Our Curriculum Philosophy

Momentum Early Learning’s curriculum is based on several key ideas:

  1. Children learn through play in both their learning experiences and their environment.
  2. Daily routines and meaningful experiences enhance children’s learning.
  3. Children develop every day in five main areas of development: health and physical development, social and emotional development, language development and communication, approaches to learning, and cognition and general knowledge.
  4. Literacy and language development are encouraged daily in the classroom.
  5. Opportunities for exploration and discovery encourage children to love learning.
  6. A strong classroom community—learning environment enables children to develop confidence, creativity, and lifelong critical thinking skills.
  7. The teaching staff use developmentally appropriate practices in the classroom and take advantage of teachable moments.
  8. The teaching staff makes adjustments in their teaching to meet the strengths, needs and interests of individual children.
  9. Positive reinforcement and guidance is necessary for building relationships with children.
  10. Parent partnerships are a key ingredient to child care/school success.



Curriculum Components

Momentum Early Learning’s curriculum is based on three components:

  • Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards
  • YoungStar Standards
  • Creative Curriculum

We emphasize Creative Curriculum in our curriculum because of the strong goals and objectives for development and learning. These goals and objectives are used with children birth through kindergarten. Each goal and objective is progressive and is divided into developmentally appropriate steps. The content areas Creative Curriculum emphasizes are social-emotional development, physical development, language development, cognitive development, literacy, mathematics, science and technology, social studies, and the arts. Creative Curriculum strives for a full classroom learning experience and incorporates hands on learning in conjunction with teacher/child interaction.

Creative Curriculum is research based, widely used in the early childhood community and meets the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards. The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards guiding principles include: all children are capable and competent; early relationships matter; a child’s early learning and development is multi-dimensional; expectations for children must be guided by knowledge of child growth and development; children are individuals who develop at various rates; children are members of cultural groups that share developmental patterns; children exhibit a range of skills and competencies within any domain of development; children learn through play and the active exploration of their environment; and parents are children’s primary and most important caregivers and educators

Creative Curriculum is also recognized by YoungStar, the Wisconsin Child Care Rating Program, as a developmentally appropriate curriculum for young children and an important indicator of quality education.

The Teaching Cycle

The teaching cycle is from the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards and is a continuous cycle of ongoing assessment, planning and curriculum goals, and implementation. Children are observed by the teachers daily in order to help them better plan for their development. The teachers use anecdotal notes, interactions with children and group time, and reviews of children’s work to gain an accurate assessment of a child’s knowledge and skill. This ongoing assessment and gathering of information helps the teachers determine what the child can do and what the child is ready to learn next.

Once individual learning goals are identified, the teachers can decide what should be done to promote development and what they want the children to learn. Individual goals are identified, prioritized and planned for in both the individual lesson plan and group lesson plan. Teachers then provide meaningful activities that support the individual and group goals guided by supportive interactions and relationships. During this phase, the teachers collect information for the next planning phase to write new individual and group goals.

Developmental Assessments and Individual Child Portfolios

Creative Curriculum Developmental Assessments are done four times a year and focus on each child’s individual developments. These assessments are used as tools for the teachers to make adjustments in their teaching to optimize the learning opportunities they present to the children to encourage continuous growth and development. More formal assessments are done at the request of the parent in regards to developmental concerns, but because children vary so much in their development, referrals to physicians will be made if an issue is considered.

Teachers prepare individual child portfolios for children of all ages. A child’s portfolio consists of:

  • Child Profile Pages highlighting developmental milestones, favorite activities, close friends and family connections
  • Pictures of the child
  • Artwork and other artifacts of learning
  • Developmental Assessments and individual planning forms complete with goals and observations

Teachers continually work on individual child portfolios throughout the year and share them with parents at parent/teacher conferences. Parent/teacher conferences are held in the spring and fall, or as requested by either staff or parent. Strong parent communication is a critical component of a child’s education and parent teacher conferences are just one component of that. Upon withdrawal from the center the child’s portfolio is sent home with his/her parents.

