ELM Curriculum

ELM Curriculum

About ELM

Comprehensive Activity Plans

Fully-developed, flexible plans support children’s engagement in learning across the entire year. Each activity plan includes: a model of high-quality use of the plan; scaffolding tips for providing extra support or enrichment to children; a related center (interest area) activity; and ways to use the plan in family child care. Plans for infants and toddlers also include “What to Look For” guidance in responding to children’s experiences.

Classroom and Family Resources

In addition to comprehensive activity plans, ELM’s classroom resources include: Child Observation Guides that help direct care staff observe children’s progress in each of the foundation skills promoted in the curriculum; a Snapshot of Child Progress for summarizing observations and results of progress assessments for a child’s portfolio and communications with families; and planning forms for adapting activity plans and supporting individual children. Information for families includes: What Children Will Learn This Week, a list of skills and classroom activities emphasized in a given week; and Readiness Starts Early, a weekly set of parenting tips that families can use to reinforce and extend their child’s classroom learning.

Training Resources

User Guides for infant/toddler and preschool versions of the curriculum describe each of the developmental areas promoted by the curriculum; summarize research evidence on best practices used in the curriculum; include a chart of the sequence of foundation skills throughout the year; offer guidance on planning the daily schedule and using activity plans, including transition activities; and provide suggestions for promoting a developmental area beyond the activity plans. The two online trainings consist of three lessons each, focused on specific aspects of the curriculum such as how to individualize children’s experiences. The trainings span birth to age 5 years. Classroom Observation Checklists help trainers and center leaders identify strengths and needed directions in a classroom’s use of ELM. There are separate checklists for infant/toddler and preschool classrooms.

How ELM Was Developed

Purdue University Distinguished Professor Douglas R. Powell led the development of ELM at Purdue based on an exhaustive review of research and in collaboration with curriculum specialists and prominent experts in child development, early learning, developmentally appropriate practices, and military families. The testing of activity plans included extensive piloting in military and civilian child development classrooms plus expert reviews.