Welcome to the Caterpillar Infant Room. Our classroom is "home away from home" for children 2 weeks to 12 months of age. Parents can customize their child's care to fit their child's individual needs. The primary goal of the Early Childhood Caregiver is to build trust and a close relationship with both the child and their family. We trust in the infant's ability to be an initiator and an explorer who is eager to learn. We follow their lead and provide a responsive learning environment based on their interests. Teachers verbally reflect on the infant's exploration by describing the activity that they are engaged in. "You pulled the beads apart. That was hard to do." Not only does this reinforce their learning but it builds confidence in their abilities.
We foster your infant's social emotional development by giving them full verbal and physical attention during care giving activities, including diapering, feeding and settling to sleep. We optimize the value of these times by making eye contact, talking to and encouraging infants to participate in these activities as their competencies and interests dictate. We encourage "appropriate" behaviors by talking, modeling and interpreting. For example we might demonstrate and say "Gentle touches" when a child reaches for another child. To further social competencies we organize activities that support and encourage infants to play in proximity to each other. We allow and encourage infants to express their feelings.
We believe that infants learn best when they are uninterrupted and have the freedom to explore on their own and in their own time. We provide simple play objects that allow infants to use their imaginations and resources to explore.
Your infant will have safe places to move and explore both indoors and outdoors. We have "tummy time" for young infants to strengthen their arm, neck and torso muscles. Your child will have the opportunity to explore all kinds of sensory materials. We look forward to sharing the children's explorations with you during bi-annual conferences, classroom documentations, the daily sheet and family conversations.
Welcome to the Butterfly Infant/Toddler Room designed for children ages 9 - 15 months. Active learning occurs when infants/toddlers experiment with their environment. Daily activities are designed to foster this active learning by allowing infants/toddlers to explore with all their senses, to use their emerging gross and fine motor skills, to choose activities or materials and to explore with curiosity and excitement.
From a foundation of trust and security, caregivers encourage independence and experimentation. By arousing curiosity and interest, infants/toddlers are motivated to engage in new challenges. These experiences stimulate the development of the "whole" child. The environment is designed to be a warm, safe, inviting, and challenging space for the various ages of infants, and we continue to modify the space as each child grows. Teachers keep track of developmental changes and set appropriate goals for each child -- goals that serve as guidelines in planning activities for the group and individual child.
The room is designed with objects that hang for visual stimulation, textures and colors throughout, and small manipulative toys that even the youngest of infants can grasp and mouth. As the infants become mobile and are able to crawl and pull up, they begin to use pull-up and climbing structures, as well as tunnels to crawl through, mirrors to look in, and many kinds of toys that can be pushed, pulled, opened and closed. Walks and outdoor experiences are provided on a daily basis, weather permitting.
Each part of your child's day is structured to support their growing ability to communicate ideas and feelings, develop a sense of their own needs and how they can meet these needs, and finally, to form close bonds with others. Although the Toddler Room follows a daily routine, each child is allowed to set their own pattern according to their individual needs.
We value the need for each infant's daily schedule to remain consistent with their schedule at home and try our best to accommodate this need. We strive to satisfy each child's need for a close physical and emotional attachment. As we forge this bond, we hope to become an extension of the family unit, working cooperatively to support both family and child. Connections between home and center practices are established to maintain consistency in care and to provide parent support.
A toddler's language undergoes huge changes and children are encouraged to use these growing language skills often. Toddlers also begin to realize the importance language expression can have on their environment. They can communicate their needs, likes and dislikes, as well as, their ideas and feelings. As supporters of this discovery, our teachers model words and phrases and provide time for toddlers to use their words. Over time toddlers develop a sense of self-efficacy through language as they communicate with us and each other.
Toddlers especially enjoy using their growing motor skills when accomplishing tasks on their own. Our routines at meals and transitions provide ample time for toddlers to meet their needs independently. The routine provides both a sense of predictability and security. During free play, toddlers may choose to paint, use the sensory table, do puzzles, part icipate in dramatic play activities or look at books. These activity times provide opportunities to play alone, near peers and/or with peers and teachers. We encourage children to be active participants!
