Preschool Curriculum


The Early Childhood Education program provides developmentally appropriate educational services for four year-old children in Denver. See Program Options for select sites also serve three year-olds. These programs are housed in 88 DPS schools and 22 community agencies. The program in DPS schools serves approximately 4000 pre-kindergarten children.

The Early Childhood Education program provides a safe and nurturing environment that promotes the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of young children while responding to the needs of families. Children learn by doing. Children acquire oral language skills and knowledge about the physical and social world in which they live through playful interaction with materials and people. Teachers monitor behaviors to assess the developmental level of each child and to provide sequential instruction to accommodate their growth. Activities are designed to develop children’s self-esteem and positive feelings toward learning. The curriculum and adults’ interactions with children are responsive to individual differences.

The young children’s literature-based curriculum provides a rich environment which supports active learning experiences facilitated by the teacher.

Instructional Objectives

The instructional objectives of the Early Childhood Education Program are to provide an environment for:

  • the development of cognitive skills
  • the expansion of receptive and expressive language
  • the demonstration of thinking and reasoning skills
  • the development of fine and gross motor skills
  • the application of positive social behaviors
  • the practice of good nutritional and health care habits


A Typical Full-Day Preschool Class

(exact activities vary by teacher and class)


  • Orientation / morning circle / music
  • First whole group lesson – literacy
  • Small group literacy work period with differentiated instruction
  • Independent activities that include buddy reading, small group work might include interactive writing, morning message, and art
  • Gross motor skills, like playing outdoors
  • Oral language development
  • Choice centers (including snack): students choose different play stations that focus them on problem solving, high-level play, and oral language development

Lunch and Recess (includes at least 20 minutes gross motor)


  • Read aloud and rest time
  • Integrated study(art, science, social studies, dance, music, and thematic units of study)
  • Oral language development
  • Choice centers (including snack): problem solving, high-level play, oral language development – students may need to evolve into this amount of choice time throughout the first trimester
  • Gross motor, like playing outdoors
  • Math lesson
  • Small group math work period with differentiated Instruction
  • Read aloud and end of day routines

For more information DPS’ preschool curriculum, please visit the Curriculum & Instruction Department’s web site.