ECD 315 UAGC Developing Thema

Developing Your Thematic Unit

In Week Two, you chose a classroom to develop lessons for and completed the goals, objectives and standards section of your first lesson plan. This lesson is the first piece of the thematic unit that you will develop as part of your summative assignment in Week Five. For your assignment this week you will use the knowledge you have gained about planning curriculum and developing lessons to create a concept map for your entire thematic unit, finalize the lesson plan you started in Week Two, and develop a second lesson for your unit.

To prepare for this assignment,

In your assignment,

  • Develop a concept map for your unit that incorporates at least three ideas related to your theme for each of the following areas: creative arts, fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Use Figure 6.5 from the course text as a guide. You may find the “Smart Art” tool in Microsoft Word helpful for creating your concept map.
  • Describe the theme of unit, including a rationale for how the unit uses a developmentally appropriate approach to meeting early learning and/or academic standards for the classroom you choose from the ECD 315 Week 2: Case Study Interaction (Links to an external site.). Refer back to your Week Two Discussion: Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum for support.
  • Develop the creative arts lesson you began in your Week Two Discussion: Creating Learning Objectives. You must use the ECE/CD Lesson Plan Template. (Links to an external site.)
    • Using the feedback from your instructor and peers, revise the goals, objectives, and standards section of the lesson.
    • Complete the materials, introduction, lesson development, differentiation, assessment/guided practice, and closure sections of the ECE/CD Lesson Plan Template. (Links to an external site.)
  • Create a new lesson, related to your theme, with a fine and gross motor skill focus. You must use the ECE/CD Lesson Plan Template.
    • Each section of the lesson plan template must be completed.

The Developing Your Thematic Unit paper

Instructor guidance

Assignment – Developing Your Thematic Unit

Many early childhood educators use thematic units to teach children. The thematic unit can often times be seen throughout the entire classroom environment. If you are wondering if you should use thematic units in your classroom practice take a look at this article Should I Use Thematic Units in My Classroom (Links to an external site.)?

To begin, as you decide what types of thematic units you will use (snow, fall, astronauts etc), you will want to assess students and get to know them. Understanding what your students are bringing to class with them is very important. You want to know and understand each child’s background knowledge and experience so you can build on the knowledge they already have.

Wk3IG_BabiesBlocks.jpg

Then, you will want to choose themes that children find important or interesting. This will differ from year to year and class to class. One class may be really interested in plants and gardening, while others may be more interested in insects and spiders. There is no right or wrong, it all depends on what your students want to know about.

As you integrate this theme throughout the classroom environment, you will add it to all aspects of the curriculum (during carpet time, large, small and one-on-one groups, centers, homework, cooking, art, etc). Here are some ways to add themes to center areas and around the classroom: Themes (Links to an external site.), and Pre-K Theme (Links to an external site.).

Your theme will be covered throughout your classroom practice. You will want to not only add it to your center time, but to arts and crafts, science, math and other content areas, through the children’s literature you read, in fine motor and gross motor teaching (which may happen during your center time) and even the music you play during the day.

As you prepare each of the themes you will cover, you will need to decide how often your themes will change (weekly, monthly, bi-weekly etc). What types of materials will you need? Where will you get the money for the materials? Will you need support from your families? How will you need to set up your environment? Can you take field trips? It can seem like a daunting task, but thematic units are a great way to teach young children.

In your assignment:

  • Develop a concept map for your unit that incorporates at least three ideas related to your theme for each of the following areas: creative arts, fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Use Figure 6.5 from the course text as a guide. You may find the “Smart Art” tool in Microsoft Word helpful for creating your concept map.
  • Describe the theme of unit, including a rationale for how the unit uses a developmentally appropriate approach to meeting early learning and/or academic standards for the classroom you choose from the Week 2 Classroom Case Studies book. Refer back to your Week 2 Discussion: Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum for support.
    • Instructor Tip: What theme did you choose? Why? Is it DAP, and how can you support that?
  • Develop the creative arts lesson you began in your Week 2 Discussion: Creating Learning Objectives. You must use the ECE/CD Lesson Plan Template.
    • Using the feedback from your instructor and peers, revise the goals, objectives, and standards section of the lesson.
    • Complete the materials, introduction, lesson development, differentiation, assessment/guided practice, and closure sections of the ECE/CD Lesson Plan Template.
    • Instructor Tip: As you read what your peers and instructor said about your creative arts lesson, what will you change? Why? How will it make it better?
  • Create a new lesson, related to your theme, with a fine and gross motor skill focus. You must use the ECE/CD Lesson Plan Template.
    • Each section of the lesson plan template must be completed.
    • Instructor Tip: Do some research on fine and gross motor skills. What can you do in your classroom that will help with these skills and also cover your theme?

week 2 disscussion


Early Learning and Academic Standards

Differentiate between early learning and academic standards.

Early Learning standards and academic standards are critical in a student’s educational journey. Early learning standards emphasize children’s development regarding the expected developmental milestones (Jaruszewicz, 2013). It involves understanding the expected development in a child based on age. On the other hand, academic standard involves defining how the learning should be delivered to children to ensure a conducive environment for learning. Early learning standards mainly focus on development and growth, while academic standards define how teachers should ensure effective knowledge delivery.

Examine the role of early learning and academic standards, including how they can be used together, in creating developmentally appropriate learning objectives and curriculum

Early learning and academic standards can be significant in promoting effective learning. Early learning standards and academic standards can be used together by creating objectives consistent with the growth milestone and the academic standards that are efficient for the defined curriculum. It helps to use effective learning objectives consistent with both the age and the set academic standards.

Develop the goals, standards, and objectives of the ECE/CD Lesson Plan Template (Links to an external site.) for the classroom you chose from the ECD 315 Week 2: Case Study Interaction (Links to an external site.)

Lesson Plan for children of four years of age.

Goal

The goal of the lesson is to boost student’s cognitive ability.

Objective

The goal for the lesson is to be able to recognize different colors.

Standards Included

The students will be required to study following the CDC development milestones.

References

Jaruszewicz. C. (2013). Curriculum Planning and Design for Early Learners. Approaches to Learning. Explorative Play and Creative Arts.

Instructor feed back

jennifer,
I enjoyed seeing you engage in this forum with your classmates. You developed an initial post that helped to differentiate between early learning and academic standards. You included a thorough examination of the role of early learning and academic standards and how they will help you to develop the goals, standards, and objectives of your lessons. Your lesson objective is not clear and measurable and you will want to adjust this before you complete your Week 3 assignment. You might find the videos at and You provided helpful feedback to your peers about the alignment between their learning standard, goal, and objective. You also discussed whether or not their objective was clear and measurable. I look forward to seeing how you further develop this lesson but could have included more detail.
Jenn



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