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EDU-315-20, Curr/Meth/Mat-Young Child (SP14)

INSTRUCTOR: Joy Richardson, Email: Joy.Richardson@hcps.org,Home Phone: 410-452-8094 

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: Semester 1/Wednesday/6:00-8:45 p.m., 01/29/2014-04/09/2014 


The course presents the curriculum methods and materials for early childhood programs, preschool through the early primary grades.  Instruction in assessment, planning, and implementation of interdisciplinary activities to stimulate the cognitive, linguistic, social and motor development of young children will be provided.


-Students will apply knowledge of child development and developmentally appropriate practice to planning lessons and selecting materials for the early childhood classroom.

-Students will design lessons that connect learning objectives in all subject areas—science, social studies, mathematics, art, music, language arts and technology—with classroom activities and assessment strategies.

-Students will develop the observational skills necessary for effective planning and assessment of young children.

-Students will understand the role of the early childhood teacher with regard to parents, family and the community in order to plan and implement curriculum that is relevant and responsive to every student.

-Students will increase their knowledge of philosophical orientations and theories and understand how they apply to the early childhood curriculum.

-Students will participate in discussions to increase their knowledge and understanding of the professional requirements of the early childhood educator, including ethical responsibilities, the need to understand cultural and linguistic diversity, and issues of violence, abuse and neglect in the lives of young children.

-Students will use the Internet to access appropriate web sites to enhance their understanding of current curriculum practices.


Jablon, Judy, Dombro, Amy and Dichtelmiller, Margo,  (2008) The Power of Observation Washington, D.C., Teaching Strategies, Inc.


Class attendance and active participation in discussion of reading assignments and peer teaching presentations--4 points per class.

Group Study of Early Childhood Theory/Theorists/Practice (30 points)

Research Paper and Presentation of Research Topic (40 points)

Complete “Stand Alone” Lesson Plan (10 PTS)

Annotated Bibliography of Five Web Sites (10 points)

Peer Teaching Assignment--complete lesson plan and teaching of lesson to peers (50 points) Breakdown—10 points for lesson plan; 40 points for implementation/teaching.

Reflection Paper (10 points)


A:  95—100; B+: 90—94; B:  85—89; C+: 80-84; C:  75-79; D:  70—74; E:  69 and below

Note:  All written assignments will be graded for content and mechanics.  If a paper is late it will not receive an A unless reasonable extenuating circumstances apply. 


This course will be highly interactive and student centered.  Class time will include discussion, group activities and in-class projects.  Students will be responsible for completing any assignments before each class to allow for full participation.  Attendance is mandatory.  You cannot earn points for attendance/discussion/participation if you are not present. Please inform me as soon as possible if you will be absent from class.  You will be responsible for making up any missed projects.


Groups will be formed to study Bandura, Montessori, Piaget, Bronfenbrenner and Vygotsky and how their theories relate to current practice.  These “expert” groups will be formed at the first class meeting.  Each group will prepare a fact sheet to be shared with other class members.  Please provide enough copies for all class members.  Additionally, please include in your presentation a visual, auditory or interactive enhancement—video clip, charts, group participation, etc.  Presentations will be approximately 20-25 minutes.  (Time requirements for this presentation may vary according to the size of our class.)


Students will select a topic and write a research paper that will be 4-6 pages in length.  Further details will be provided in the syllabus.


Students will give a short (20-25 minute) presentation of their research topic to the class.  Time may vary according to class size.


In the past there has been some confusion about the length and depth of a good lesson plan. This assignment will be to create one complete lesson plan. You will not be teaching this lesson but I expect it to include all the components of a good lesson. Materials will be listed, as will step-by-step directions for teaching the lesson. We will discuss this in class and handouts will be provided. This is a diverse group so you will need to let me know about your background and experience in writing lesson plans. You may be familiar with “I do, we do, and you do” model.  The university also has a lesson plan format that you may use. This lesson will not be used for your final teaching assignment.


Students will prepare an annotated bibliography of five web sites that provide curriculum assistance. 


Students will use knowledge gained from this course and any other methods courses as well as prior teaching/internship experience to complete this project.  Students will choose a discipline—language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, music, art, physical education or foreign language and create a complete lesson plan for grades pre-kindergarten through three.  Regardless of the format you use, you are still expected to include all major components of a good lesson plan.  .  A sample plan will be distributed as well as some specific notes regarding the necessary components, and you will have already received feedback on your stand-alone lesson assignment.  Materials for the lesson will be prepared and used in the actual teaching of the lesson in class.  (35-40 minutes)  (Time requirements for this presentation may vary according to the size of our class.)


Please think about what you have learned in this class and consider how this class has contributed to your understanding of teaching and learning in the early childhood setting. 


Read as much as you can from The Power of Observation.  It’s an easy read, but it provides a great basis for discussion. 


January 29: Introductions, Overview of Syllabus, Course Content and Requirements. Choose groups for “theorist” reports.  We will likely begin discussion of our book, The Power of Observation.

February 5 We will continue discussion of our book, The Power of Observation.

Sign up for Peer Teaching Assignment—Date and Topic, Sign up for Research Presentations—Date and Topic

February 12 DUE:  Group Reports on “Theorists.”

February19 DUE:  Group Reports on “Theorists.”

February 26 DUE:  Research Presentations & Paper & Stand Alone Lesson Plan

March 5 DUE:  Research Presentations & Paper

March 19 DUE:  Peer Teaching.  DUE:  Web Bibliography

March 26 DUE:  Peer Teaching

April 2 DUE:  Peer Teaching. DUE: Reflection Paper

April 9 DUE:  Peer Teaching; Tie up loose ends.