The Core and STREAM Skills
Five Core Skills and six STREAM Skills provide the building blocks for learning and development.
Supporting the STREAM Skills
The term STEM, STEAM, or in the case of this curriculum, STREAM is becoming increasingly popular in education. Just learning facts won’t set up children for future school success. We go beyond by intentionally supporting these STREAM skills with a focus on the process of exploration, investigation, problem-solving, reasoning, and discovery. Children are born with a natural disposition to try and make sense of their experiences and world. Our role as adults is to encourage this curiosity and connect these experiences to their home lives, cultural backgrounds, and interests.
Science is all about nurturing young children’s natural sense of curiosity. Children use their senses to explore and make sense of their word and deepen their inquiry skills. They observe, ask questions and investigate to find the answers. We support science skills through experiments and authentic experiences (live worms, caterpillars, fish, water, ice and nature, shadows) and by making the most of everyday moments created from their natural interest and excitement about their world (e.g., how things feel, smell, taste).
Technology for young children doesn’t mean computers and iPads. Technology means ANY tool that is used to make things easier or to solve a problem, such as magnifying glasses, gardening tools, play-dough or cooking utensils. We help children to explore, test, and discover the right tool for the job.
Reading for toddlers and preschoolers doesn’t actually mean formal reading. We are building the foundations that are essential for later reading. Children explore letters, sounds, phonological awareness and rhymes, print, and early writing. But most importantly, we nurture a love of books and stories and the knowledge that print has meaning.
Engineering means planning, designing, and building. It’s trying to understand and figure out why and how things work. Children actively explore how the world works through simple machines (levers, pulleys, ramps) forces, friction, and properties of water all in the context of fun and creative problem solving.
Art doesn’t mean crafts, it means creativity. Our curriculum is designed to cultivate a love of the arts and promote a sense of self by focusing on the process of creating rather than the product. Children engage in drama, music, and art using a range of materials and medium. Whether it’s painting with fallen leaves or making instruments to put on a show, children are actively creating their own art.
From a very young age, children are naturally excited and motivated to use math. As adults, it’s our job to notice and build on children’s mathematical observations. Children are developing their skills in number sense, operations, comparing and measuring, patterns and spatial sense. We support these skills through ongoing activities, games, and by incorporating math talk throughout the day.
The Five Core Skills
These skills are the building blocks for all learning and the foundation for the STREAMin³ curriculum model.
We support a child’s ability to connect with adults, engage with peers, and foster their growing sense of self. This includes building and maintaining relationships, managing conflicts, and developing empathy and confidence.
We foster a child’s ability to manage their emotions, attention, and behavior. This includes understanding and coping with emotions, controlling behaviors, and developing the ability to pay attention, remember, and think flexibly.
We foster a child’s ability to think deeply about and make sense of the world around them. We promote observation, investigation, and encourage children to think critically about what they encounter and experience.
We support the development of communicate skills by intentionally encouraging children to use language. For older children, we incorporate early literacy concepts, including print knowledge, writing, and sound awareness.
Young children are busy learning how to move their bodies to achieve their goals. We support the development of gross and fine motor skills, as well as a child’s ability to care for themselves.