The EC3 Connection - September 15, 2021

Published: 2021-09-15
Updated: 2021-09-21

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

Ladybug Class
Christina Young and Casey Fowler

Writing starts long before children can hold a pencil.
Children need the opportunity to develop eye-hand coordination. We provided the infants/young toddlers with appropriate, safe-sized crayons for this activity at a low, sturdy, round table. This table allows older infants who are at the beginning stages of pulling themselves up to stand, and the young toddlers who are already accomplished in pulling themselves up to stand and walk so both engage in the activity. Infants who have not yet achieved this developmental step are assisted by a caregiver so they can engage in scribble play. Scribbling not only helps a child develop fine motor skills and eye hand coordination, but it also provides both sensory and independent play and physical movement to help develop large gross motor skills.

Outside time has many benefits. A ride on the “bye-bye buggy” lends opportunity to hear different sounds, experience different smells, feel the breeze on their skin, experience light, and even feel the rain on a misty day. Sand play provides infants and young toddlers sensory experience and helps with fine motor skills by digging and dumping. Math can also be involved through play by measurements of how much sand is in the bucket. Young toddlers learn sharing and cooperation through engaging in sand play. Outside play is important for infant and young toddler development.


Teacher Feature: Ms. Christina Young
Ms. Christina is an infant teacher in our Ladybug classroom. She has her Child Development Associate (CDA) and has been teaching in an early learning setting since 1994. She has been helping foster our EC3 kids since 2007. Christina loves everything about being a teacher, but namely witnessing the children achieve incredible things and watching them grow and flourish. She also loves coming to work each day and knowing that she can make a difference in so many lives. Her favorite thing to do with the children is to get down on their level to engage with them as they make a connection -- to watch the look of amazement and excitement on their faces as they achieve something new and then proceed to do it again and again.
When she’s not at EC3, Christina loves bowling, shopping, hanging out with her friends, and jamming out to her favorite playlist as she cuts the grass on her riding lawn mower!



Bumblebee Class
Sarah Stein and Carley O’Byrne

The Bumblebee room has been taking advantage of the nice weather and spending lots of time outside enjoying water play, chalk, sand exploring, and going on buggy rides. We also have different ages developmentally, so we changed the layout of the room to meet all the children’s developmental needs. Young infants need areas where they can safely practice their growing abilities and movements such as rolling over, crawling, and reaching for toys. Older more mobile infants need things to practice pulling up on, cruising, and walking. The layout of the room is very important as children learn best when they are in an environment where they feel safe and free to explore and learn. We like to call this a “yes” environment. We always keep in mind that every area in the room should be inviting for the children to explore. We have also spent time recently preparing some of our older infants for their Toddlerland transitions!

Claudia “Burger” Conley, Amanda Brock, Cheryl Adkins, Ada Scott, Jennifer Enterline and Claudia Johnson.

This month in Toddlerland the teachers have been implementing our professional development classes to bring the classroom outdoors, and the children are loving it! From comparing leaf sizes and colors on walks to examining cicada shells as we listened to them sing, the kids loved exploring the cognitive domains hands-on. The toddlers took full advantage of our mud play kitchen to stir and mix dishes for friends, expand their vocabulary, and work on their pretend play skills. Creatively, a whole lot of finger and wall painting has been going on! And have had plenty of walks and washings for outdoor play in the physical domain. Moving beach balls and leaves with pool noodles, stomping in puddles, and ready-set-go races were all favorites with our toddlers.




Frog Class
Catherine Carroll and Mercedes Steward

The Frogs enjoyed a summer full of water play. They learn a lot through this process, and one of the things they learned is self-help skills! We work all year long on self-help skills, from putting on and zipping their own jackets to cleaning up their own spills. In the Frog room, the children begin to blow their own noses, open their own lunch boxes and containers, and go up and down the stairs by themselves while holding the handrail.

Water play this summer not only gave our Frogs an opportunity for fun in the sun, but provided another opportunity for independence in getting themselves dressed and undressed! After the water play experiences, each child would return to the room to find their dry clothes in a pile waiting for them. To the best of their ability, we allowed them to take off their own bathing suits, which some were able to do even though wet bathing suits can be tricky! The teachers would stand back as the children got dressed and verbally talk them through how to dress themselves, helping tug a shirt over their heads or find the right leg holes here or there. By the end of the summer, two friends were completely dressing themselves and the rest were doing most of the work. We are so proud of our independent Froggy friends!

