SYC has been accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children since 1989. Every five years, we undergo a renewal process that includes a site visit (which we had recently), classroom portfolios that show evidence of how we support children’s learning, and a program portfolio that indicates how we’ve structured the program to keep kids safe and learning. It’s an arduous process but one that we’re proud of and would like to share with you.
The NAEYC lists over 150 criteria that have to be represented in each classroom portfolio, some more than once. Our teachers were tasked with finding ways to visually represent the learning that happens in the classrooms in ways that are true to how we do things at SYC. Because children are freely choosing their play, we can’t predict ahead of time what they’ll be learning. But what we can do is carefully watch and observe, see what learning is already going on and explore ways to expand and further that learning. And we can introduce areas of potential learning through small group and rug time activities.
These criteria cover all areas of teaching and learning: relationships, curriculum (literacy, mathematical skills, science, social studies, problem solving, safety), assessment, families, and physical environment. The way we’ve chosen to represent children’s learning in the portfolios is by describing an activity children may engage in (playing babies) and the learning that has happened during that play (caring for others, safety, writing signs, reading books, singing, differences in families, counting bottles, etc). Below you can see one example from each of the 2s, 3s and 4s classroom portfolios to give more of an idea about how rich with learning child-directed play can be.
Please stop by the office and take a look at the entire portfolio when you have a chance. You might be amazed at the amount of learning that can happen during play.
For even more information about learning in play, please consider attending our “Hands on Learning” Parent Ed on Thursday, 10/26. We’ll talk about how to see the learning that’s happening when children play, and ways to encourage that learning without getting in the way.
We’re proud of the work our teachers have done in working toward our NAEYC reaccreditation, and even more proud of the work they do every day to build relationships with children and families, to carefully observe each child’s play, and to meet children’s needs for autonomy in their play while providing support and enhancement when needed. NAEYC accreditation is just icing on the cake.
…Susan Roscigno, Co-Director