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At Smarty Pants we take into account the young children we serve, and be responsive to their needs. Routines and consistency are extremely important, but we also need to allow for flexibility at times, based on what the children “tell us” through their behavior.  Whenever possible, our program decisions are child-centered.


What you will see in our classroom:

  • Respectful, frequent and responsive interactions

  • Children offered choices, given opportunities to make decisions, and are active participants

  • A print-rich environment with many opportunities for children to interact and explore the written word (including a writing area)

  • Open-ended art materials available as a choice throughout the day;

  • A stimulating, interactive science area, with real objects

  • Painting at the art easel available daily, as an on-going choice

  • Sensory Tables open daily

  • Multi-cultural materials incorporated throughout the environment

  • Children employing problem-solving skills

  • Learning areas that are well-defined and inviting

  • Self-help skills and independence encouraged

  • Adults capitalizing on “teachable moments”, and what the children express an interest in learning about age-appropriate expectations Ex: Mistakes and accidents ok

  • Children’s individual needs and skill levels taken into account

  • Many opportunities for children to experience success

  • Smooth transitions

  • Children’s feelings acknowledged and validated

  • Role of the family acknowledged, with participation encouraged and valued

  • Activities facilitated in small groups instead of large groups with forced participation

  • Physical needs of children incorporated, with opportunities for large motor experiences available daily

  • The goal of guidance and discipline with the children being to develop self-control and to make better choices

  • The presence of music and laughter



When we plan our lessons and our daily activities we thoughtfully consider the following:

  • Does this lesson or activity?

  • Allow children to participate at their own level?

  • Allow for flexibility, with no “right” or “wrong” outcome?

  • Encourage active learning through participation?

  • Encourage exploration and thinking?

  • Allow for socialization and interaction with others?

  • Enable children to learn through their senses?

  • Allow children to experience things “hands-on”?

  • Give children choices?

  • Foster children’s positive feelings about themselves?

  • Respect individual differences and cultural diversity?

  • Lend itself to being adapted if beneficial?

  • Acknowledge the physical needs of children?

  • Reflect the goals and philosophy of the center?


 In order for the activity to be allowed for the students, all of the answers must be YES!



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