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“Connecting Teachers with Information and Ideas!”

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Setting the Stage for Learning” supports your pursuit in using
ECERS - Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale

Space and Furnishings:

4. Room arrangement for play:

    7.1 - At least 5 different interest centers provide a variety of learning experiences
    7.3 - Additional materials available to add or to change centers

6. Child-related display:

    7.1 - Individualized children’s work predominates

The manual for “Setting the Stage for Learning” offers concrete examples of materials teachers can add to each of 6 different interest centers for each theme - infusing them with opportunities for child-initiated learning and exploration

Ideas for setting your stage!
Set your stage! Ideas around for interest centers02

Personal Care Routines:

10. Meals/snacks:

    7.1 - Children help during meals/snacks

Language - Reasoning:

15. Books and pictures:

    5.3 - Books organized in a reading center
    5.5 - Staff read books to children informally
    7.1 - Books and language materials are rotated to maintain interest
    7.2 - Some books relate to current classroom activities or themes

16. Encouraging children to communicate:

    5.2 - Materials that encourage children to communicate are accessible in a variety of interest centers
    7.1 - Staff balance listening and talking appropriately for age and abilities of children during communication activities
    7.2 - Staff link children’s spoken communication with written language

17. Using language to develop reasoning skills:

    5.1 - Staff talk about logical relationships while children play with materials that stimulate reasoning
    5.2 - Children encouraged to talk through or explain their reasoning when solving problems
    7.2 - Concepts are introduced in response to children’s interests or needs to solve problems

18. Informal use of language:

    7.2 - Children are asked questions to encourage them to give longer and more complex answers


19. Fine Motor:

    7.1 - Materials rotated to maintain interest

20. Art:

    7.1 - 3-dimensional art materials included at least monthly
    7.2 - Some art activities are related to other classroom experiences
    7.3 - Provisions made for children 4 and older to extend art activity over several days

21. Music/movement:

    5.2 - Various types of music are used with the children
    7.2 - Music activities that extend children’s understanding of music are offered
    7.3 - Creativity is encourage with music activities

23. Sand/water:

    5.2 - Variety of toys accessible for play
    7.2 - Different activities done with sand and water

24. Dramatic play:

    5.3 - Props for at least 2 different themes accessible daily
    7.1 - Materials rotated for a variety of themes
    7.2 - Props provided to represent diversity
    7.3 - Props provided for active dramatic play outdoors

25. Nature/science:

    5.1 - Many developmentally appropriate games, materials and activities from 3 categories accessible
    5.3 - Everyday events used as a basis for learning about nature/science
    7.1 - Nature/science activities requiring more input from staff
    7.2 - Books, pictures, and/or audio/visual materials used to add information and extend children’s hands on experiences

26. Math/number:

    5.4 - Daily activities used to promote math/ number learning
    7.1 - Math/number activities requiring more input from staff are offered at least every 2 weeks
    7.2 - Materials are rotated to maintain interest

28. Promoting acceptance of diversity:

    5.2 - Some props representing various cultures included for use in dramatic play
    7.1 - Inclusion of diversity is part of daily routines and play activities
    7.2 - Activities included to promote understanding and acceptance of diversity


33. Interactions among children:

    7.2 - Staff provide some opportunities for children to work together to complete activities

35. Free play:

    7.2 - New materials/experiences for free play added periodically

36. Group time:

    7.2 - Staff engage in educational interaction with small groups and individual children as well as with the whole group

Setting the Stage for Learning” gives you an entire selection of activities ideas, recipes and lessons related to meals and snack time through the “Cooking and Snacks” cards. Now teachers have the tools to make snack time a learning, sharing and skill development time!

Planning step 3 - choose your activity lesson

Setting the Stage for Learning” offers suggestions with each theme for creating an inviting reading center along with book lists and comfy seating ideas!

Reading center fun
Ideas for you! Book lists included!03

Setting the Stage for Learning” embeds the activity cards with prompts to assist teachers in communicating more effectively with the children in these ways:

  • Open-ended questions to promote multiple responses and higher thinking potential
  • Suggestions for writing dictated responses to children’s work and communication
  • Prompts for teachers to encourage children to explain or retell in “their own words”
  • Rich with activity suggestions within each theme on topics that extend children’s current interests and knowledge
Table games for independent work
A purposeful writing center

The “Setting the Stage for Learning” manual offers ideas for each theme to show teachers how to rotate materials to generate interest and excitement!

The Arts & Crafts activity cards in “Setting the Stage for Learning” offer ideas that:

  • Extensions and variations to provide differentiated instruction to meet the variety of learning needs
  • Activities are arranged thematically offering multiple ideas for those themes
  • Variety of activities use 3-D objects such as boxes, tubing, clay, etc.
My songs are fun!

Setting the Stage for Learning” supports music and movement development by:

  • Entire section for each theme with song , dance and dramatic movement ideas
  • Cross curriculum enhancement with suggestions of ways to encourage science, language, math and more!

The “Setting the Stage for Learning” manual provides teachers with information to enhance the sand/water table with each theme including concrete examples of tools and toys that add interest and extend learning

Sensory table ideas for you!
Housekeeping area

Setting the Stage for Learning” supports dramatic play by:

  • Concrete ideas for adding thematic props
  • Suggestions for preparing a basket full of theme related toys/tools for outdoor enrichment
  • Props address multiple cultural traditions and experiences
Ready for outdoor exploration
Science exploration table

Science is an integral part of the
Setting the Stage for Learning” Curriculum resource.
It offers teachers:

  • Concrete ideas for creating science exploration centers for each theme
  • Fiction and nonfiction book lists included to support science
  • Science activity cards are formatted with open-ended lessons and projects
Exploring science everyday!

No curriculum resource would be complete without math activities. “Setting the Stage for Learning” offers 10 to 16 ideas for each theme so that this cognitive area addresses state math standards.

Holiday ideas for you developing math skills
Holiday ideas for you developing literacy skills

Setting the Stage for Learning” offers multiple solutions for injecting diversity:

  • Holiday unit is rich with ideas, activities and project that promote cultural traditions, foods and beliefs
  • The manual offers ideas for each of the interest centers for holiday theme units
  • Most social studies activity cards encourage the use of parents and community members to share information, tools, photos and more to teach about their careers, traditions and ethics
Use your table of contents to find holiday choices!

Teacher and child interactions are an important segment of the “Setting the Stage for Learning” curriculum resource system.  It is supported by:

  • Information in the manual regarding the teacher’s role within the classroom
  • Activity cards are imbedded with lesson format ideas such as how to:
    • Whether large or small group works best
    • Open-ended questions to encourage thinking and participation
    • Complete lists of materials to elicit imagination and dialogue

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