The Children’s Learning Center NEWS A Newsletter for Growing Minds September 2012 Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year! concerns. I will often be at the front desk between 7:00 and 9:00 each morning. Otherwise, email is the best way to reach me at: [email protected] or otherwise, by phone at 443-518-4150. I look forward to connecting with each of you. -Ms. Kim DATES TO REMEMBER 9/3 CLC CLOSED for Labor Day 9/27 Fall Fest 4:30-5:30 CLASSROOM PHONE NUMBERS: Kim Pins 443-518-4150 Amy Haflett 443-518-4152 Front Desk 443-518-1360 Karen Gregoire 443-518-4526 Ladybug Room 443-518-2037 Bumblebee Room 443-518-2036 Firefly Room 443-518-2038 Grasshopper Room 443-518-2030 Beetle Room 443-518-2031 Dragonfly Room 443-518-2033 Butterfly Room 443-518-2032 INSIDE: It is so exciting to have you here! Teachers have spent the last few weeks planning and preparing your children's new rooms so you will feel especially welcome this week. To help you get to know all the center staff, we have included a few details about each of us in this newsletter. Did you pause in front of the wall as you entered the building? Can you guess which profile belongs to which staff person? Take a few minutes to talk with your child about what you see there. It will help them feel welcome and connected as well! Each classroom functions using a team of two teachers. This collaboration is essential to the successful work done at the Children‟s Learning Center. Teachers‟ schedules are staggered to ensure that one member of each teaching team is available to you at the beginning or end of the day to share information about your child. This team approach makes it possible for teachers to take days off and still ensure the classroom functions at a high quality. Feel free to ask questions or speak on the phone with either teacher in your child‟s classroom; they share all information concerning your child with each other on a routine basis throughout each day. For those of you returning to the Children‟s Learning Center after being away for the summer, there are a few updates: Amy Haflett, the Curriculum Specialist, had a baby boy, Colin James, on August 4! Angela Bailey had an offer she couldn‟t refuse. As many of you know, she has been diligently working towards her Masters in Education and teacher certification at John‟s Hopkins University. She was offered a slot in a program making it possible to graduate with all certifications within the year. It was a hard decision for Ms. Angela to enter this program full-time, but a wonderful opportunity. She will be back for visits. Ms. Beth is recovering from surgery and will be on medical leave through September. We wish Ms. Beth a speedy recovery and look forward to her return. Please feel free to contact me for information, with questions, or to share Classroom News 2-3 Staff Bios 4-5 Laboratory School 5 Important Reminders 6 The Children’s Learning Center NEWS Page 2 News from the Infant and Toddler Rooms LADYBUGS/BUMBLEBEES In the infant rooms it‟s “back to school” time for our babies and toddlers. Our class- rooms will be home to our youngest at the Children‟s Learning Center. During the month of September we‟ll get acquainted with new „students‟ and their families. We‟ll welcome them to our class and make sure they feel happy in our loving, nurturing environment. The Ladybugs and Bumblebees will get the best of care based on their individual needs as they grow and learn. We will also create lesson plans that will help each child to develop their skills. Days will include floor play, comfort and hugs, art and sensory activities, and outdoor strolls in the fresh fall air. We look forward to the privilege of spending our days with your children. Ms. Polina , Ms. Meltam, and Ms. Tish FIREFLIES We would like to welcome our Fireflies and their parents and share our excitement that you chose our program for your child! The children will begin by learning about themselves and each other by spending time getting to know classmate‟s names and preferences and their new environment. We will focus on the social side of toddlers, helping them participate in a group by holding hands on walks, encourage sitting together to hear a story, and teaching them to clean up together after play. As the school year progresses we will incorporate other aspects of learning. The teachers would like to meet with Firefly parents to introduce their approach for the coming year. Please inform the teachers if you prefer a group (all parents and teachers) or individual/private setting for this fall conference. We look forward to another wonderful year in the Firefly room! -Ms. Robin & Ms. Rocio News from the Grasshopper Room Welcome to the Grasshopper room! It‟s time for “back to school” when the children will make discoveries and meet new friends. We have a fun and exciting year planned in which we will watch our high-jumping Grasshoppers grow. Two year olds are beginning to engage in group play and learning to communicate their thoughts and feelings. The focus of our year will be to support their independence; promote self-help skills like putting on socks and shoes, dressing, and potty training; and teach social skills to encourage sharing and taking turns. Through songs, finger plays, and stories we will provide valuable opportunities for language to develop and flourish. Remember, accidents happen so be sure to regularly check your child‟s cubby to ensure there are seasonally appropriate extra changes of clothing. The themes planned for this month are: Back to school: Songs that help introduce classmates Painting, collages, and sensory activities using shaving cream and sand Apple game, for color and size discrimination Name game to learn the names of new friends Friendship: Finger painting Pals: working alongside others/finger painting together Bounce into Friendship: make friends while bouncing and catching a ball Circle of Friends: match bears by color Painting Partners: explore different art materials -Ms. Lori & Ms. Martha News from the Beetle Room Welcome to our Beetle room. We are really excited and happy to meet your wonderful little children and are sure we will have a great year together! The first two themes we have selected for the school