Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Meet The Mother of All Curriculums, Frog Street Press’ Pre-K Curriculum

by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

(Sung to the tune of Sesame Street’s theme song) “Can you tell me how to get, How to get to Frog Street Press.

Come and play
The new curriculum is A-OK
Friendly themes and learning there
That’s where we meet

Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to Frog Street Press
It’s a magic ride
With lots of learning once inside
Every door will open wide
To smart people like you and me

Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to Frog Street Press…”

I may not know much about song writing as you may have noticed, but I can tell you after twenty-eight-years of teaching, I know a great curriculum when I see one, and Frog Street Press’ Pre-K curriculum is the mother of all curriculums.

Headed by a dream team of authors and writers, an incredible integrated curriculum meets the needs of all children, and when they say All Star Team of authors- they mean it! The Who’s Who of team writers is lead by Dr. Pam Schiller, a noted professor, public speaker and author of many books on researched-based information, activities, and stories for younger children. No other company can top the cast and crew who put together this curriculum. Becky Bailey, PhD, Steve Spangler, Sharon Burnett, Amy Noble, Dr. Clarissa Willis and many other specialists gathered together with their expertise and created a curriculum that is child-centered, in English and Spanish with a focus on Social-Emotional Development. To top it off, the extraordinary group of educators built in special accommodations for children with special needs.

The brilliant nine thematic units are: “My School and Me”- Mi escuela y yo, “My Family and Friends”- Mi familia y mis amigos, “Giants”- Los gigantes, “Choices”- Decisiones, “Stories and Rhymes”- Cuentos y rimas, “I Build! I Create! Pedo construir! Puedo crear!, “Things That Move”- Cosas que se mueven, “Animals”- Los animales, “Changes”- Cambios.

Young children will learn throughout the school year with several instructional materials and books (Poetry, Alphabet, Developmental, Wordless), music, CD-Roms, DVD’s, manipulatives, colorful card photographs, and story folders. Children will experience many activities that train young minds to retain and enjoy learning throughout the school year.

Let us take an imaginary walk down the street where learning and fun are guaranteed. Do not leave anyone behind because this curriculum meets the needs of everyone- from bilingual to special needs as well as adaptations for young learners.

First, we will come to City Hall where the heart of the program is kept- the nine themes with four weeks of instruction each in English and Spanish. Please feel free to take pictures of the beauty inside of City Hall where learning is meaningful and fun.

Next, we will enter inside of the Literacy Library where you will find a variety of resources on the shelves of the library. Yes, you already know about the awesome books and now you see the magnetic letters, a resource book on Spanish Literacy, Literacy CDs, a Tabletop Pocket Chart and Rebus Posters. Shhh, shhhh! I know it is tempting to sing along with the materials, but we are inside a library and must be quiet.

Let’s keep moving and go inside the Frog Town Elementary School. This child-friendly school stores the colorful vocabulary cards and photographs that will entice children to express their thoughts through oral language development, practice literacy skills, and get ready for this one…the back of the vocabulary cards gives the word and pronunciation in five languages. The school also houses Alphabet Wall Cards, Nursery Rhyme Flip Charts, Cultural Rhymes, Compound Word Cards as well as English and Spanish word cards. WHEW! I need a break after all of that excitement and will now go inside the Lilypad Theatre.

The Grand Ole Opry has nothing on this theatre as it comes equipped with thirty-four Story Folders, Storytelling on DVD, Games and Patterns, CD, and hold on to your heart, a DIGITAL ONLINE LIBRARY!!!

Can you handle more, because next door is the Big Frog and Tadpole Bookstores with personal narrative books like A Chance for Esperanza? Esperanza (which means hope) is a story about a little sea turtle who cannot find his way to the ocean because of sand in his eyes. Dr. Pam Schiller beautifully illustrates through her words how she coaxed the little guy with a flashlight to find his way into the ocean. This amazing story teaches that we cannot leave even one sea turtle behind. There are also predictable text, nonfiction and informational text as well as classics like Little Red, Fiction, Sara Sidney’s Runaway Adventures, Poetry and Fantasy books.

I need more cash, so that I can go back to the bookstore and buy my own copy of Esperanza. Let’s stop at the City Bank, and while I get more money you can tour the incredible engaging math books, valuable resources, music and manipulatives.

What’s that great music I’m hearing? Oh, next door is the Science Museum where the musical and talented Steve Spangler has his tools for Science Exploration that comes with a mixing tray, a magnetic wand, rainbow peepholes and much more. Adorable books like: Edie’s Backyard Bugs, Animal Lies and Critter Hide-and-Seek are just a few science books that young children will love.

Let’s keep moving where we will sit down for a nice chat and a treat. Frog Street Café supports emotional development and several unbelievable resources for socially and emotional growth. I see Fanny Frog’s house outside of the window. Wave at Fanny and nod your head in agreement as she is letting us know that learning is fun on Frog Street.

Kid’s Castle is the last stop on our tour where meeting special needs for children is met with several useful tools and resources as well as a broadened Physical Development area for fine and gross motor development.

I just had another burst of energy with all of these amazing materials in Kid’s Castle. Help me to grab the ends of the parachute and bounce the beach ball and beanbags up and down as we strengthen our large motor skills.

There is so much more to take in, but we must now end our time together on Frog Street.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of The Mother of All Curriculums, and remember, like the song says, “Come and Play, the new curriculum is A-OK” If you’re wondering how to get, how to get to Frog Street Press call 1-800-884-3764 or click this link to visit their website:

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