The EC3 Connection - October 22, 2021

Published: 2021-10-23

The EC3 Connection
EC3’s Monthly News from the Classrooms
October 22, 2021

Bumblebee Class
Carley O’Byrne and Sarah Stein

This month’s buzz in the Bee room has been full of excitement! We have been adjusting to new kiddos in the room and learning a lot about each other.

We have been getting creative with some fun fall art activities for our older infants to practice those fine motor skills and hand eye coordination, while our younger infants have been adjusting to life at school.

The younger ones really enjoy eye contact and hearing our voices as we work on getting their little bodies moving on the floor.

We also welcomed back Miss Wanda for music class, which is one of our favorite things for the kids. They sit in awe as she plays different instruments and sings familiar songs. As they get more comfortable and hear the same songs repeated, they start to sing and dance along




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

Toddlerland has worked hard on so many developmental areas this month and all our toddlers have blossomed! From the newest members learning that school is a socially and emotionally safe place, to the most experienced toddlers showing affection and loving guidance to the newbies, our hearts have been encouraged. The children have embraced C.J., our newest co-teacher, with open arms and have begun serenading her by making up their own words to familiar songs and melodies.

Our youngest children have been determinedly expanding their large motor skills by jumping, climbing, and staying upright on the uneven parts of the playground. Pretend play is blooming in our outdoor kitchen, with children seated around the picnic tables to eat leaf salads and other make-believe meals. Some children have been observing and identifying community helpers as we walk through the neighborhoods and see the utility workers, police officers, and other helpers that keep our town safe. Children have also been practicing being community helpers themselves as they learn what it means to observe, offer assistance, and look out for one another.


Frog Class
Catherine Carroll and Mercedes Steward

The Frogs have been spending a lot of time recently getting to know each other. We said "see you in the hallways" to two of our old friends and welcomed new friends to our classroom. The teachers have spent a lot of time talking about how to welcome new friends to the room and model good behavior for them. For example, we asked our older Froggy friends to show our new friends how we behave in the hallways, or where things go during clean-up time. We talked about how people can look or act differently than us but we can still be friends. We have also discussed how to be kind to others and take turns.
We are thrilled to report that the transitions have gone great! We have seen some wonderful connections being made between the children in our room, both old and new. We are excited to continue through the school year with our new Froggy crew!




Gecko Class

Julie Douglas, Tammy Epling, and Ehricka Masalkoski

The Geckos spent the month of September talking and learning about families, friendship, and ourselves. We asked our families to make and bring family collages, so our new friends could feel more comfortable seeing some familiar faces.

We welcomed Hazel, Jonah, Hattie, Vinny, Ilana, Finley, and Nolan to our class. We also did some activities where the children worked together, painting and making collages. During large group time, we read books about friendship and made sure these books are available in our book area for the children to look at independently or with a teacher. We also did introductions so we could learn all our new friends' names.

Recently we have spent some time learning about ourselves. The Geckos practiced their fine motor skills by arranging Cheerios into their first initial and coloring using their favorite colors. At the science table, the children discovered and explored body part pictures, such as arms, legs, head, and hands.

Lion Class
Buffy Clements and Dani Douglas

The Lions have been focusing on creating a warm and welcoming classroom for the new Lions who joined us this fall. They have been painting, decorating, and adding their own touches to the environment. Our new Lions have also been busy learning the routines and expectations of being a Lion. The day of a Lion is always busy and full of fun! Most recently they have explored fire safety, as well as the fall favorites--apples, leaves, and pumpkins.

Our Lions have also been exercising their fingers and focusing on their fine motor skills by doing cutting experiences with scissors, tearing paper and gluing it down, and by using pinching tongs to pick up small items and sort them.

But we haven’t forgotten about our gross motor skills! Their jumping and running skills have taken flight in the gym and during outdoor playtime. The Lions have been full of energy and are having a roaring time!




Tiger Class
Angie Mendenhall and John Werner

We Tigers have been very busy getting to know each other. We have met lots of new friends and are learning how to work together. We have spent time learning what to do in the Tiger class, h

ow to do it, and what exactly what it means to be a Tiger.
The Tigers have also been having lots of fun with fall. We talked and learned about apples, pumpkins, and leaves. We took a class trip out to the pumpkin patch to pick our own apples and pumpkins. We spent time making leaf prints, sorting leaves, using materials to turn pumpkins into people, painting with gourds, and painting a class project to create a tree outside our classroom.



Bear Class

Wanda Bancroft and Sofia Stathoulia
We are having a great time in the Bear room getting to know each other more and more every day. The Bears have been practicing their cognitive, fine and gross motor, early math, language, and social and emotional skills. We have had great conversations about problem-solving, cooperating, and friendship.

But why those skills are important at this age?
As they grow up, children face more difficulties and need to have developed problem-solving skills to cope with 

any challenge. Children build self-esteem, independence, and confidence when they stand up for themselves. Conflicts occur every day and that’s why children should be encouraged to use their words and communicate appropriately. Being able to problem solve means making choices, and once they do that they can cooperate with their peers. Cooperating is a skill that helps children communicate their ideas, take turns, and share with others. This can help children develop the concept of teamwork. When children cooperate with each other, it’s easier for them to make friends. At this age, the idea of having a friend is taken more seriously since the children are able to build stronger friendships. Practicing these skills helps children develop their social, cognitive, communicative, and emotional development. In the Bear room, we constantly practice these skills while having fun!


Teacher Feature: Ms. Wanda Bancroft

Ms. Wanda is a preschool teacher in our pre-K Bears classroom. She has been working in child care for 35 years and since joining our staff in 2000, Wanda has had the pleasure to see over 375 EC3 kids off to kindergarten! She fondly remembers past students coming back for a visit years later and reminiscing about their time in the Bear classroom.

Wanda does her best each day to set her Bears up for a lifetime love of learning. She wants them to be excited about school and her favorite activities are the ones where the children are so swept up in their fun that they don’t realize they’re learning a lesson. She especially enjoys teaching the early math skills because she has created so many great hands-on activities that engage the children and teach them vital skills.

Above all, Wanda loves getting to know the kids on an individual basis. “Children are all uniquely different, yet they need and desire the same thing: a safe place where they feel accepted and are encouraged to grow. I want to empower them to express themselves through words and individualism.”

When she isn’t at EC3, Wanda is very involved with her church. During the summer months, she can often be found camping and kayaking with her family and close friends. She also has a love of reading, writing, and photography. “At my age I feel I still have a lot of growing and learning to do, and I'm always open to try new things.”


Child care is a significant portion of our budget, but it is worth every penny. I cannot overstate how much of a positive role EC3 has played in the social, emotional and physical growth of our children.

Parent feedback from Spring 2022 survey
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