year will be "Back to School." from August 27-September 7. We will read, sing, dance, play with friends, and create lots of art. "All About Me and My Family” will be the focus from September 10-21. We will talk about our families, make a self- A Place for Growing Minds Page 3 portrait, create hand prints, and craft a mobile out of family pictures (please send in one picture of your child and one family picture before September 10). If you have any questions or just want to chat, the best time to call is between 1:00 and 2:45 daily. We encourage you to take a moment to write or e-mail about your child's napping, eating, or diapering habits or any other information you would like to share. Please send email to Ms. Nona at [email protected] - Ms. Nona News from the Dragonfly Room Welcome! The teachers in the Dragonfly room are looking forward to meeting new friends and their families. Our goal is to provide our students with experiences that help them expand their minds, be considerate of others, and become self-sufficient. While value is placed on the idea that we must function as one group, each child is observed as an individual. The teachers work hard to discover how the children learn and what sparks their interest. We begin by providing a safe and stimulating environment. Our room is set up in various “centers.” At center time the Dragonfly students may choose the area they would like to visit. Also, every month we use themes to keep projects fresh and offer variety. Educating with a theme in mind enables the children to make connections as each theme unfolds. While planning, we use the idea of multiple intelligences to guide us in reaching all the children. For September we will concentrate helping our new friends get acclimated and comfortable in their new classroom. Our August/September themes, My School, All About Me, Shoes, and Families, reflect this goal . -Ms. Michelle & Ms. Melanie News from the Butterfly Room Welcome back! We hope everyone had a fun, relaxing summer and looks forward to an exciting year in the Butterfly room. This year we have a new teacher, Ms. Julie, joining us. Ms. Julie previously worked in the infant wing, but spent time in the Butterfly room last year getting accustomed to the preschool environment while Ms. Melanie was on maternity leave. The year will begin with scavenger hunts and matching games to help the children become familiar with the classroom. During circle time, the Butterflies will brainstorm class rules and create a daily schedule. Throughout the month the children will share information about themselves and their families and learn about their peers within the theme, “All About Me.” The room will be filled with opportunities for the children to recognize their names, practice writing, use puzzles, sing songs about manners and self-esteem, meet new friends while playing a ball-passing game, and draw a family portrait to decorate the classroom puzzle wall. With their parent‟s help at home, each child will create a poster (details to come) to be shared and then displayed in the classroom. Look for information soon to be posted about our Butterfly „back to school‟ event. This will be an opportunity for parents to explore the classroom, meet the teachers, and engage in a project with their children! We hope everyone will be able to come! -Ms. Melissa & Ms. Julie The Children’s Learning Center is also a Learning Center for College Students! Throughout the year you may notice some new faces in your child‟s classroom. The Howard Community College Children‟s Learning Center provides a laboratory setting for college students studying for degrees or certificates in Early Childhood Development, Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic, English as a Second Language or Theatre. These students assist, observe, present, or volunteer in the classroom in order to gain experience in their fields of study. The Children’s Learning Center NEWS Page 4 A Place for Growing Minds… brought to you by the Children’s Learning Center Staff Kim Pins the Children‟s Learning Center. Besides being available to assist with tuition and I like to tell people that I have the Best account-related information, I am always Job Ever! I start my day talking to enhappy to answer questions or refer parthusiastic preschoolers who definitely ents, students, or visitors to the approhave a unique perspective of the world priate resource. Watching the children and then I can move on to the adult world grow and thrive in a child care setting as I speak to their teachers and help reminds me of my own, now grown, son them develop strategies to conwho begin his formal learning experiences tinue challenging their core of knowlin a similar setting. When I‟m not workedge. I teach early childhood theory ing, I enjoy spending time with family and to HCC education students and then step friends, reading, and sewing. into a classroom to see the same theory implemented and practiced. The world at Polina Lotkina the Children's Learning Center is rich, Hello, my name is Polina Lotkina. I vibrant, and stimulating at all ages levhave a Bachelor‟s degree in educaels. I thrive on it. I hope you and your tion from Russia, a 90 hour certifichild do as well! Welcome to our new cate from HCC, and have been workyear. ing at the Children‟s Learning Center Amy Haflett for four years. I take great pride in This is the start of my fifth year working helping children develop their skills as the Curriculum Specialist at the Chil- and to ensure a safe, healthy, and dren‟s Learning Center. I truly enjoy happy environment for them. I have working with the college‟s youngest stutwo children and five grandchildren. dents, watching them grow up and reach Meltem Meral the many milestones in early childhood. The children always manage to bring a smile to my face! I have been working at the CLC since 2010. I hold an Associate‟s As some of you may know, I had my sec- degree in Early Childhood Developond child over the summer. Colin James ment and a BA in English Language was born on August 4. I will be on mater- Teaching. I love watching the chilnity leave for part of the fall, but look dren grow and learn. I am looking forward to seeing both familiar and new