Early Childhood Curriculum

Course Details

Course Number
Summer II 2017
Ferguson Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

M-R 8-10

Leann Curry (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives


Learner Outcomes:  During the scope of this course, students will have the opportunity to:

  • identify and create a developmentally appropriate learning environment that meets the needs of all young children.
  • identify and develop a curriculum for the total growth and development of young children including:  language arts, creative art, music and movement, science and technology, mathematics, social studies, anti-bias curriculum and field trips, nutrition and health.
  • plan and set up learning centers for young children.
  • develop guidance principles for children and teachers to act and interact in positive, productive, and acceptable ways.
  • identify the value and benefits of play for young children.
  • identify and create experiences for promoting young children’s positive self-concept and social relationships, multicultural experiences, etc.


Course Expectations


National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards:


Standard 1 - Promoting Child Development and Learning:  Candidates use their understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for all children.  As a result, candidates will:

  • compare and contrast theories and philosophies of early childhood development and learning
  • explain and identify developmentally appropriate practices, including child development and learning, individual strengths, interests, and needs
  • explain the process of planning and implementing a developmentally appropriate environment for young children

Standard 1 will be met through class activities, chapter assignments, and exams.


Standard 2 - Building Family and Community Relationships:  Candidates know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities.  They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.  As a result, candidates will:

  • describe/develop teaching strategies in involve families in the education process
  • define/develop examples of developmentally appropriate ways to support emergent literacy at home
  • communicate awareness to the family members of the importance of a child’s language and literacy development

Standard 2 will be met through class activities class activities and exams.


Standard 3 - Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families:  Candidates know about and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment.  They know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence children’s development and learning.  As a result, candidates will:

  • observation and documentation of children’s unique qualities, strengths, and needs in Head Start and early childhood (public school) classrooms
  • plan effective instruction that meets the needs of all students, including those at different developmental stages and those from different cultural backgrounds
  • describe effective assessment tools to support children’s development and literacy learning

Standard 3 will be met through field experience, reflection journal, chapter assignments, lesson presentation, exams, and class activities.


Standard 4 - Teaching and Learning:  Candidates integrate their understanding of and relationship with children and families; their understanding of developmentally effective approaches to teaching and learning; and their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for all young children.  As a result, candidates will:

  • plan content/subject area activities for a thematic unit using a wide variety of instructional strategies, approaches, and methods for learners at different stages of development and from differing cultural backgrounds
  • explain/demonstrate major components of developmentally appropriate practices relating to all subjects and content areas appropriate for early childhood classrooms
  • describe/plan instructional strategies as appropriate for accomplishing given purposes

Standard 4 will be met through class activities, chapter assignments, lesson presentation, and exams.


EC-4 Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities

The following objectives will be met through class activities, chapter assignments, exams, and lesson presentations.


Domain 1 – Designing Instruction and Assessment to Promote Student Learning

Competency 001:  The teacher understands human developmental processes and applies this knowledge to plan instruction and ongoing assessment that motivate students and are responsive to their developmental characteristics and needs.  The beginning teacher:

  • recognizes the wide range of individual developmental differences that characterizes students and the implications of this developmental variation for instructional planning.
  • recognizes factors affecting the physical growth and health of students and knows that students’ physical growth and health impact their development in other domains.
  • recognizes factors affecting the social and emotional development of students  and knows that students’ social and emotional development impacts their development in other domains.
  • knows the stages of play development and the important role of play in young children’s learning and development
  • recognizes the importance of helping students apply decision-making, organization, and goal-setting skills.
  • uses knowledge of the developmental characteristics and needs of students to plan meaningful, integrated, and active learning and play experiences that promote the development of the whole child.
  • Understands how development in any one domain (cognitive, social, physical, emotional) impacts development in other domains.


Competency 002:  The teacher understands student diversity and knows how to plan learning experiences and design assessments that are responsive to differences among students and that promote all students’ learning.  The beginning teacher:

  • demonstrates knowledge of students with diverse personal and social characteristics and the significance of student diversity for teaching, learning, and assessment.
  • accepts and respects students with diverse backgrounds and needs.
  • knows how to use diversity in the classroom to enrich all students’ learning experiences.
  • knows how to plan and adapt lessons to address students’ varied backgrounds, skills, interests, and learning needs, including the needs of English language learners and students with disabilities.


Competency 003:  The teacher understands procedures for designing effective and coherent instruction and assessment based on appropriate learning goals and objectives.

