In the Rainbow Room, we know that young infants need security most of all, and thrive in their close relationships with parents and caregivers. Head Teacher Jill Accomando and her assistant caregivers provide an enriching and stimulating environment for our youngest learners who range in age from three to twelve months. They are experts at easing that first transition from home to childcare -- both for the child and the parent – allowing at least a month for adjustment to the new environment. A great deal of the day is consumed with routine activities such as bottles, diapers, and sleep, guided by input from the family as to the individual needs of each child. Waking hours are filled with floor activities, sensory experiences, creative exploration and much more to help each infant become more aware of his/her surroundings.
Mobile infants – toddlers -- are curious and on the move! They want to find out how everything works around them. Head Teacher Jill Accomando, Group Teacher April Jackson and student teacher assistants allow our one year olds to practice their growing independence as they move into toddlerhood. They know that there are numerous benefits for young children when their parents and caregivers work together during this very busy stage of growth. Daily reports about diapering, sleeping and feeding schedules are an important daily routine in the Comet Room. As sleeping and eating schedules become more predictable and regular, the children learn to feed themselves with utensils at a table with their peers. They learn to nap on their own cot each afternoon. Play provides for sensory-motor learning, as well as the enormous growth in receptive and expressive language abilities during this stage of development. Books, toys, and art activities are designed for gross and fine motor activity while encouraging the vocabulary to describe these experiences.
Our two year olds in the Moon Room are beginning to feel independent and “in control.” They enjoy each day under the direction The Moon Room teachers are aware that developing independence in social, emotional and physical behavior is critical at this time. They offer these young learners choices whenever possible while introducing social guidelines for group participation. They focus on self-help skills such as dressing, toilet training and cleaning up. Two’s are very interested in participating in small group activities and fantasy play as they develop a strong sense of self. Sharing and developing good social skills -- even good table manners – is an important part of their daily experiences.
Daily Schedule for Moon Room
(toddler and two year olds)
7:30 to 9:00 AM Arrival
9:00 to 9:30 AM Snack
9:30 to 10:00 AM Group Time
10:00 to 10:30 AM Choice Time in Centers
10:30 to 11:00 AM Outdoor Play
11:00 to 11:30 AM Care Time
11:30 to 12:30 PM Lunch Time
12:30 to 2:45 PM Nap Time
2:45 to 3:15 PM Snack
3:00 to 3:30 PM Care Time
3:30 to 4:30 PM Outdoor Play
4:30 to 5:30 PM Choice Time in Centers
5:30 to 6:00 PM Good-bye
The Star Room is the place for children who are two years away from kindergarten and toilet trained, ready to make the transition from toddlerhood to the preschool years. The Head Teacher, Anne Hickey, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and has taught in elementary and early childhood settings for nearly twenty years. She provides opportunities for the children in her class to demonstrate their newly developed self-help skills. The play of three year olds continues to be parallel (next to a peer) or with one or two children. Under Ms. Hickey’s supervision, Teacher Assistants guide these children as they learn to share and take turns, modeling for and supporting them as they practice problem-solving and conflict resolution. She looks for improved coordination of large muscles through gross motor activities like running, galloping, riding a tricycle or catching a ball. To gain greater control of their hands, they use crayons, markers, scissors, play dough, blocks and puzzles. They develop fine motor skills as they learn to draw, color and cut. Language develops at a rapid pace during this stage of development, ranging from 2000 to 4000 words. Three year olds are encouraged to speak in simple sentences as they interact and describe experiences, and to sing, recite rhymes and fingerplays, enjoy books and stories throughout each day. As their attention span increases, longer activities are planned. Children in the Star Room learn at their own pace, in their own way, through developmentally appropriate practices in a creative and structured environment. Recognizing that three year olds are very curious and excited about learning, they are offered many hands-on experiences and a wide variety of manipulative materials.
The transition to the Sun Room is made easier as children continue all the familiar and consistent routines, such as snack, naptime and circle time. The Head Teacher is Wendy Rizzolo, who came to the Children’s Campus in August, 2006. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology, with a post-graduate certificate in Education, as well as New Jersey certification as an elementary school teacher. She brings many years of experience in various preschool settings to her work with four year olds in the Sun Room. She creates an environment for these children that builds on their strengths:
- their ability to use more language and to attend for longer periods of time,
- their social awareness of each other and their ability to interact in longer, more complex ways,
- and their love of new ideas and experiences through exploration.
Ms. Wendy believes that children’s play is the most important part of their day. In addition to “Circle Time” where they learn everyday math and literacy skills, they have “Table Time” where they take part in arts and crafts activities and they practice sorting, matching, and counting using age appropriate, hands-on materials. They have “Group Time” to practice listening to the teacher and to each other, and to share cooperative games and music. And finally, they have “Center Time,” when they can choose a center such as blocks, dramatic play, sensory table, and writing for uninterrupted play facilitated by their teacher and her assistants. As these children will be going to kindergarten for the next year, independence in social and self-help skills is taught and encouraged.
Daily Schedule for Star and Sun Rooms
(three to five year olds)
7:30am to 9:00am Arrival
9:00am to 9:30am Snack
9:30am to 10:00am Group time
10:00am to 11:00am Center choice time
11:00am to 11:30am Outdoor play
11:30am to 12:30pm Lunch
12:30pm to 2:45pm Naptime
2:45pm to 3:15pm Snack
3:15pm to 4:15pm Outdoor play
4:15pm to 4:30pm Group time
4:30pm to 5:30 pm Center choice time
5:30pm to 6:00pm Goodbye
updated 11.14.12 by KKO