WMELS-Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards
Faith Academy has aligned the curriculum to meet the WMELS standards. These standards have 5 developmental domains that guide our teachers into making their planning more intentional and individual.
The five developmental domains are:
♦ Health and physical development
♦ Social and emotional development
♦ Language development and communication
♦ Approaches to learning
♦ Cognition and general knowledge
Our teachers make observations of each child and are able to make individual learning goals based upon these observations. Our teachers then develop lessons that will best meet these goals and record their observations. We compile many photos and documentation to add to each child’s portfolio. These portfolios are then shared with the families.
Hands on Learning
Faith Academy believes the best way to learn is through hands on experiences. For example, if you are learning about oranges it is better to be able to experience a real orange. You have an opportunity to use your five senses to: touch it, taste it, smell it, see it, and hear it. This is just one example of many of where children will have hands on experiences to explore and navigate their world.
DAP-Developmentally Appropriate Practices
In all things we do, we make sure to always use developmentally appropriate practices. This means we gear the lessons to meet each child’s individual goals and abilities. Children can become easily frustrated if the lesson is too difficult or even too easy. Lessons are planned intentionally to include each child’s strengths and weaknesses.
As mentioned in the WMELS section, there are 5 domains of learning. In many of our lessons, children are using multiple domains of learning. For example, if the children are learning about apples. They might use math (cognitive) to measure it or count the seeds. They are using science (cognitive) to talk about the growing cycle. They can use their fine motor skills (physical) to pick up the seeds. They will often use language to discuss the topic. Perhaps they have to work in pairs to complete another lesson (social). So as you can see, multiple domains can be working in many of our lessons throughout each day.
Learning through play
Play is an important part of a child’s growth and development.
Through play, children learn a variety of life skills, such as:
- building confidence
- feel loved, happy, and safe
- develop social skills, language, and communication
- learn about caring for others and the environment
- develop physical skills
- connect and refine pathways to their brain so they are able to express their feelings and emotions
Faith Academy includes play as part of the curriculum to help facilitate the development of these skills.
Faith Academy gives children opportunities to learn about God, Kingdom Values, and how to become a good Christian. Children learn through Christian songs, simple prayers, stories, and activities. Our preschoolers and K4 children also get opportunities to take time out of the classroom and spend time learning with Pastor Stu in the chapel.
The Kingdom values are: community, worship, service, grace, and love. Kingdom values are woven into the curriculum in a way that is easy for children to understand.
Our two year olds also get a chance to praise God with our Little Fish time. They gather to hear God’s word, sing, and dance. It’s a good way to get their wiggles out!
Big Fish Time
Our Big Fish Time is where our preschool and K4 programs get to spend some time learning about God and the Kingdom Values. The children have opportunities to experience lively music where they dance and sing. This is followed by a short Bible lesson and prayer. The program also ends with more music! This is a great time to get connected with our Pastor and other church leaders. These experiences blend in some favorite songs and stories from Vacation Bible School. So not only are they learning about God, but they are also having fun a great time making memories!
Big Kahuna is geared toward our school-aged children. During summer camp, the kids hear stories and learn valuable life lessons. They have opportunities to learn about the Bible and how to properly use it. This past summer, the kids were rewarded with a pizza party for learning all the books of the Bible!