Curriculum Expectations

New Jersey Pre-School Teaching and Learning Expectations: Standards of Quality

The Expectations, like the curriculum themes, have been designed so that children experience social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth through a variety of play-based activities. It is a helpful guide for parents as well as teachers, because it provides a basis that supports a child’s growth.

The following sections list and briefly describe the areas of development expected in quality pre-school programs, as set forth by the Union City Board of Education and the New Jersey Department of Education.


Social and Emotional Development Expectations

  • children will develop self-confidence and self-esteem (feeling good about themselves, their families)
  • children will develop relationships with friends through play (cooperation, turn-taking, problem solving)
  • children will demonstrate affection and appropriate physical contact (sharing feelings, good touches, bad touches)
  • children will demonstrate positive behavior (talk about conflicts, choose other activities, talk about feelings)
  • children will develop resilience to stressful situations (singing songs, reading stories, and playing games to ease stress, play activities that relieve stress)
  • children will develop a beginning interest in self-help skills (dressing, feeding, and cleaning up after themselves)
  • children will be able express their feelings (talking or drawing about what they feel and think)
  • children will develop age appropriate social skills (cooperation, taking turns, negotiating, exploring)


Creative Arts Expectations

  • children will develop an appreciation for music and visual self-expression (listening to music, dancing, drawing, painting)
  • children will be able to express themselves through pretend play (dress-up play, puppets, storytelling)
  • children will explore and use art materials (paper, glue, scissors, paint, buttons)


Health, Safety, Physical Education Expectations

  • children will develop hygiene and nutritional skills (eating healthy foods, practice hand-washing and toileting skills)
  • children will develop the ability to make decisions and choices during play (cooperation, helping others, sharing),
  • children will identify potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities (understanding symbols, fire drills, 911)
  • children will develop coordination, balance, and strength through gross motor/large muscle activities ( jumping, hopping, skipping throwing, catching)
  • children will develop coordination in fine motor/hand movement (cutting, lacing, completing puzzles, block play)


Language Arts Literacy Expectations

  • children will take part in active listening activities (following directions, listening, retelling stories and rhymes, answering questions)
  • children will take part in activities that provide opportunities to speak (asking questions, talking to others during play, retelling stories and events)
  • children will take part in activities that promote emergent reading skills (pretend reading, talk about stories, letters, name)
  • children will take part in activities that promote emergent writing skills (drawing, scribbling, using pencils, crayons, paper, markers, computers)
  • children have the chance to use other non-book materials (listening to recorded stories, computer programs, look for street signs)


Mathematics Expectations

  • children will experience problem solving through hands-on activities (matching and fitting items together, predict outcomes)
  • children will talk about math using various materials (how something was built or arranged)
  • children will relate math ideas to real-life situations (setting the table, counting fingers, play grocery store)
  • children will explore numbers (counting objects)
  • children will develop knowledge of space sense and geometric shapes (down, up, behind, matching and sorting items by shapes or colors)
  • children will develop measurement concepts (hot/cold, long/short, heavy/light, simple estimation)


Science Expectations

  • children will discover their five senses (learn about their ability to see, hear, touch, taste and smell)
  • children will make simple predications of experiments(give clues and make predictions, make observations)
  • children will explore living things (learn about living and non-living things)
  • children will experiment with solids and liquids (learn from activities with solids and liquids)
  • children will explore magnets (learn about magnets)
  • children will investigate the earth’s properties (learn about the weather and changes of the seasons)
  • children will explore the solar systems and planets (learn about the moon, sun, and stars: difference between day and night)
  • children will participate and understand the proper care of the environment (learn about recycling, caring for equipment and belongings)


Social Studies Expectations

  • all children will develop self-awareness and interpersonal relationship skills (develop and enhance positive social skills, self- esteem, respect and responsibility)
  • all children will develop awareness of family and family traditions (learn about family members and their responsibilities; learn about traditions
  • all children will develop community and career awareness (learn about community workers)
  • all children develop an awareness of money and it’s uses
  • all children will explore their own and other cultures (learn about different cultures)
  • all children will develop an understanding of recycling, pollution, and conserving products in the environment (learn about recycling and reusing products)


World Languages Expectations

  • all children will experience at least one language other than English (listen to stories, songs, poems, and rhymes in other languages)
  • all children will participate in simple activities in other language (learn simple greetings in another language)
  • all children will participate in cultural activities and celebrations (participate in seasonal activities and celebrations)