The EC3 Connection - May 17, 2021

Published: 2021-05-17

Ladybug Class
Christina Young and Casey Fowler

In the Ladybug room for the month of April, the infants worked on balancing skills. The teachers set out boxes to let them push or crawl with and also stand up to. Some of the older infants put toys in the box and then took them out. They also explored spatial awareness by climbing into the

boxes with their bodies all the way in. They would put balls, cups, and rattles into the boxes and then stand up to the box to see inside.

The infants also explored bug stamping, textures, and colors, using fine motor skills. The infants were learning textures by feel and taste. The older babies were learning colors and the look of different bug stamps on the paper. The Ladybugs kept busy moving and using their creative/sensory experiences to see and touch new things around them.



Bumblebee Class
Buffy Clements and Carley O’Byrne

The Bumblebees have been exploring the concept of play. In an infant room it is not uncommon to witness children playing independently, oblivious to other children. This is the beginning stage of play as children self-discover and explore objects.

Independent play leads to imitation play. Peek-a-boo is a favorite first game for infants.

Parallel play is the next level of play. This is when children play side by side in a common area and with common materials but do not engage in back-and-forth exchange of play. They simply play within each other’s space. This is an important level of play because it teaches the children spatial awareness and leads into cooperative play. As you can see in the photo above, the children are all playing next to each other but are not paying attention to each other.
A more complex stage of play is cooperative play. This is a back-and-forth exchange between children and/or adults. The children engage in play with a common material while communicating with each other. In the phototo the right, you will see two of our bumble bees playing “I see you” with the see-through cabinet door.



Penguin/Seal Class
Claudia “Burger” Conley, Amanda Brock, and Claudine Wilson

This past month, the Penguins and Seals have been exploring nature together. They got dirty in the sensory table with hay, worms, dirt, ice cubes, water, and seeds. The toddlers loved using tongs to move all the materials around to make a huge mess! They also explored farm animals by creating an “animal crossing” on large paper and walked along the different animals. The classes also painted a small house for the rubber ducks to live and play in. All of this play stimulates their cognitive and social-emotional development.
The children learned about April showers and May flowers as they painted raindrops, did art with flower shapes, and poked the flowers into a colander. They also have been really enjoying the baby dolls in the room. They play with and feed the dolls during the day and pat them to sleep at nap time. These play activities are part of toddlers’ creative and dramatic development.
The Penguin room separated from the Seals at the end of April and they have been enjoying getting to know their own classroom. The Penguins and Seals still see each other and play together while outside and in Big Room.

Dolphin Class
Ada Scott and Jennifer Enterline
This month, children explored the spring weather and had some awesome learning moments. They explored the effects of wind and rain in various activities that spurred cognitive and fine motor growth, inspired wonder, and grew vocabulary. One activity that the children repeated several times was spraying a water bottle to make “rain” fall from the clouds and water the school plants. Younger toddlers worked on finger strength and aiming, while the older toddlers were able to hear some facts about rain in song form.

They also explored how feathers behaved in a wind tunnel. Children were able to release feathers into the wind and observe how they moved. This required some problem-solving skills and bravery as the fan made noise, and they children had determine if they would release the feathers on the top or bottom. They also got some practice tracking the feathers with their eyes and trying to catch them as they floated down. The final example of a weather activity that spurred wonder was the fact that words and wind can have an effect. The children were shown that they could hold a feather on their hand and tell it to jump, and it would! (This helps children to practice volume and forming a “puh” sound.) One child was so captivated that he commanded his feather for 10 or 15 minutes and then figured out that he could purse his lips and blow the feather as well. Independent play and wonder led to a new way to interact with his environment and increase his self-confidence as a learner.


Frog Class

Catherine Carroll and Mercedes Steward
The children have been learning a lot about bugs this month. They were so excited when the teachers brought caterpillars into the room! They read many books and watched videos on the changes that would occur. Soon the class watched them form chrysalises around themselves. After several days the Frogs were so excited to see them turn into butterflies! One day there were five chrysalises, then two butterflies, then five butterflies within three days! The children loved watching the butterflies flap their wings in the net. They also got to see a proboscis up close as one butterfly drank from the sugar water the teachers provided for them. After letting their wings dry inside, the Frogs released them from the net into nature on the playground. The butterflies did not all fly out easily from the net, but once they flew away the children were so excited, waving bye-bye to the butterflies. The teachers were so happy to teach the children about natural science through this metamorphosis and see it through their eyes in real time.