Classroom Learning Environments

Classrooms are well organized and equipped with developmentally appropriate materials. Materials in the learning centers are rotated frequently and are changed to reflect the center’s themes each week. Areas are provided for relaxation and comfort as well as areas for quiet and active learning. Classrooms have daily schedules, except infants who are on their own schedule, and develop routines that allow the children to actively participate in their day. Transitions are planned for, reducing the need for children to wait. Songs, finger plays and games are utilized to create a fun atmosphere while children move from activity to activity. Classrooms promote diversity throughout their learning centers and teachers counteract culturally insensitive behavior by establishing a classroom community with rules of fairness and acceptance.

Learning Centers include:

  • Blocks—children create, design and build, learn math concepts and problem solve
  • Dramatic play—children learn social skills, sharing, imitate gender roles and explore pretend play
  • Art—children learn to explore different materials and foster their creativity and self-expression
  • Library—children read books either alone or together, exercising literacy skills even before they can read
  • Discovery/Science—children experience nature and science in the classroom with a variety of materials and by conducting simple experiments
  • Fine Motor—children sort, classify, create patterns and manipulate materials while developing hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills
  • Gross Motor—children play outside to improve their physical skills, to expend energy and to help promote a healthy lifestyle

Character Development and Positive Guidance

We understand that children (even infants) start child care with differences, including whether they were breast or bottle-fed, have pets or siblings, recently moved, attended another child care or stayed home. We know that families are different in their composition and that cultures have different traditions and beliefs. We believe that children incorporate all of these differences making them unique. Here at Momentum we value the unique.

The teacher’s role is to help children grow in a positive way and to learn about acceptable behaviors in the classroom and in the community. We understand the need in today’s world to encourage such developmental skills as respect, empathy, responsibility and kindness. The teaching staff role model the following traits:

  • Respect towards the environment (by recycling and reducing our carbon footprint), towards our classroom materials (treating our supplies well so they last), towards each other (understanding we are all different), and towards adults (their knowledge and experience is worthwhile).
  • Empathy towards each other and towards animals and nature.
  • Responsibility to be true to ourselves, to be truthful, to pick up after ourselves, and for our own happiness.
  • Kindness to all, to animals and to nature.

Development through the Early Years

Infants (Six Weeks-One Year)

Cuddly Cuties by nature are on their own schedules. This allows for their own temperament and patterns to guide their day. They choose when to eat, sleep and play. We partner with parents to keep their child’s schedule consistent from home to child care and vice versa.

One of our goals with infants is to optimize our interactions with them by using their daily care and routine as a time to communicate. Diapering, eating (or drinking) and playing with toys are examples of teachable moments of learning. Language development is an ongoing focus in the infant classrooms as we communicate and converse with the children throughout their day.

Experiences and activities are used to give infants a variety of opportunities for growth. Swings, high chairs, boppies, exersaucers, bouncy chairs and playing on the floor offer infants different experiences throughout the day. Walks in the stroller offer infants the opportunity to experience the outdoors in a safe manner. Different settings stimulate curiosity, communication, self-esteem, belonging, and developmental growth. Art experiences are offered for older babies providing opportunities to stimulate their senses and encourage fine motor growth. Music and singing are important for this age and are a part of each day.

Infant Sample Lesson Plan

Toddlers (One to Two Years)

Social-emotional development is one of the focuses in Mobile Tykes and Trailblazing Tots. Toddlers are learning about themselves, others, and how they relate to each other. Learning to work through their emotions and frustrations is a constant challenge. Classroom environments are nurturing, stimulating, and offer a variety of materials to aid in learning to share.

The teaching staff strives to build confidence in the toddlers by celebrating their accomplishments and assisting them should they need help working through a problem. By providing an environment that is easily accessible to toddlers and includes toddler size table and chairs, teaching a toddler independence becomes an achievable goal.

A predictable daily schedule and routine help toddlers work through their fears and insecurities. Art projects, music and physical activities are favorites of toddlers and are prominent in the classroom throughout the day. Children at this age are increasingly mobile and are exploring new environments with enthusiasm. They are discovering how things work, how things make them feel and how to express themselves.

