Any journey is much more successful with a trusted guide or map that carefully leads you to your desired destination. In many ways, a curriculum does the work of a trusted guide for an academic preschool on its educational journey. A reputable curriculum is a key component of a school’s success, and when combined with the work of a passionate and highly-trained educator, it ensures that a child’s learning experience will be nurtured at the proper pace, giving them a strong educational foundation for a bright future.
As an academically-focused preschool, The Gardner School’s curriculums are among its unique differentiators for parents to consider when choosing the best preschool for their child. Here’s a brief overview of the DLM (Developmental Learning Materials) curriculum—DLM Early Childhood Express—which structures The Gardner School’s preschool and Pre-K programs for optimal learning in an engaging classroom environment.
DLM Early Childhood Express Curriculum Overview
Created in 2003 with a foundation in early childhood neurological research, DLM Early Childhood Express was revised in 2011 and offers carefully-selected and sequenced learning experiences that strategically help children grasp early literacy, language, math, and science concepts. DLM Early Childhood Express is set apart by its integrated instructional program that helps children recognize existing patterns in learning.
DLM Early Childhood Express was created to align with national early childhood guidelines and addresses children’s cognitive, social, emotional, aesthetic, and physical development with the use of 36 weekly thematic units that can be used collectively or stand-alone. With a comprehensive Pre-K child-centered approach, the curriculum boasts strong teacher support and 21st century technology. DLM Early Childhood Express links instruction in the following content areas:
- Fine Arts
- Personal Development
- Social Studies
- Health and Safety
- Physical Development
Benefits of the DLM Early Childhood Express Curriculum
With a wide range of learning materials and a multi-sensory approach, DLM Early Childhood Express keeps children engaged, while allowing teachers to focus on repeating, expanding, and connecting classroom lessons that begin scaffolding concepts and building upon prior knowledge. The DLM curriculum also offers integrated instruction that links essential disciplines to make instruction more relevant and help children recognize structured patterns in learning.
With DLM Early Childhood Express, social-emotional development is addressed every day through positive reinforcement, interactive activities, and engaging songs. Children also develop writing skills through daily writing activities and during Center Time, as well as literacy skills through exposure to multiple read-aloud selections and daily phonological awareness and letter recognition activities. All lessons are focused on language acquisition, which include oral language development and vocabulary activities. Math, science, and social studies concepts are also explored through various individual and group activities. Another highlight of DLM Early Childhood Express is that technology is integrated throughout each week with the use of online learning activities, computer time, and other digital resources. Additional benefits of the DLM curriculum include:
- A focus on non-fiction to build background, vocabulary, and oral language
- Rhymes, songs, and dances that develop phonological awareness
- Daily read-alouds to enrich students’ imagination
- Manipulatives and games that convey math and science concepts
- Reinforcement of concepts through hands-on technology
- Tracking student progress and growth with online resources
Additionally, The Gardner School also uses the Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos, as well as Handwriting Without Tears. Through these curriculums, administered by our four-year degreed lead teachers, your child will be fully prepared for the academic expectations in Kindergarten and beyond. To learn more about The Gardner School’s curriculums and the advantages of an academic preschool, visit our website, or schedule a tour today!