Gecko Class
Julie Douglas, Tammy Epling, and Ehricka Masalkoski

We had a great summer in the Gecko Room. First we visited the ocean! We learned many fun facts about animals that live in the ocean, and of course the sharks were the biggest hit for the children. We read and increased our vocabulary about the ocean. The children expressed themselves through making many of the ocean animals during our art sessions. We then “flew” to Hawaii! Dressed in grass skirts and leis, we used those large motor muscles to dance to Hawaiian music. We learned about many traditions and things you might see in Hawaii, such as reading the book Froggy Goes to Hawaii in which we learned about surfing. Using our sense of taste and touch we explored and tasted a pineapple! The Geckos in the house area pretended to spend time on the beach and have picnics. We also added a small pool with comfy soft items to our reading area where the children could get in and read books quietly. Aloha!
After a fun summer, we prepared to say bye to many of our big boys and welcome our new friends.


Lion Class

Dani Douglas and Buffy Clements 

With the end of summer in sight, the Lion classroom is celebrating their new adventure! This summer has been all about experiments, fun, and learning from our experiences. The children have been painting different parts of the classroom to welcome the new groups of lions that are joining us. They have used fly swatters and long pieces of paper with different colored paint. It was messy but they had a blast. For their last full week as Lions the kiddos had a special delivery! An Amazon van came to the center with packages for each of the children! They were able to go into the van to find their packages, as well as explore inside of the van and try out all of the different bells and whistles. They had an amazing time! The Lion room kiddos are looking forward to the next part of their journey at EC3; some will stay Lions, others will go to Tigers and Bears. Thank you for helping out and supporting our Lion room, Friends!

Tiger Class
Angie Mendenhall

We are coming to the end of our Tiger adventures. We finished the summer with face painting during fair week, painting with ice paint, and seeing what would happen if you poked a pencil into a bag of water. We even found out what happened when you mix Pepsi with Pop-Rocks (video can be found on EC3 social media). We have done a lot of new things and revisited some old ones. We have spent time playing with friends, making new friends, and saying good-bye to a few as well. I would like to take the time to say thank you to all the Tigers and their parents. It has been a great year and I have enjoyed my time with this class. As we leave the Tigers to make new memories with the Bears or at a new school, remember this: we hope you have learned something new, rediscovered something you forgot, and tried something you wanted to try.
Best wishes on your new adventures!

Bear Class
Wanda Bancroft and Sofia Stathoulia

Happy September everyone!
The Bear teachers have said goodbye to all of the 2021 graduating Bears and are excited for the new year and a chance to meet your child! You may have heard your child talking about anticipating being a Bear, and about how cool and exciting it is!
But what does being a Bear look like?
Being a Bear means independence. Growing is a big thing and the Bear room is just one step away from kindergarten. The Bear teachers provide opportunities to the Bears to do more for themselves. The goal is that when it’s time for them to go to kindergarten, they will be confident in their abilities to do things for themselves. The Bear teachers don’t expect them to do everything on the first day or even the first month, but slowly throughout the year following a consistent a predictable schedule, we know each child each can achieve independence.
Being a Bear means having fun. Everything in the Bear room is about having fun! The teachers organize the classroom and the activities in a way that is interesting and attractive to the children. Free play is many hours each day because children learn while having fun through play and by promoting friendship skills, working on communication skills, honing their social/emotional skills, and establishing problem-solving skills.
Being a Bear means exploring. The Bear teachers provide opportunities for exploring every day. Most of the Bear themes or projects are coming from children’s feedback, interests, and experiences. At this age, exploration has many benefits for a child. Children discover interesting facts about the world, such as “why the sky is blue?” or “how does a machine work?” They even learn what teamwork means: sharing and being kind.
Being a Bear means developmental growth. The Bear teachers support the development of the Bears by organizing daily, developmentally appropriate activities. They focus on the six developmental domains: social/emotional, language/literacy, cognitive/early math skills, sensory/creativity, gross motor, and fine motor skills. They provide many math and problem-solving activities too.
Being a Bear means being part of a team. In the Bear room, teachers build a trusting relationship with the children during the first month through activities, play, and conversations. Teachers give opportunities so children connect as a group. They encourage play with different classmates each day and they rotate the chairs during lunch time so all children have the chance to speak with one another. The Bear room is our community in which they learn together, grow together, and laugh together.

Welcome to the Bear room!


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