When The activities share a common theme so

When developing curriculum Early
Childhood teachers not only need to meet their state standards but also meet
the developmental and diverse needs of their students. This article presents
and attempts to explain a curriculum model that will help aid teachers in
developing their own curriculum. This model is called the Spark curriculum
which aims to help teachers address many developmental levels and abilities by
organizing a varity of activities around a weekly story. The article discribes
the principles of the Spark model which are the importances of the activities
and how they are met by selecting the stories. The Spark curriculum is then
explained step by step by walking you through a sample day to demonstrate how
it is used. Teachers can then create their own units based on this curriculum.

            The
principles of the Spark curriculum  focus
on the importance of the activities that are drawn from the stories that are
chosen. They hold the key to helping teachers plan for all developmental levels
and help students learn in a way they can enjoy. The activities accomadate all
abilities and levels of learning. They provide a connection between home and
school because they are culturally sensitive and relate to the childs daily
life. The activites are open ended so they can meet state and local learning
standards. The activities share a common theme so they can help with language
development. They relate to the storybook for the week so that children are
exposed and introduced to many forms of early literacy.

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The Spark curriculum is
a literacy based and culturally sensitive curriculum that helps preschool
children achieve developemental and school readiness skills by introducing them
to a story each week. The activities that are based and centerd on the story
are focused on the arts. Activities are planned for the art, music and make
belive centers in the classroom. During circle time each day the story is read
and a single concept is chosen to focus on throughout the day and the activites
being done in the centers.  The article
gives the example of the story Abiyoyo which is an African folktale about a
father and son who are trying to make a giant disappear. In this example the
concept for the first day is disappear. After the story is read the first time
the concept of disappear would be explained to the children. Then this concept
would be incorperated into each activity for the day. In the art center they
paint with water and watch it disappear. In the music center they would make
sounds disappear by holding their ahands over their mouths. Each day they would
reread the story and focus on a new concept that again would be reenforced in
the activities of each center.

In my classroom and in
the curriculum I use, we have themes for each week and I like to read stories based
on those themes. However I would like plan for more exposure to literacy in my
classroom by adopting this curriculum model and using it to create my own units
based on the themes I already have in place. For exampl if my theme was a zoo theme
I would chose a zoo story and concepts from that story to center activies
around for the week. I enjoy reading to my students but I want to get more out
of the stories I already read to my students. I think they would get more
enjoyment out of a story when they learn concepts from the story and do
activities based on the story.

In this article there
are steps I can take to help me develop my unit. The Spark model offers
questions I can ask myself when selecting stories. For example “will the
children find this story interesting?”. 
When I have selected my story the model offeres suggestions on how to
chose concepts and themes. I like the idea of focusing on one concept perday
but I might adjust the theme suggestions. The model suggests that we select a
different theme for each day. Since my curriculum already has a them in place I
would select a book that matches the theme and then chose a different concept
for each day. The model also offers questions I can ask myself when desigining
activies for each concept I select from the story. For example “Can the
children relate the activity to the story?”. 
The final step in this process that the model helps with is “aligning
the lessons to meet state standards and to accommodate individual child goals.”
The model helps in finding out the standards that are met through reading the
story and through the daily activities.

In concluison I feel
that adopting the Spark curriculum is a great way to introduce more literacy
into my classroom and enhance my learning centers with activities that promote
early literacy. My students will learn and get more out of the stories I read
them on a daily and weekly basis. I will also be better equiped to accommodate
any and all developmental levels and abilites my students may have.