Gecko Class

Julie Douglas, Tammy Epling, and Ehricka Masalkoski

The Gecko class went on a great space adventure while passing through many learning domains. The children had a blast using their listening skills as they followed along to the creative movement song, “Adventures in Space” by Greg and Steve. During the song the children had to listen and move quickly to put on their space helmets and to duck down to avoid falling asteroids. They were also introduced to some new vocabulary like “mission control” and “sound barrier.” The children also listened to stories about space during large group and then had an opportunity to explore the books more closely during free time. The children used their imagination, fine motor skills, and pre-math skills using individual sensory bins. The children explored moon sand (kinetic sand) and one child said, “This is squishy.” The children built launch pads for their rockets and counted down to blast off. They also had an opportunity to do some creative expression during some process art activities like painting with moon rocks (tin foil). They all made space rockets and had their pictures taken as astronauts.


Lion Class
Dani Douglas

The Lions are back and having fun. The kiddos worked on getting back into their routines after a three-week break and things are going well. They were pirates for a week and had a great time decorating hats and spy glasses. The chldren made treasure maps and went on treasure hunts. The treasure hunts helped them hone their problem-solving skills as well as following multi-step directions. The Lions also played pirate memory, which stretched their cognitive skills and improved their recall skills. They continue having a great time playing with their friends and learning new things.



Tiger Class

Angie Mendenhall and Lindsay Simpson

The Tiger Room is gearing up for summer. They started May with making presents for Mother's Day. The Tigers not only got to flex their creative muscles, but they also were able to experiment with the chemical reactions that go into making Shower Melts. The Tigers are learning about the human body next. This will give them an understanding of how their own bodies work and reasons why they do certain things to help it be healthy and grow.

The Tiger class is working on building their self-help skills and sharing this month.


Teacher Feature: Ms. Lindsay Simpson
Lindsay Simpson is a preschool teacher in the Tiger room. She has been teaching preschool for the past four years. Lindsay has been studying hard; first, earning her CDA in 2019, then she began work on her associate’s degree in early childhood education. Her graduation date is expected to be Spring of 2022 and she plans to continue on to get her bachelor’s degree. She loves being a teacher because she gets to help children achieve their goals and become who they want to be. The personalities of the children are so diverse and fun to interact with. Some of Lindsay’s favorite themes during the year are cooking, diversity, and science experiments. For example, she has a cherished memory of doing an egg study with the children during diversity week. They gathered eggs of all colors and observed them. Some of the children were caught by surprise to find out that all the eggs look the same inside! They talked about skin colors and diversity and how we are all humans with the same insides. Lindsay witnessed some of the kids having that “Aha!” moment and the whole thing clicked for them.

When she’s not at work, you can probably find Lindsay cooking in her kitchen, body building, going for a run or hike, or missing all the concerts and shows she wants to see but can’t because of COVID. She also has fun coloring and styling her hair in different ways!


Bear Class
Wanda Bancroft and Sofia Stathoulia
There has been so much fun in the Bear room this month! They have been discussing nature and the four elements (fire, earth, wind, and water). Now that the weather is warmer the kids are exploring the element of the water by doing experiments and many water activities. Recently, the Bears planted marigold seeds and they have been watching them grow! 
Children love to explore and discover everything around them. When children come into contact with nature, they learn to love and protect it since it offers them so many natural materials, designs, colors, natural phenomena, and sensory stimulus. They become more curious and creative about the world. 

When children play in nature, there are no rules about how to use the materials or what they should make. Instead, they are called to imagine and create, expanding their cognition skills. Also, when children play in nature, they become familiar with natural sounds, which can help them relax and remain calm. Children develop socially and emotionally since they decide what is appropriate for them, according to their capabilities, through challenges and thinking during play. Moreover, children develop their physical skills, both fine and gross motor skills, which are going to help them in their lives. The Bears will continue their exploration of nature while having fun!


All teachers have been wonderful for our family.

Parent feedback from Spring 2022 survey
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