The EC3 Connection - December 15, 2021

Published: 2022-01-07

The EC3 Connection
EC3’s Monthly News from the Classrooms
December 15, 2021

Ladybug Class
Casey Fowler and Christina Young

The Ladybugs have been busy working on developing their fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. Fine motor skills are the small motions we do each day to assist us in things such as writing. These skills help children develop muscles and increase strength and are important for their development. They got to paint pumpkins with paintbrushes and started working on some holiday art. The benefit of art for our infants is monumental because not only does it help with concentration, eye hand coordination, and fine motor skills, but it also provides texture and sensory engagement. The older infants got to play with long sheets of paper laid out on the floor. The teachers wrapped the paper around the children, so they heard the different noises while moving it and were involved in socializing with each other while playing.



Bumblebee Class
Carley O’Byrne and Sarah Stein

This month, the Bumblebees have been preparing for the holidays and learning more about each other. The infants  have been showing interest in exploring their surroundings and testing their limits. They have been learning and reaching new milestones every day! Our older infants have been very interested in the younger infants. They are discovering spatial awareness while exploring each other’s bodies and listening to their cues. When another child is not happy about being touched they will cry out. Oftentimes, the other children notice that and stop what they are doing. They are learning to be aware of their surroundings and to move around other bodies to get to the things they want. We also have inherited a wonderful sensory box that was handmade by Lion classroom teacher, Ms. Buffy!


Cheryl Adkins, Amanda Brock, Claudia “Burger” Conley, Jennifer Enterline, Ada Scott, and Christine Wood

Toddlerland has been immersed in talk of families and feasts in the past month. Teachers discussed traditions surrounding the holiday season and what the children might expect. The children even helped to make treats in each room to pass out to the families. Recently, the toddlers made rice cereal treat mix and used the mix as a sensory material. The children loved adding marshmallows to the bowl and helping pour the cereal. They had so much fun playing with the sticky mix when it was done.
Even young toddlers can be helpful in the kitchen, and they love the experience. From stirring to pouring, these skills are important for brain and muscle development. With a little patience and a willingness to get messy, this can be a great bonding time for parent and child as well. Let them stir the ingredients for your casserole or baking project. Help them pour from a measuring cup and talk them through the cooking process. This will boost their vocabulary and introduce words they may not hear otherwise at this time.


Frog Class

Marley Bitz, Catherine Carroll, and Mercedes Steward

The Frog students have been very enthusiastic about the change of seasons. We have been having many discussions about hibernation and migration. The children have enjoyed curling up like hibernating bears and pretending to wake up when it’s “spring.” For art they have created bears and dens for them to hibernate in. We have talked about how the animals stay warm since they cannot put on all of the winter gear that we do to keep us warm outside. Some children thought the idea of a bird wearing a hat was especially silly! Speaking of winter gear, the change of seasons has provided a great opportunity for the Frogs to work on their self-help skills. Getting their own shoes and boots off and on is not only great for independence, but it’s great for their sense of confidence as well. We see many big smiles after they put on their own coats. Way to go, Frogs!



Gecko Class
Julie Douglas, Tammy Epling, and Ehricka Masalkoski

The Geckos class finished their fall unit on harvest, hibernation, and Thanksgiving. Through sensory play, the children exercised their curiosity and exploration. Whether by painting bubble wrap to make ‘corn’ or interacting with squash, corn, and gourds, exploring these materials helped the children make new brain connections. These new connections help the children increase their language skills. The Geckos also created their own Thanksgiving meals through collage using magazine pictures.
At large and small group times, the children learned about hibernation through books and discussion. During large group, the children went on a “Bear Hunt” while utilizing a fun movement song. They also had an opportunity to pretend they were bears when we created bear caves in the classroom using cardboard boxes. Large group time helps the children feel that they are an important part of the classroom through a growing a sense of community. During small group time, the Geckos got to build their own forests full of hibernating animals using things they found around the classroom like blocks, tree cookies, rocks, and trees.


Lion Class
Buffy Clements and Dani Douglas

December is here and it has brought the snow with it! The Lion class is enjoying the weather when it is warm enough to venture outside. They have built snowmen, figured out how to throw snowballs, gone on snow walks, and eaten their fair share of snow (we encourage them to eat only clean and white snow). They look forward to exploring snow more in the coming months.
December is full of holidays around the globe and the Lion room is exploring different traditions. St. Nicholas visited the classroom on December 6th and left treats in the shoes the kiddos had colored and left out. They have been reading books about different celebrations, including Hannukah and Kwanza, and we are also learning about each other’s traditions for the holiday season. The Lions are having a great time and are excited to learn more!

Tiger Class
Angie Wallace and John Werner

The Tigers have finished up learning their letters and are starting to talk about the holiday season. We talked about the different ways people celebrate and how all those ways are important. The Tigers also talked about what we like to do for the holidays. We were told all kinds of interesting things like opening gifts, visiting family, sleeping in late, and having breakfast in bed. They also shared different ways of celebrating such as decorating trees, looking at lights, spending time with our families, and eating all sorts of things. The Tigers have also discussed holiday giving and the idea that giving can be just as fun as getting. All in all, the Tigers are looking forward to spending time with loved ones, eating tasty treats, and having fun this holiday season!

Teacher Feature: Ms. Angie Wallace

Ms. Angie is the co-lead teacher in the preschool Tiger room. She has been with EC3 since 2013 but previously spent time with the Waverly School District, Lansing School District, and the YMCA. Ms. Angie has been teaching over 30 years and holds a master’s degree in education.
In the classroom, Ms. Angie loves making art with her Tigers, the evidence of which you can see on the walls around the classroom. She also enjoys focusing on science and math activities. One of her favorite things about being a teacher is when her students move up to their next classroom and she is able to see how much they have grown and learned during their time together.
When she is not busy teaching the next generation, Angie can be found spending time with her family while accompanied by her new husband.

Bear Class
Wanda Bancroft and Sofia Stathoulia

It has been a very busy month for the Bears.
They learned what germs are, how germs spread, and good hygiene practices. They had fun creating all kinds of turkey crafts and used Thanksgiving to practice helpfulness and thankfulness. The Bears also learned about collaboration as they worked in teams to draw, paint, play letter games, create stories, and perform shows.
Why is collaboration and group work important for preschoolers?
Cooperation is an important part of relationships, and through collaboration children learn to respect others and to control their emotions. Peer interaction and collaboration start early in life and helping your child to understand the value of working well with others is the key to encouraging cooperation in group activities. Through collaboration, children can increase their understanding of how others view the world. They can develop new and more healthy perspectives and learn to appreciate differences of opinion. This is crucial not only to coexist and live in harmony, but also to move forward as a civilization. Moreover, children need to explore, learn, create, and share together. Collaboration helps children to discover each other’s strengths, interests, and capabilities. Instead of limiting learning to a one-way stream from a teacher to them, children can learn from each other. As a result, each child can develop a unique set of skills and knowledge in a fun and efficient way.


EC3 was the best beginning for Charlie and Eva (2008-2010).

Paul & Jen Eyde
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