Our Foundation Framework includes:
The classroom environment is planned with meaning by teachers. Activities are built upon teacher's observations of individual and groups of children and how they use materials in the environment. Teachers recognize children's needs and encourage children to test their theories and construct knowledge. The environment is planned with opportunities for children to test those theories.
Since Toddlers have a natural curiosity of people, their environment is set up in a manner where they have many opportunities to develop their social skills. The teachers make themselves available to support children as they engage with peers.
Toddlers are constantly learning language, and teachers support children as they develop their communication skills. Children are encouraged to share their ideas, their concerns and to make social connections with peers and adults. Toddlers developmentally are working to be independent.
Teachers recognize the importance of building a trusting relationship with parents and children. They value ongoing communication, offer support and serve as a resource for parents. Teachers also attempt to create a community atmosphere where everyone is appreciated and differences are celebrated. Documentation of children's experiences are valued and considered as an important way to communicate with families.
Areas in the Classroom Environment:
Expressive Area - Children explore materials such as paint, clay, collage. As children explore these materials, they use their visual sense to communicate their feelings and to discover how they can manipulate natural materials and make their mark on the world.
Literacy - Children explore new and familiar places and experiences through books
Large Motor - Equipment is provided to create opportunities that encourage children to develop their large motor skills. A place to jump, run, crawl, climb and roll around. Large and heavy objects are provided for children to move
Music and Movement - Children explore how their bodies move and are able to express themselves. Through music children learn to use their senses to become emotionally involved by hearing and moving.
Dramatic Play - Children need dramatic play to help make sense out of their world by exploring different roles. Children use this area to test their theories of the world and better understand social situations. Children also use this area to work through their own emotions.
Block Play - Children test their theories on building. They explore weight, balance, shape and numbers as well as many other properties.
Outdoor Play - Outdoor space is an extension of the classroom where children are encouraged to explore their world. They experience all four seasons. There are areas created out of natural materials for children to use their imaginations and explore as they interact with peers and equipment. Children help maintain flower and vegetable gardens throughout the outdoor space.
Independence is supported and encouraged by teachers as children move through their daily routines, washing hands, dressing for outdoor play, learning to use the toilet, cleaning up after meals and making many choices throughout the day.
The 3 PreK program is a multi-aged classroom setting, including children ranging in age from 2 1//2 to 4 years old. As a Play-based inspired program we design our curriculum on the development and interests of the children in our classroom. Listening carefully to the children and observing their interactions with each other and their environment, allows us to learn what interests them. Children contribute to the educational experience by role playing, exploring and experimenting within specially designed interest areas throughout the room.
Our classroom areas align with Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS):
Health and Physical Development:
Social and Emotional Development:
Language Development and Communication:
Approaches to Learning:
Cognition and General Knowledge:
The teacher's role is to gain knowledge about our individual children's social competencies in order to support further social and emotional growth using a variety of methods that incorporate Developmentally Appropriate Practice and Early Childhood Standards. Our teachers and adult staff support social emotional security and growth through modeling positive behaviors such as being empathetic, solving problems and taking risks. Modeling may occur by teachers verbally expressing that they are listening to each child or pointing out that they themselves have worked through a problem.
We support children in developing positive self-identity through valuing their interests, family and diversity. Our teachers talk with children regarding self-identity issues to convey acceptance and understanding amongst peers. We assist children in labeling their emotions in simple terms as a way to identify with the emotions that they are feeling. Teachers encourage self-help skills in ways that are consistent with children's abilities and developmental levels. We encourage the next level of challenge once children have mastered the current one. We assist children with conflict resolution. We will discuss and mediate with the children to choose one solution together that all can agree to try. Teachers will then stay near the children to offer follow-up support.