The beginning teacher:

  • understands the significance of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in determining instructional goals and objectives.
  • demonstrates knowledge of various types of materials and resources that may be used to enhance student learning and engagement, and evaluates the appropriateness of specific materials and resources for use in particular situations, to address specific purposes, and to meet varied student needs.
  • plans lessons and structures units so that activities progress in a logical sequence and support stated instructional goals.
  • plans learning experiences that provide students with opportunities to explore content from integrated and varied perspectives.


Competency 004:  The teacher understands learning processes and factors that impact student learning and demonstrates this knowledge by planning effective, engaging instruction and appropriate assessments.  The beginning teacher:

  • understands the role of learning theory in the instructional process and uses instructional strategies to facilitate student learning
  • understands that young children think concretely and rely primarily on motor and sensory input and direct experience for development of skills and knowledge, and uses this understanding to plan effective, developmentally appropriate learning experiences and assessments.
  • recognizes how various characteristics of students (attention span, need for physical activity, movement) impact teaching and learning.
  • Stimulates reflection, critical thinking, and inquiry among students by providing opportunities to manipulate materials, provides repetition for increased conceptual understanding, and supports the concept of play as a valid vehicle for learning.
  • analyzes ways in which teacher behaviors impact student learning, and plans instruction and assessment that minimize the effects of negative factors and enhance all students’ learning.
  • understands the importance of self-directed learning and plans instruction and assessment that promote students’ motivation and their sense of ownership of and responsibility for their own learning.
  • incorporates students’ different approaches to learning (auditory, visual, tactile, kinesthetic) into instructional practices.


Domain II – Creating a Positive, Productive Classroom Environment

Competency 005:  The teacher knows how to establish a classroom climate that fosters learning, equity, and excellence and uses this knowledge to create a physical and emotional environment that is safe and productive.  The beginning teacher:

  • uses knowledge of the unique characteristics and needs of students to establish a positive, productive classroom environment by encouraging cooperation and sharing, teaching children to use language to express their feelings.
  • establishes a classroom climate that emphasizes collaboration and supportive interactions, respect for diversity and individual differences and active engagement in learning by all students.
  • presents instruction in ways that communicate the teacher’s enthusiasm for learning
  • uses a variety of means to convey high expectations for all students
  • knows characteristics of physical spaces that are safe and productive for learning, recognizes the benefits and limitations of various arrangements of furniture in the classroom, and applies strategies for organizing the physical environment to ensure physical accessibility and facilitate learning in various instructional contexts.
  • creates a safe, nurturing, and inclusive classroom environment that addresses students’ emotional needs and respects students’ rights and dignity.


Competency 006:  The teacher understands strategies for creating an organized and productive learning environment and for managing student behavior.  The beginning teacher:

  • knows how to establish and implement routines and procedures to promote an organized and productive learning environment.
  • demonstrates an understanding of how young children function in groups and designs group activities that reflect a realistic understanding of the extent of young children’s ability to collaborate with others.
  • recognizes the importance of creating a schedule for young children that balances restful and active movement activities and that provides large blocks of time for play, projects, and learning centers.
  • schedules activities and manages time in ways that maximize student learning, including using effective procedures to manage transitions and to manage materials and supplies.


Domain III – Implementing Effective, Responsive Instruction and Assessment

Competency 007:  The teacher understands and applies principles and strategies for communicating effectively in varied teaching and learning contexts.  The beginning teacher:

  • uses language that is appropriate to students’ ages, interests, and backgrounds.
  • communicates directions, explanations, and procedures effectively and uses strategies for adjusting communication to enhance student understanding.


Competency 008:  The teacher provides instruction that actively engages students in the learning process.  The beginning teacher:

  • applies various strategies to promote student engagement and learning
  • presents content to students in ways that are relevant and meaningful and that link with students’ prior knowledge and experience.
  • engages in continuous monitoring of instructional effectiveness


Domain IV – Fulfilling Professional Roles and Responsibilities

Competence 011:  The teacher understands the importance of family involvement in children’s education and knows how to interact and communicate effectively with families.  The beginning teacher:

  • engages families, parents, guardians, and other legal caregivers in various aspects of the educational program.
  • interacts appropriately with all families, including those that have diverse characteristics, backgrounds, and needs.
  • communicates effectively with families on a regular basis and responds to their concerns.


EC-4 Generalist

The following objectives will be met through class activities, chapter assignments, exams, and lesson presentations.


