One of the first things that I check out when choosing curriculum is the teacher’s book. That is also the number one question I get asked about Funshine Express curriculum. So I thought I would give you a glimpse into what is in the Fireflies curriculum guide. Your in luck… I also have the February guide to give you a sneak peek into what is in-store for next month!
In the very front of each guide is “Your Collection Checklist” this makes shopping for the month’s supplies super easy. All you have to so it go day by day and see what materials will be used and check to see if you have them or need them. Next, is the “Before You Begin”. This section helps you prepare all the materials for the month and gives an overveiw of what material will be covered in the month. It shows the shape, color, numbers and letters display so that you can get all of them ready. There are also some great ideas and information about Funshine Express, their guiding principles, how and why they design their curriculum, and different ways to arrange your setting. It includes some great play center ideas too.
After you get your materials ready, the following page gives some great Bulletin Board ideas and the downloadable Sign Language poster examples. They also share snap shots of the Curriculum Enrichment’s and Extras for the month.
That brings us to the daily lesson pages. The main thing to remember, is that all of it is designed for you to pick and chose what works for you, your classroom, and your kiddos. You may need to skip activities or modify crafts depending on children’s abilities and interests.
Each set of pages is dated which makes it super easy to flip to the correct day. The grey box at the top of the 1st page includes ideas for starting you day. It includes materials you may want to use from the kit or songs that you may want to review.
Following the start your day, are circle time ideas and activities. This section has ideas for calendar, letter, shape, color, number review, introducing the daily topic, how to get the family involved in the daily activities, and songs or rhymes to teach the kiddos.
Also in this section is “movers and shakers” with ideas to get your kiddos moving and practicing their gross motor skills. After this section is a transition idea to keep the kids attention as they move to the next area.
Then comes the creative art project for the day. Most of the activities are pre packaged materials that are ready to grab and go (my favorite part about Funshine!) but occasionally they will include a bonus activity that you will need to gather the supplies for on your own.
After art time a variety of subjects are covered. Some days have science activities, other math, literacy, social studies, dramatic play, physical development, etc… Each day has 2-4 of the above mentioned categories of activities with instructions for a game or activity to try.
In the middle of each curriculum guide is a removable section with a “map” of each day of the month and what subjects or areas are covered in that day’s activities. It is a great lesson plan guide or way to post and keep parent up to date with what their child did during that day.
Also in the pull out section is a list of Learning Goals and Objectives for all the activities, games, and crafts that are included in the monthly kit. This is a great resource to help you pick what to include in your day. It is almost like a skill checklist for the children. If you have a child struggling with a skill you can go through and pick out all the activities that have that skill requirement to allow them to practice throughout the month. You can also use it to see what the child’s strengths or weakness is and communicate it with the parent with ideas on what a child has mastered and what they should work on at home.
I hope this overview helps you as you decide if Funshine is right for you!