Developmentally Appropriate Practice Handbook


Developmentally Appropriate Practice Classroom Checklist

Physical Environment

_____ Both academic (math, writing, etc.) and nonacademic (dramatic play, blocks, etc.) learning centers are included in my classroom.

_____ Sufficient learning center options exist so that all children have choices of where to play.

_____ I select the materials in learning centers with standards (learning goals) in mind.

_____ I rotate the materials in learning centers regularly.

_____ My learning centers contain plenty of open-ended materials that can be used in multiple ways.

_____ Materials in my learning centers reflect the social and cultural backgrounds of the children in my classroom and throughout the larger community.

Social Environment

_____ I engage in relationship-building activities with children.

_____ I promote positive relationships between children.

_____ I use peer conflicts as opportunities to teach problem solving skills.

_____ I build positive relationships with families.

_____ Overall, my classroom is warm and nurturing.

_____ During learning centers, I play with the children supporting, but not directing, their play.

_____ When planning activities, I consider whether the children will perceive them as fun.

_____ I take advantage of spontaneous opportunities to have fun with the children.

_____ Overall, my classroom is joyful.


_____ I intentionally plan all the activities we do with standards (learning goals) in mind.

_____ I select the standards I address using the children’s age.

_____ As I plan activities, I consider the unique background knowledge that each of my children brings to the learning environment and consciously build connections to that background knowledge.

_____ The activities that I plan reflect the social and cultural backgrounds and learning styles of the children in my classroom.

_____ Most of the activities that I plan are open-ended.

_____ Most of the activities that I plan are hands-on.

_____ Throughout the day, I provide opportunities for the children to make choices.

_____ I use an emergent curriculum where the topics we study emerge from the children’s interests.

_____ I take advantage of families and community resources to enrich my program and bring different perspectives, knowledge, and traditions to my classroom.

_____ I take advantage of teachable moments when they occur.  I do not hesitate to change my plans and follow the children’s lead when this will promote engagement and learning.

_____ I emphasize play by scheduling at least 45 minutes twice a day for learning centers and at least 45 minutes twice a day for outdoor play (in a full-day program).

­­_____ I individualize instruction based on each child’s skill level and learning style.

_____ Most of my group lessons are small group lessons so that I can better individualize instruction.

_____ My lessons are brief enough to match the attention spans of the children in my classroom.

_____ I emphasize meaningful activities related to children’s everyday experiences.

_____ I plan for learning in all areas of development.

_____ I use an integrated curriculum.  Each lesson focuses on multiple areas of development.