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New Mexico State University

Doña Ana County Head Start Educational Content Area

April Cortez, Education Specialist

Play is Learning!
A Bright Student from Vado

Head Start's comprehensive approach to child development includes eight domains of learning, from creative arts and literacy to mathematics and physical health and development. Each Head Start program is required to align its curriculum and assessment tools with the Child Outcomes Framework to ensure that children make progress toward the expected goals. This section provides information and resources that describe each of the domains, domain elements, and indicators.

Approaches to Learning
Research on school readiness indicates that children's approaches to learning are powerful predictors of their later success in school. Teachers build children's approaches to learning throughout the program day and across all kinds of planned and spontaneous experiences. Resources include strategies that promote and stimulate learning situations for children's development.

Creative Arts
Research findings show that creative experiences, implemented in developmental and age-appropriate ways, have a positive influence on children's learning. A variety of resources included in this section incorporate art, music, movement, and dialogue in the education of young children.

Language Development and Communication
Find resources that offer specific strategies related to the domain elements of listening and understanding, speaking and communicating. Special techniques for helping English Language Learners become fluent in English are also provided.

School readiness has always been a central focus of Head Start, especially as it relates to early literacy. Resources here describe the Office of Head Start's literacy initiatives with an emphasis on establishing a foundation for reading for children and their families.

Mathematics helps children learn to reason, connect ideas, and think logically. Mathematics relates to other curriculum areas, including science, social studies, art, and music. Resources in this section address math knowledge, interests, and skills which are basic to children's success in school.

Physical Health and Development
The physical health and development domain includes three elements: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and health status and practices. Each of these elements supports children's overall health and physical fitness and can enhance a child's progress in other domains. Resources include strategies to assist staff in developing activities that foster physical growth and healthy living for young children.

Young children learn science by doing science. This section provides resources designed to increase Head Start staff members' abilities to create settings that encourage children to discover, to explore, and to master basic scientific concepts about the world around them.

Social and Emotional Development
Articles and resources here offer specific strategies that support a comprehensive delivery of services to infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families.

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