Curriculum Updates


Curriculum Updates

We are excited to announce that as of the fall 2020-2021 school year, Jack and Jill will have a new and improved curriculum. Our current curriculum is based off the ECIPS or Early Childhood Indicators of Progress set forth by the Minnesota Department of Education. Our curriculum is a play-based curriculum incorporating the ECIPS standards originally developed by our program more than 20 years ago. Minnesota has revised the ECIPS and we have improved our curriculum to meet the revised standards and to serve the needs of our families.

Our curriculum team has been working on the fall programming since mid-March to prepare for the start of 2020-2021 school years. We are excited to implement the curriculum according to the ECIPS set in place for each age group.

The 2020-2021 curriculum and school year brings a new challenge for our teachers and children. The staff are excited for this new learning opportunity.

New for Infants through Preschool:

  • Content has been revised and improved to meet the MN Early Childhood Learnings Standards, most recently updated.
  • New Themes and Curriculum expanded over a two-year rotation versus an annual curriculum library for infant through preschool children. This will allow the children and staff to spend a longer concentrated time on a theme and its activity for two weeks.
  • Two-week themes include: Nocturnal Animals, Seasons, Family & Pets, and Planting & Growing.
  • New weekly themes include: Hiking Through the Woods, A Day at the Lake, Mythological Creatures, and Out of a Storybook.
  • Second year themes include: Rainforest Life, Desert Life, Digging up Science, Let’s Get Moving, and A Day at the Beach.
  • Infant through Preschool: Step 1 and Step 2 Criteria
  • A tiered learning system in how each age group will implement the different activities based on the development of each individual child within their classroom. This allows us to work with children of all abilities and skills in a single classroom.

Pre-Kindergarten Upgrades:

  • Pre-Kindergarten follow a one-year curriculum library.
  • New themes include: A World of Colors, The Human Body, Nutrition: The five food groups; Rhyming with Dr. Seuss, and Essential Workers and the Community.
  • Introduction and focus of the weekly letter to allow enhanced daily writing skills.
  • Early addition and subtraction skills become more of a focus during math activities.
  • More hands-on STEM and science activities.
  • Concentration on the early stages of reading: letter sounds and blending of sounds.
  • Independent social and emotional growth.
  • Problem solving with minimal guidance.

Fall School Year Placement

Our placement of children this fall will be less traditional than years past. Most children will be moved by the POD they currently occupy. Some staff will move with their current group of kids. Incoming infants will be placed together in a new POD group. Children returning for the fall school year we will be placed together per the age group they will be returning to.

It is anticipated classroom PODS and teacher assignments will be announced by mid-August. Additional back-to-school information will be provided in the upcoming weeks, including the 2020-2021 school year calendar.

Classroom News!

We miss the daily interactions with staff and families. While we understand it is not feasible for families to enter our programs daily, we are working to provide you with updated information on what is happening in your child’s classroom each week.

Here is a brief summary:

Baby Bear Infants
(average age 6 weeks to 6 months)

  • Making connections with their caregivers
  • Becoming familiar with our surroundings
  • Exploring the feel of different textures through sensory materials
  • Becoming familiar with other children in their presence
  • Building bonds and security with their teachers

Big Bear Infants
(average age 7–15 months)

  • Starting to mimic movements such as simple sign language
  • Beginning to crawl and walk for independent movement
  • Outside exploration and introduction to baby swings
  • Exploring initial art mediums and activities

Penguin Toddlers
(average age 16–24 months)

  • Walking on handled walking ropes as a small group
  • Starting to use single use cone cups for water breaks
  • Fostering independence as they try to do more on their own (i.e. taking their bib off after meals if one was worn; washing hands independently)
  • Exploring musical instruments and the sounds they hear

Ladybug Toddlers
(average age 25–33 months)

  • Building language skills and starting to ask ‘why’
  • Playing cooperatively
  • Building Friendships and awareness of others in their classroom
  • Starting and or accomplishing potty training
  • Being more away of their feelings as well as others

Fish Preschool
(3-year old classrooms)

  • Working hard on potty training
  • Using their imaginations during dramatic play and outdoor fun
  • Practicing their cooperation and sharing skills with peers
  • Engaging their fine motor muscles in scissor skills, writing, and much more

Frog and Tree Frog
(4-year old Classrooms)

  • Our fours are perfecting their writing and scissor skills
  • Building obstacle courses outside on the playground to challenge them
  • Instruments are a huge hit as they learn about the different sound each one makes
  • Our inner engineers have loved to build marble runs!