Massachusetts State Standards
Massachusetts Department of Education holds a strong emphasis on early learning. States have developed individual guidelines that align with the Universal Standards. Using these guidelines, educators can modify lesson plans to meet the primary objectives with their lesson plans.
Our Infant, Toddler, Preschool and Pre-K Classrooms are following the Massachusetts Guidelines for Early Learning Experiences to bring your child a wide variety of learning experiences througout their early years.
Infants and Toddlers
Our Infant and Toddler curriculum is based on the idea that young children learn best with “hands-on” experiences. Children are encouraged to interact with their caregivers, peers and objects in the classrooms. During the learning process, children will discover the world around them through exploring and playing with the various items throughout the classrooms. Infants and Toddlers will also learn to develop a sense of trust in their caregivers that their needs will be met while being provided with a loving, caring environment during their days away from home. Our young Infant and Toddler classrooms are arranged to promote learning in a safe comfortable and secure environment. Each area is organized around specific needs including play, movement, meal time and diapering.
Our classroom schedules in the infant and young toddler classrooms provide a both a predictable and flexible routine including arrival, free choice activities, circle times, meals, outdoor and departure times. In addition, time is included on an individual schedule to accommodate young infant and toddler eating, diapering and sleeping schedules. As our Infants age, we will work closely with them to help prepare them for a true toddler schedule.
Curriculum 1 Themes: All about me, Apples; Pumpkins, Leaves, Nature ; My Family, Homes, Teddy Bears, Foods; All kinds of hats, Clothing, Winter, Weather; Going to the Circus; Zoo Animals; Puppets; Pets (dogs, cats, fish, birds), Mail Carrier; Shapes; Buildings; All Kinds of Brushes; Getting Wet! (Rain, Water, Bubbles); Birds; Gardens - plants and flowers, fruits and vegetables; Sand; Wheels; Sports; Bugs.
Curriculum 2 Themes: Balls, Bears, Bubbles, Butterflies; Pumpkins, Leaves, Nature ; Fruits and Vegetables; Friends and Families; Winter Fun! Sledding, Snowmen, Penguins; Who's at the Zoo?; Time for Helping; Pets Parade; Time for Playing; Things that Go! Wheels, Cars and Movement; Wet and Wild; Turtles, Fish, Frogs and Rubber Ducks; Fun on the Farm; Nursery Rhymes; Fun at the Beach: Sand, Digging, Summer, Sunshine.
As our toddlers become more independent, we know that they are ready for a new level of excitment. While we continue to offer some aspects of our toddler classrroms, We are very happy to offer this unique classroom to our older toddlers and young preschoolers. Our Two’s class is a designated group of children age 2.3-3.6. In this classroom our children enter as toddlers and exit as preschoolers, ready to take on a full preschool curriculum. This classroom offers all the thrills of preschool in a smaller environment. Children in this classroom are heavily focusing on self-help skills and socialization to prepare the for a larger group size. Potty training is another major focus in this classroom where the children can learn in an intimate setting. This really is an ideal classroom and merges the small group size of a toddler class with a special program designed for Two’s and makes the transition to preschool effortless.
Two’s Themes: Alphabet Soup! Fun with Letters, School Time Fun, Apples; Down on the Farm; Barnyard Animals, Fall; Off to the Grocery Store, All kinds of Food; Simple Science! Mixing colors, Magnets, Sink or float; Colors all around Me; Counting Fun; Community Helpers; Post Office; Shapes in My World; Building, digging, trucks, construction; Beach Time Fun; Life in the Ocean; What’s in the sky?, Circus Fun; Bug Hunt! All about bugs and creepy crawlies.
Handwriting Without Tears
Preschool is the heart of early education. This is the age where most children are exposed to friends and classmates for the first time. The main focus in our preschool classrooms is to provide the children with much needed socialization and self-help skills. These are important to prepare children for grade school. Our classrooms offer a variety of play areas to learn fine motor, gross motor and cognitive skills as well as arts and crafts. We have a well-rounded curriculum that is developed by our preschool staff to best suit the needs of your children. By allowing our staff to select their activities, they are able to choose the areas that are appealing to the children in their classrooms. This also builds confidence as the children are most likely to participate in enjoyable activities. As the children show readiness for more academics, teh teachers will use the Handwriting without Tears program to teach the children how to begin letter and number recognition as well as early writing skills. The HWT program will continue as the children progress into our Pre-K classroom as well.
Curriculum 1 Themes: All about me (sight, smell, sound, taste, touch), Self concept; Feelings, Apples, Back to School; My Family (families at home and families at work); Animals in My World: (farm, pets, animals of the woods); Colors in My World; Winter, Many ways to Travel (air, rail, road, space and water transportation); Community Workers and Helpers, Day and Night; Food in My World; Water around Me; Tools and Machines in My World; Mathematics in My Everyday World; , Creepy Crawlies, Insects and spiders, reptiles, Summer.
Curriculum2 Themes: All About Me; Feelings; Apples; Back to School; The Land Before Time; Exploring Dinosaurs, Things in the Sky; Things that Fly; Friends and Family; Homes we live in; Vacations and Traveling, Roads, streets and street signs; The Works of Eric Carle; Health and Nutrition, Dentist, Doctor, Handwashing, Body Parts; Construction Zone, Building, digging, trucks ; All Kinds of Sports, Music, Movement and Motion; Campout Fun, The Great Outdoors; Under The Sea, Hawaiian Luau .