The 4 PreK program is a multi-aged classroom setting, including children ranging in age from 3 1//2 to 5 years old. It is structured as a "finishing" classroom to support children in adding the final touches to their social and emotional toolbox before entering kindergarten.
We base our curriculum on the development and interests of the children in our classroom. Listening carefully to the children and observing their interactions with each other and their environment, allows us to learn what interests them. Our curriculum is often taught through the use of long-term, investigative projects, where the topics are presented through a variety of activities.
Our classroom areas address:
Social and Emotional Development - We support children in developing positive self-identity through valuing their interests, family and diversity. Our teachers talk with children regarding self-identity issues to convey acceptance and understanding amongst peers. We assist children in labeling their emotions in simple terms as a way to identify with the emotions that they are feeling. Teachers encourage self-help skills in ways that are consistent with children's abilities and developmental levels. We encourage the next level of challenge once children have mastered the current one. We assist children with conflict resolution. We will discuss and mediate with the children to choose one solution together that all can agree to try. Teachers will then stay near the children to offer follow-up support.
Physical Development - Children are provided with a variety of fine and gross motor opportunities. They benefit from a large outdoor play space, hills and room where they are provided with opportunities to run, jump, climb, throw and kick balls, play games and dig. Our outdoor play area consists of 1 ½ acres of fun year-round!
Cognitive Development - Your preschooler is expanding his critical thinking skills, such as identifying, classifying, comparing, contrasting, sequencing, predicting and problem solving. They start thinking about and understanding things they can't see or touch; you might notice your child starts to become "an idea person." Keep in mind, though, that every kid is different, and he won't necessarily achieve all of his milestones at the same time. In fact, his individual milestones can fluctuate. Our Teacher help facilitate new ideas, expand educational opportunities and encourage life-long learning.
Language and Literacy - We provide a language and print rich environment. It includes a language area with writing tables stocked with materials, mailboxes, book area, language games, functional use of language in making and using lists, naming dramatic play areas, and reading to children daily in small groups. Teachers attend to and encourage children's language and conversation. Open-ended questions that typically result in more elaborate verbal responses, expand upon information provided, and answer questions and research them when necessary.
Math - Teachers introduce activities and games for the development of children's sense of numbers. Children begin to build and understand numeric values, magnitudes, quantities, and begin to establish one-to-one correspondence. We give children the opportunity to write numbers whenever possible. We introduce concepts such as shapes, classification and ordering through sorting, seriating and block building activities using a variety of materials and shapes.
Science - Teachers provide opportunities for children to represent their scientific experiences through: artwork, dramatic play, writing, lists, charts, and graphs. We encourage children to reflect on the process they observe and say what they think will happen. Teachers make comments, ask open-ended questions, and call children's attention to things that contradict their expectations.
Social Studies - Children learn about their community by taking walks to explore the community. Maps and globes can be found in the classroom, which helps children become familiar with the geography of their immediate surroundings and our world as a whole. We introduce the concept of ecology through reading books and classroom activities on topics such as the importance of recycling.
School Age Program
The Sand Box School Age programs are designed to support the children and families throughout the year. During the academic year, our main goal is to assist children with their homework afterschool. We would like to see more quality family time each night without the worries or hassles that may add to a late night after working hard all day. We do not want to "replace" the parent, but support them.
During the early hours before school, kids are encouraged to rest and relax so they will be their best during the school day. Breakfast is offered as the children arrive. Children are supervised both during AM and PM bus times.
School Age Summer Programming includes a wide variety of community involvement, fieldtrips, educational experiences and much, much more. Each week, the kids visit the parks, pool, library and area events such as the local fair, strawberry picking, events at the nursing home and other fun-filled experiences. Our teachers promote healthy choices, good manners, supportive social interactions and acceptance, as well as, including the kids in daily chores, tasks and other responsibilities. We often joke with the parents that we make two guarantees....the kids will never say, "I'm bored" and they won't argue at bedtime!!
Sand Box Child Care & PreSchool
664 West Cedar Street
Medford, WI 54451
Kelly Jensen- adminstrator