Toddler Sample Lesson Plan


Independence is important to the children in Chatter Bugs and Lively Learners. Children at this age want to attempt and complete as many tasks as they can independently. Due to this drive for independence, two year olds tend to get frustrated frequently and expend a lot of energy learning how to identify and cope with their feelings. Empathy, to recognize a person in need of comfort and to have the ability to offer another comfort, develops at this age. Children at this age are beginning to experiment with cause and effect as they work through how their choices affect others.

Two year olds change developmentally in a dramatic way in just one year and learn so many new skills like potty training, conversational language skills, playing with peers, sharing, the beginning of problem solving, gross motor skills and more. Small and large group times are incorporated in their daily schedule to prepare them for the preschool classrooms. Introduction to letters and numbers as well as other basic concepts advance their active learning. This age in particular is a sponge for new information and continually amazes adults with their ability to learn.

Communication typically grows by leaps and bounds from 2-3 years old. Often there is a language explosion and the children exercise their new found ability to communicate continually. The children love to be read to which further stimulates vocabulary and word usage. There are times children this age become frustrated by their inability to express themselves, particularly their emotions. Teachers encourage and acknowledge children’s emotions and allow them the opportunity to feel comfortable in being angry, frustrated or overwhelmed.

Toilet training is a huge part of learning in this age group as well. It is a great time to teach body basics, assist them in gaining control of their body and becoming more autonomous. We teach this skill in a non-threatening manner and encourage the children as they become ready to toilet train. It often becomes a social experience as well as a goal of independence.

Twos Sample Lesson Plan

Preschool (Three to Four Years)

Children in Creative Explorers and Little Scholars are developing socially and emotionally by recognizing their feelings and how their actions affect other’s feelings. They demonstrate more independence and self-control, learning to take responsibility for their own actions and well-being. Their communication skills are becoming more complex making it easier to understand and communicate with them. Preschool children are also beginning to trust persons outside of their families and are developing strong bonds with their teachers and friends.

Preschool children can follow rules and routines, and understand consequences. They learn to take initiative and assert themselves in social situations. Preschool children show persistence and curiosity, applying what they have learned to new scenarios. They work together in groups toward a common goal. Teachers encourage children to work through problems and expand their knowledge by trying new things and moving away from their comfort zone.

Preschool teachers foster a strong community atmosphere for learning. Teachers plan intentionally while maintaining the flexibility to respond to the changing interests and abilities of the children. Preschool teachers use exploration and discovery as a way of learning enabling children to develop confidence, creativity, and lifelong critical thinking skills. Teachers adjust their teaching to meet the strengths, needs, and interests of individual children with an emphasis on math, literacy and overall development.

Preschool Sample Lesson Plan

Pre-Kindergarten (Four to Five Years)

Our motto in Junior Leaders is Start Early, Finish Ready! and our goal is to give our Pre-K children the best start to their academic education as we can. Our Pre-K program embraces classroom learning experiences using hands-on learning and teachable moments. There is ongoing focus on building character skills and independence. Each child has an individualized lesson plan in mathematics and literacy to help them achieve attainable goals in each area of learning at their own pace. Our DPI certified Pre-K teacher strives to create a classroom community where the children’s interests and abilities influence the planning of the classroom activities giving the children an active role in their learning.

In an effort to prepare children for 5K in the school district we have developed our full day program to mirror a kindergarten schedule including morning and afternoon learning, snack and lunch times, recess and a short rest period to better prepare them for the transition from preschool to kindergarten. Our Pre-K is open to children who are 4 years old on or before September 1 of the current school year and runs from September to June.

Pre-K Sample Lesson Plan

School Age

Children ages 5-12 years old make new friends away from their school or neighborhood in our before and/or after school program. They develop camaraderie in playing games and traveling to and from school. Children have opportunities after school to expend energy, enjoy a snack and do other activities before tackling homework.

Camp Velocity, our summer day camp for 5-10 year olds, is a popular destination for school agers during their summer vacation. They enjoy numerous field trips, experiments with science, cooking, and other unique experiences enhancing the fun of summer. Creativity is encouraged through the use of a variety of materials and activities. Teachers use the children’s interest and creative ideas to enhance planning camp activities and implementing them. Teachers also promote health and wellness by promoting exercise and proper nutrition.