Reading with TLC offers research-based, clinically proven methods and materials, and provides professional development opportunities for those training phonemic awareness, phonics, and sight word acquisition. Comprised of Lively Letters and Sight Words You Can See, Reading with TLC is utilized in all three tiers of the Response to Intervention model of instruction. This creative program is used throughout the U.S., and globally, as an important part of, or supplement to, the core reading curriculum in grades Pre-K - 2. It is also used as an intervention program for students of all ages, including teenagers and adults. The explicit, multisensory approach is effective with all types of learners and addresses the needs of students with various learning challenges, including students with reading disabilities, speech and language disorders, and memory weaknesses. It is also successfully used with those learning English as a second language. The methods and materials consistently yield quick, dramatic gains in the critical skills for reading and spelling, while the fun factor makes it an enjoyable experience for students and teachers alike.
Lively Letters, by Nancy Telian, MS, CCC-SLP, trains phonemic awareness and phonics skills. This program turns abstract letters and sounds into “lively" characters by embedding letters into colorful pictures that show students what to do with their mouths when making the sounds. Engaging music, pictures, hand/body cues, oral kinesthetic cues, and mnemonic stories are key features of this powerful, yet fun, program. Students systematically progress from learning isolated letter sounds with picture cues to reading and spelling multisyllable words in books and on paper.
Sight Words You Can See, by Penny Castagnozzi, uses humorous stories and mnemonic pictures drawn into sight words that don't follow the regular rules of phonics, such as “what,” “have,” and “come.” It has been hailed by teachers whose students are finally able to learn their sight words, reading more fluently and moving from controlled, phonetically decodable text to higher leveled literature.
Pre-K Themes: All about me, The Five Senses, Apples, Back to School; In My Town; Animal Habitats, Hibernation, Day and Night; Holiday Magic (Different ways to celebrate); Games Galore!, Fables, Folklore and Fairytales; Super Science (Measuring, Mixing, Growing, Recycling, Space, Planets, Robots); Fun with Numbers (matching, counting, value, size, sequence), Telling Time; Farmer's Market, Gardens (plants and vegetables); World of Opposites; Water World, Rainforest, Weather.
Land of The Letter People
As educators and family members, we try to incorporate early math into our children's activities and relate math to their everyday experiences in many ways. And, we try to make it fun! We use a variety of manipulatives for hands-on experience in counting, sorting, comparing, and patterning; sing counting songs; count by ones, twos, fives, and tens; encourage one-to-one correspondence when passing out snacks; divide things into equal parts; count how many items we have left or how many items in all; measure with nonstandard and standard units; explore 2-D and 3-D shapes and symmetry; use positional words to describe location; learn about the likelihood or probability of events; tell time through the sequence of events, time of day, time of year, and time shown on a clock; try different kinds of graphs; and, we use mathematical language as the children discover that math is all around us.
At Abrams, our early math materials are based on testing in real classrooms and in-depth research. The standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics guide our decisions as we strive to offer teachers and parents only those educational materials that are age-appropriate and valuable to a child's understanding in the early- childhood setting and the elementary school setting.
Are young children curious? You bet! Early science is the natural answer to their curiosity. As children learn about the world and how things work, we can guide them to employ the four basic steps in scientific discovery: exploration, investigation, collection of data, and communication of results. When we foster the development of science at an early age, we are leading children on a lifelong journey of inquiry. When we show them how to perform simple scientific experiments, we are giving them the tools to make sense of their world as we open their minds to endless possibilities and learning opportunities.
At Abrams, our early science materials are based on testing in real classrooms and in-depth research. The standards of the National Science Teachers Association, and state early-childhood education standards, guide our decisions as we strive to offer teachers and parents only those educational materials that are age-appropriate and valuable to a child's understanding in the early-childhood setting and the elementary school setting.
How do teachers and family members introduce children to the world of early literacy? Enthusiasm! When we share our love of reading with children, it's contagious! We want them to see that there are many reasons to read: enjoyment, learning something new, following a recipe, finding out how to complete a project, sharing knowledge with others, and so on. Often, a parent or caregiver is the first to lead a child to a life of literacy by reading stories aloud. The child hears new vocabulary, learns how to say different words, begins to make the connection between print and spoken words, watches how to hold a book right-side up and carefully turn pages from beginning to end. Most importantly, children who are read to at an early age understand that reading is special. They want to do it, too! Abrams and Company shares this joy of language and literacy. In-depth classroom testing across the country and scientific, medical-model research studies have led to effective educational materials that are fun as well as stimulating. We are proud to offer Early Literacy products (pre-K and K) and Early Literacy Supplements (pre-K, K, 1, 2) that meet the individual needs of children. Our materials and programs promote successful, confident readers and writers while integrating subject areas across the curriculum.
Once children begin to read, what's next? Fluency and comprehension. How is that achieved? Practice! Providing children with books that interest them, while moving them consistently along on their journey to becoming confident readers, is one of the most effective ways to encourage children to make reading a daily, enjoyable event. And, the more they read, the more their comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency increase. With an ever-growing sight vocabulary and ability to decode, children in grades K to 4 become free to focus on reading rate, accuracy, and expression. For effective interactive fluency practice, Abrams Readers Theatre™ offers scripts that children read, not memorize! To build fluency with rhythm, rhyme, and repetition, Abrams/CTP Readers, Reading for Fluency includes interactive stories and Readers Theatre scripts that will motivate children to read the text again and again.
Perhaps the most critical aspect of learning to read is confidence, so leveled reading plays a big role. Books that are too hard for a child do not challenge; they only frustrate. It's important to begin with leveled readers with which the child feels comfortable and move progressively up the reading levels from that starting point. Each child is different. Each child will begin at a different level, and, through the experience of guided reading, move to the next level(s) at a different pace. The focus should remain on the "I can do it!" attitude of the individual child. Abrams and Company offers a wide range of leveled books, fiction and nonfiction, for kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, and grade 5. Levels A to P were derived from criteria recommended by Fountas and Pinnell.
Abrams & Company making a difference in early education for 17 years.