Domain I – English Language Arts and Reading

Competency 001 (Oral Language):  The teacher understands the importance of oral language, knows the developmental processes of oral language, and provides children with varied opportunities to develop listening and speaking skills.  The beginning teacher:

  • designs a variety of one-on-one and group activities like dramatic play, language play, stories, songs and rhymes to build on children’s current oral language skills.
  • selects and uses instructional materials and strategies that promote children’s oral language development, reflect cultural diversity; and respond to the strengths, needs, and interests of individual children, including English Language Learners.
  • provides instruction and opportunities for children to develop skills for adapting spoken language for various audiences, purposes, and occasions.


Competency 004 (Literacy Development):  The teacher understands that literacy develops over time, progressing from emergent to proficient stages, and uses a variety of approaches to support the development of children’s literacy.  The beginning teacher:

  • selects and uses instructional strategies, materials, and activities to assist young children in distinguishing letter forms from number forms and text from pictures.
  • understands that literacy development occurs in multiple contexts through reading, writing, and the use of oral language.
  • demonstrates familiarity with children’s literature and provides multiple opportunities for children to listen and respond to a wide variety of children’s literature.


Domain II – Mathematics

Competency 012 (Mathematics Instruction):  The teacher understands how children learn mathematical skills and uses this knowledge to plan, organize, and implement instruction and assess learning.  The beginning teacher:

  • plans appropriate activities for all children based on research and principles of learning mathematics.
  • provides developmentally appropriate instruction along a continuum from concrete to abstract and plans instruction that builds on strengths and addresses needs.
  • knows how mathematical learning may be assisted through the appropriate use of manipulatives.
  • motivates children and actively engages them in the learning process by using a variety of interesting, challenging, and worthwhile mathematical tasks and by providing instruction in individual, small-group, and large-group settings.
  • helps children make connections between mathematics, the real world, and other disciplines.


Domain III – Social Studies

Competency 016 (Social Science Instruction):  The teacher uses social science knowledge and skills to plan, organize, and implement instruction and assess learning.  The beginning teacher:

  • understands the implications of stages of child growth and development for designing and implementing effective learning experiences in the social sciences.
  • selects effective, developmentally appropriate instructional practices, activities, and materials to promote children’s knowledge and skills in the social sciences.
  • provides instruction that relates skills, concepts, and ideas in different social science disciplines.
  • helps children make connections between knowledge and methods in the social sciences and in other content areas.


Domain IV – Science

Competency 020 (Science Instruction):  The teacher uses knowledge of science content and methods to plan effective, engaging, and safe instruction and to assess learning.  The beginning teacher: 

  • designs and adapts curricula and selects science content to address the interests, knowledge, abilities, experiences, and needs of all children.
  • plans and implements instruction that prompts all children’s engagement in processes of scientific inquiry.
  • creates, implements, and enforces rules and safety procedures to promote and maintain a safe learning environment during laboratory and field activities.
  • understands the implications of stages of child growth and development for designing and implementing effective learning experiences in science and selects effective, developmentally appropriate instructional practices, activities, and materials to promote children’s scientific knowledge and skills.


Domain V – Fine Arts, Health, and Physical Education

Competency 024 (Visual Arts):  The teacher understands concepts, processes, and skills

involved in the creation, appreciation, and evaluation of art and uses this knowledge to plan and implement effective art instruction.  The beginning teacher:

  • knows and understands how perception is developed through observation, prior knowledge, imaginative and cognitive processes, and multisensory experiences.
  • selects appropriate techniques used to create art in various media, including drawing, painting, and construction, and promotes children’s ability to use those techniques to create original artworks.
  • Understands how children develop cognitively and artistically and knows how to implement effective art instruction and assessment that is individually, culturally, and age appropriate.


Competency 025 (Music):  The teacher understands concepts, processes, and skills involved in the creation, appreciation, and evaluation of music and uses this knowledge to plan and implement effective learning experiences in music.  The beginning teacher:

  • knows how to involve children in activities that promote lifelong enjoyment of music and provides children with a wide range of opportunities to make and respond to music.
  • integrates instruction in music with instruction in other subject areas.


Competency 027 (Physical Education):  The teacher uses knowledge of the concepts, principles, skills, and practices of physical education to plan and implement effective and engaging physical education activities for young children.  The beginning teacher:

  • applies knowledge of movement principles and concepts to develop children’s motor skills.
  • selects and uses developmentally appropriate learning experiences that enhance children’s locomotor, nonlocomotor, body-control, manipulative, and rhythmic skills.
  • modifies instruction based on individual differences in growth and development.
  • selects and uses instructional strategies to promote children’s knowledge and application of rules, procedures, etiquette, and fair play in developmentally appropriate games and activities.
  • designs, manages, and adapts physical education activities to promote positive interactions and active engagement by all children.



