(Under 1 by Sept 1)
Welcome to the Contributors Classroom!
Your teachers are very excited to welcome your child into the classroom. Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have about your child’s upcoming transition.
The daily schedule is flexible and is based on each child and their daily needs. Naps, bottles, and meals are provided at any point during the day, whenever the child needs or the family specifies. This outline gives you a general idea of when things may happen throughout the day. As your child progresses through infancy into toddlerhood we will be looking for commonalities in their schedules and finding ways to align their daily activities. Providing a consistent class schedule serves two main purposes. It allows children to be confident in understanding the flow of each day while giving them more opportunities for group interactions. Group experiences encourage social and emotional growth as well as build a sense of community within the room. Meal times are one way to foster this group dynamic. In general, children who are eating solids will eat together whenever possible. Through this entire process, we will honor the needs of the child above the aim of creating a consistent class schedule. If you have any questions about our daily schedule, please ask.
7:30 – 8:30 Drop Off/Family Check-In
8:30 – 9:00 Continued Morning Provocation Exploration Together
9:00 – 9:30 Snack
9:30 – 10:00 Outdoor Discovery/Walk
10:00 – 11:00 Indoor Exploration and Interaction (Tummy Time Incorporated!)
11:00 -11:30 Lunch
11:30 – 12:00 Book Time
12:00 – 2:30 Nap/Calm Classroom
2:30 – 3:00 Snack
3:00 – 3:30 Outdoor Discovery/Walk
3:30 – 4:00 Art/Sensory Opportunities (Weekly activities will include music, dance, hands-on, creativity-based experiences with offerings to repeat activities that produced observable joy.)
4:00-4:15 Preparing for Afternoon Transition
4:15 – 4:45 Pick Up/Family Check-In
Williston Enrichment Center utilizes an emergent curriculum based on the interests of the children. Following our careful observations, documentation, and reflections, we design learning experiences, projects, and exploration to engage the interests of the children while addressing the concepts, skills, and developmental milestones that are appropriate for this age.
Learning is done through exploring how things feel, how they work, and even how they taste. We concentrate on the process and experience of each activity and do not expect a product from these experiences. Teachers are very attentive to the learning environment, which we refer to as a third ‘teacher’ in the classroom. Emphasis is placed on the organization, aesthetics, and careful selection of materials to help support children's learning. Though you may find some traditional toys in the classrooms, you are more likely to find less traditional materials that are more open-ended. Raw materials and ‘loose parts’ serve many purposes as they are placed in a way to provoke the engagement of the child. These set-ups encourage multiple uses of the materials, challenge children's perspectives, encourage problem-solving, support social play, and offer choice. Students and staff observe children interacting with materials and each other in an effort to understand what children know about their world. These careful observations are used to plan new experiences for children and often lead to a change in the classroom environment to amplify the experience, the use of new materials or objects, or experiences outside the classroom.
We believe the outdoors is a rich and refreshing experience for your Contributor to integrate into their day. We like to go out on walks and enjoy time on our playground. We do this year-round – even in the rain – so be sure that you provide season-appropriate attire and accessories so that your child is comfortable and safe. In the summer, please provide a sun hat, sunscreen, swim diapers, bathing suit, and a towel. In the winter, please send a waterproof jacket, snow pants, mittens, boots, and a hat. Wet snow easily soaks through fleece snowsuits and knit mittens. Many families find it easiest to leave a pair of mittens and a hat at school. There are many obstacles that can cut down on the amount of outside time we get as the youngest class in the school. The standards for taking infants and young toddlers outside in hot or cold weather are a bit more strict than for older kiddos. Working with individual child schedules, it can be difficult to get a group of kids who are all ready to go out at the same time. We will do our best to overcome these obstacles to get outside as much as possible, including splitting into groups.
During these early stages of language development, we encourage the use of baby signs to give children a way to communicate before they are able to make sound for meaning. We will incorporate basic signs into the daily routines of the children. We have a sheet with visuals showing the most common signs we use. As children begin to sign, their signs may look different. It is more important to us to learn the signs of each child than to teach the perfect signing form. We want children to be able to communicate with their families and caregivers. Please share any signs or variations you or your child uses.
Healthy Attachments and Separation Anxiety:
Separating from your child can be a difficult time for both you and your child. Drop off times may be tearful, or your child may not eat, sleep, or drink following their typically pattern while they are adjusting to their new surrounding and forming new relationships. Even if everything goes smoothly for the first few days or weeks, these kinds of responses may pop-up later on. All of these reactions are expected and developmentally appropriate. Over the next few months we will be working hard to build relationships and provide a supportive space for developing healthy attachments.
In our efforts to make these difficult times more positive for everyone involved, we encourage families to establish a clear and consistent routine for drop off. This builds trust and helps children to adjust to their daily routine quickly. By letting your child know that you are leaving, and then leaving promptly after goodbyes, a child will grow to expect this transition and trust that you will leave when you say you are leaving, and come back when it is time to go home. It might be helpful to develop specific goodbye routines, such as a kiss on the hand, a special goodbye song, or a ritual of waving from the window. As hard as it can be to walk out while your child is crying, coming in and out of the room multiple times during the transition process, or lingering after saying goodbye, can be confusing and upsetting for children. We want to work with you and your family to find the best routine for your child.
Much of the time these tearful goodbyes end quickly and children are easily engaged in play or classroom interactions.
Over the course of the next year we will have the opportunity to see your child grow through various stages of development. As infants begin their journeys to toddlerhood, they will be expanding their independence. With that comes a lot of exploring and testing. It is at this age that children may begin to exhibit some behaviors such as hitting, pushing, tantrums, and biting. Please be aware that all of these behaviors are developmentally typical of this age, and that these behaviors vary greatly among children. As teachers, we work hard to recognize the needs of the children to help avoid these behaviors; however, they do still occur. We offer teethers, which provide teething children with a little bit of sensory relief. If you are aware that your child is teething, please be sure to let us know. We also recognize that it can be frustrating to have so many thoughts and needs before you have the language to express them. Physical forms of communication are developmentally appropriate for children trying to express frustration or desires. We work hard to prevent these circumstances by designing interesting spaces with a variety of materials with which every child can engage. We also use clear language to teach children that it’s not OK to hit people and to explain alternative strategies for getting their needs met. If you have concerns about any other behaviors your child is exhibiting, please feel free to chat with us! Likewise, we will be sure to let families know if we observe anything of concern in the classroom.
Please feel free to ask your child’s teacher or the director if you would like more information on age-appropriate behavior.