their next school experience.
The Red Door Curriculum is Intentionally Designed1
- Intentional teaching combines both child-guided and adult-guided experiences.
- Intentional teaching involves consistent daily routine and daily planning – having a goal and a means to accomplish it.
- Intentional teaching can also be serendipitous—taking advantage of unexpected opportunities.
- A consistent daily routine provides a variety of child-initiated and adult-initiated activities that offer opportunities for children to work on their own, with one or two peers, in small groups, and in large groups.
- Children choose and carry out activities that interest them with diverse materials.
- There are also small-group times and large-group times that are planned by adults with specific learning goals in mind (e.g., in mathematics, literacy, science, motor skills, creative arts).
- Red Door teachers are intentional in scaffolding (supporting and gently extending) children’s learning.
- Team planning helps insure that there is a balance of child- and adult-guided learning.
- Teachers observe children every day and jot down objective anecdotal notes describing (not judging) their behavior.
- As teachers review and share these notes, they plan ways to facilitate the development of each child and the class as a whole.
The Red Door Curriculum is Developmentally Appropriate (DAP)2
- Developmentally appropriate practice is an approach to teaching grounded in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about effective early education.
- Its framework is designed to promote young children’s optimal learning and development.
- DAP involves teachers meeting young children where they are (by stage of development,) both as individuals and as part of a group; and helping each child meet challenging and achievable learning goals.
Our Curriculum Builds Mindful, Heartful and Resilient Kids3
Mindfulness is a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, sensations and surrounding environment.
Heartfulness is the intentional nurturing of positive mind states such as kindness and compassion.
Resilience is “the ability to recover from fumbles and outright mistakes and bounce back.” The resilient child has somehow learned to pick him or herself up and keep going.
The Red Door Curriculum is Playful and Fun4
“When you asked me what I did in school today and I say, ‘I just played.’
Please don’t misunderstand me.
For you see, I am learning as I play.
I am learning to enjoy and be successful in my work.
Today I am a child and my work is play.”
-Anita Wadley, 1974
The STEAM Influence in the Red Door Curriculum
From their earliest years, children engage with the world in ways that can promote learning related to science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). They balance blocks to build a wall; bat at a mobile to make it spin; and push and pull magnets together and apart. Research shows that the earlier we guide and support children’s wonder about the world–and thereby identify opportunities for children to acquire foundational STEM skills–the more successful they are in all areas of learning later.1
At Red Door, we are committed to incorporating all areas of STEAM into our curriculum. To that end, students will be able to:
- Experiment in our science lab;
- Study the environment in our outside nature space, greenhouse and raised garden beds;
- Create art and study artists in our Studio;
- Have access to technology in the classrooms;
- Design and build structures in the classroom, in after-school clubs and during the summer science program with our program partner, The DaVinci Science Center;
- Use math in everyday, real ways that make sense to children.
1Ann S. Epstein on Feb 25, 2011. NAEYC On-line Q & A with the author of The Intentional Teacher: Choosing the Best Strategies for Young Children’s Learning, 2 National Association for the Education of the Young Child, 3 “Surprises Are the New Normal; Resilience Is the New Skill,” Harvard Business Review, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, July 17, 2013, 4 Wadley, A. (1974) Just Playing, Permission to print granted by author and available on request. Retrieved from http://www.anitawadley.com/Site/ Poem.html March 16, 2010.