Dispositions:  The early childhood faculty expects students to demonstrate the performances essential for meeting the early childhood instructional needs of all students.


Early childhood education professionals are committed to using research-based instruction.


Early childhood education professionals assess learner needs to plan appropriate instruction.


Early childhood education professionals are aware that best assessments are conducted over time and compare the child’s past and present abilities.


Early childhood education professionals display positive dispositions related to early childhood.


Early childhood education professionals value students’ interests, reading abilities, and backgrounds as foundations for the early childhood program.


Early childhood education professionals model related early childhood experiences enthusiastically as valued lifelong activities.


Early childhood education professionals help families find enjoyable ways to support learning begun at school.


Grading Standards


Examinations (20%):  There will be two scheduled exams for this course.  The format for the exam will be multiple-choice.  A Scantron will be required for the exam.  See the calendar for the exam date. 


Thematic Unit Book Talk Presentation (10%)Each student will be required to give a short, 5 minute book talk on a book related to your thematic unit.  The book talk will include a brief summary of the book along with a detailed explanation of how you would use the book in your classroom.  This will be an oral presentation; however, a written one-page paper will accompany your presentation. See handout.


Thematic Unit Prop Box Presentation (25%):  Each group will be required to prepare one prop box including materials related to your thematic unit.  Each group member will be required to create an activity plan explaining how you will use the prop box in a lesson/activity.  Each group member will share their prop box activity plan during the thematic unit presentations.  Remember that the purpose of a prop box is to encourage dramatic/imaginative play.  Please keep this in mind when preparing the prop box and activity plan. See handout.


Thematic Unit Lesson Presentation (45%):  Each group will be required to prepare a thematic unit appropriate for an early childhood classroom:

Each small group will be required to:

  • select a theme, create unit goals/objectives
  • create a curriculum planning web
  • brainstorm activities related to that theme for each curriculum area (each chapter of the text covers a specific area:  math, science, etc…..)
  • present one lesson and accompanying learning center from the curriculum planning web to the class (each group will decide which lesson to present)
  • prepare one portfolio that contains the curriculum planning web, brainstormed activities for each curriculum area, and each group members lesson plan and learning center explanation (portfolios should contain a table of contents and tab dividers for each section)

Each group member will be required to:

  • individually create one lesson and learning center from the curriculum planning web
  • equally contribute to the preparation of  one lesson and accompanying learning center from the curriculum planning web with their group members for the presentation
  • prepare a one-page reflection on how they contributed to the thematic unit
  • equally contribute during the lesson presentation
  • complete an evaluation form for each thematic unit presentation

Final Exam

08/10/2017 8:00am

Submission Format Policy

All assignments will be organized in a portfolio and turned in no later than due date on course calendar.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy


Assignments must be submitted on time to receive full credit. All assignments must be turned in no later than one week past the deadline. Points will be deducted for late assignments. Assignments turned in more than two weeks after the deadline will not be accepted.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements



Class Activities/Participation:  Although the course requires a thorough understanding of the readings and assignments, participation in class discussions/activities will provide the basis for learning and assessment.  Most sessions will be interactive in nature and difficult to “make up” if you miss.  Class participation is essential to learning.  Sharing of your ideas from personal experiences working with children and your ideas from the textbook information will benefit all of us.  Please be ready to participate in class discussions and small group activities.


Attendance Policy

  • Although the course requires a thorough understanding of the readings and assignments, class activities will provide the basis for learning and assessment. Most sessions will be interactive in nature and difficult to "make up" if you miss. Be on time and don't leave early.  Students who arrive 15 minutes after class has started or leave 15 minutes before it ends will be counted absent.


  • Therefore, class attendance is crucial to successful completion of this course.


  • Students enrolled at Midwestern State University should make every effort to attend all class meetings.  Attendance will be graded as follows:  1 absence = - 2 points from final grade; 2 absences = additional 8 points from final grade; 3 absences= additional 10 points from final grade; 4 absences = dropped from class.  For example, if you have two absences, 10 points will be deducted from your final grade. This policy applies to excused and unexcused absences; however, work cannot be made up for unexcused absences.


  • In addition, after your third absence or sixth tardy, you will be administratively dropped from the course

Other Policies


Other Class Policies:


Please turn off all communication devices (cell phones) during class. 


Plagiarism Statement:

Please note:  By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a ‘limited right’ in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course. The ‘limited right’ shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality, authenticity, and educational purposes.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at