A note about the author, Rick Roghair is the Professional Development Manager at Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children.
You already implement the Iowa Early Learning Standards. You just may not know it. Many early childhood professionals think the standards are too difficult to think about, let alone use every day… After a few attempts, you will find the planning process easier than you ever imagined. You will find yourself using current activities or lessons – or getting inspiration from those you find on the internet.
Here is a challenge: How to connect broccoli and Iowa Early Learning Standards?
More and more early childhood programs are planting gardens every year. Children can help plan the garden after a visit to a gardening center or paging through a garden catalog (they still publish those). Preschool children can determine what will grow in the space you have in the backyard of your home or behind your center. Next, together you can sing songs, read books, and build their interest. Finally, plant broccoli and continue to explore it with a variety of investigation experiences. But how do I pull in the Iowa Early Learning Standards? Follow the step by step process below.
Iowa Early Learning Planning Process:
You would also find applicable standards and benchmarks in the Social and Emotional Development; Approaches to Learning; Creative Arts; Communication, Language and Literacy; Mathematics; and Science areas.
The more you use this process to tie in Early Learning Standards, you may find yourself saying, “But I already do those things. So many activities I already do align to several standards – I did not know!” Work with a few of your current themes or activities, and then expand into something new. The possibilities are endless.
Soon, the children in your care will have happy faces and you will do happy dances because you implement standards. Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.