Posted on 09/20/2016 at 02:05 PM by Liz Determan
Many state-funded preschools in Northwest Iowa are meeting the requirement to follow research-based curriculum by continuously working to implement The Creative Curriculum for Preschool in their settings. The Creative Curriculum developed a tool that helps teachers, administrators and consultants determine with what fidelity that curriculum is being implemented in classrooms. It is called The Fidelity Tool Teacher Checklist. Let’s look at some basic information about what it includes.
The Creative Curriculum Fidelity Tool Teacher Checklist has 3 parts. Each part has between 1 and 9 items that consists of a checklist of elements that need to be present for that classroom to truly be able to say they are reliably following that part of the curriculum. There is a Coaching to Fidelity manual that can be used for understanding what each of the checklist items entails.
Part I is called Use and it gauges how well a classroom implements The Creative Curriculum for Preschool Daily Resources, what we refer to sometimes as “the system”. It is a rather large kit that includes 6 volumes explaining the curriculum, several teaching guides and intentional teaching cards, Mighty Minutes cards, book discussion cards, children’s books, and more. A skilled teacher can implement The Creative Curriculum without this system, but will need to have extended training in the 6-volume set. It is recommended that a teacher first use the system for a while before branching out and doing studies as the curriculum would want them to be done on your own. Northwest AEA is able to lend out parts of this system to teachers if they would like to see or use it.
Part II is called The Foundation and it has sections on the physical environment, structure (or daily routine), teacher-child interactions, families and assessment. This large part has a total of 19 items and can take a long time for teachers to truly understand and apply these items, yet may also have several items that teachers who understand preschool appropriateness may already have present.
Part III is about the implementation of Teaching Strategies GOLD. Here you see a checklist for appropriate usage of the GOLD online system, which in state-funded preschools in Iowa we are required to use. Part III lists the various parts of the assessment system that teachers should be using to get GOLD’s full benefit.
A teacher working through these lists either on their own, or with an administrator or consultant, will learn how to get or remain true to the curriculum; and at the same time get or stay lined up with Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards and Iowa Early Learning Standards. All this helps with providing the best possible learning environment that leads to school success. We really can’t say we “do” Creative Curriculum unless we continuously look to see if our practices match up with what the curriculum says it is. Let the The Fidelity Tool Teacher Checklist help you!