forward to sharing laughter and faces when I return to work! happiness with your children at the CLC. Karen Gregoire Latishia Johnson I look forward to getting to know the new I am a wife, the proud mother of a little families and reacquainting with the curgirl, and owner of a little dog. I love anyrent families as I begin my sixth year as thing “Betty Boop” and I always look forthe Administrative Office Associate at ward to learning new things. I am working toward an AAS degree from Howard Community College. My favorite part about my job is being able to work with children and help them learn from me as much as I learn from them. I especially look forward to the challenges of each new school year, when I have new children to learn from and to teach. Robin Shipman I am one of the teachers in the Firefly Room. I have been with the CLC for close to 13 years now! I enjoy being a teacher and watching children grow. I'm currently attending college to become a licensed clinical social worker. In my spare time I enjoy being with my family, traveling, learning new things, and catching up on much needed rest! I look forward to meeting all the new families and keeping in touch with the families I already know. Rocio Toledo This year will be my fourth year in the Firefly Room. I have been working with young children, mainly infants and toddlers, since 2000. I enjoy all ages, but I have to admit, children 15-24 months are so much fun! I purchased a home two years ago and I love being a home owner. I also bought a Chihuahua puppy in the spring and he is such a delight. This fall I plan to go back to school to pursue my degree in criminology at UMUC. In my spare time I enjoy going crabbing, walking, swimming, bicycle riding, and time with my family. I am very excited to be part of this great team and look forward to meeting everyone this coming year. Page 5 Lori Crocken As the school year kicks off, I am looking forward to an exciting new year with all the new Grasshoppers and their families. I have already met some of my new friends and am looking forward to meeting the rest of them soon. I have been a teacher at the Children‟s Learning Center since September 2003. I have had the pleasure of working with the twos as well as the fours. I have an Associate of Arts degree from Villa Julie College and a Bachelor‟s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson State University. I live in Carroll County with my three children and my husband. I‟m looking forward to a fun and exciting year. See ya soon! Martha Zilvetty that we will all have a great year together teaching new things to the children in the Beetle classroom! and learning new things from them. I am looking forward to a great 20122013 year joining Ms. Michelle in the Nona Nourbakhsh Dragonfly classroom! This is my fifth year working in the Beetle room and I can‟t wait to meet your Melissa Prinz wonderful children! I also teach French I am looking forward to another exon Saturdays to children ages twelve months to twelve years through Howard citing year in the Butterfly room. County Recreation and Parks, so don‟t be This will be my fifth year at the CLC. I am currently working towards surprised if your children come home my teacher certification in Early speaking or singing in French! I strongly Childhood Education to supplement believe that children can learn a second my Bachelor‟s degree in Child and language at a very young age. Between Family Community Services. In the birth and five years of age, the human many years that I have worked with brain is hard-wired for learning multiple languages. I speak three languages: Farsi, children the one thing that sticks French, and English. I have an AA in Early out for me is that children learn Childhood Education from Howard Com- from everything they do. At home, I munity College and a Bachelor‟s degree in enjoy spending lots of time with my family doing outdoor activities. BakModern Language and Linguistics from ing and reading are favorites and I UMBC. I live in Howard County with my enjoy incorporating them into the husband and two children. classroom. Hi! I am Martha Zilvetty. Born and raised in Bolivia, South America, I moved to the United States about 14 years ago. I am a proud mother of two children: a daughter Paola and son, Sergio. I also have the Michelle Kreiner blessing of being a grandmother of two beautiful grandkids, Leonardo, three and This school year will be my eighth at Benjamin, two. In addition to my kids and the Children‟s Learning Center. I grandkids, I have two lovely dogs, Tatin earned my Associates degree in and Blanquito. I really do love animals. Early Childhood Education in 2005 I have been a part of the Children‟s and I am currently working toward a Learning Center since 2004. Currently I Bachelor‟s degree in English. At am a teacher in the Grasshopper classhome, I enjoy reading, writing, and room where I get to share my passion for spending time with my family and working with young kids. I am excited to friends. I am looking forward to bring new ideas and activities to your meeting all the new Dragonfly stuchildren this coming year. dents. Julie Newton I have been with the Children‟s Learning Center for five years now. I have been working with children from infant to five for eleven years. You may have seen me in any of our classrooms here at the center, as I have had the opportunity to lend a helping hand to all age groups. This year I will be joining Ms. Melissa in the Butterfly room. In 2005, I received an Associate‟s Melanie Hershman Degree in Early Childhood DevelopBeth Kolbe This is my eighth year at the CLC. I ment from Howard Community ColThis is my eighth year at The Children‟s have been working with children for lege and in 2008, a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from University Learning Center. I have worked with 18 years. I graduated from Villa of Maryland. Currently I am workyoung children for over 20 years. Each Julie College with my AA degree in year provides lots of challenges, fun, ex- Child Development and my BS in Psy- ing toward my Maryland teacher citement, and new friends. I look forward chology at UMUC. Two of my favor- certification. I am very much looking to working with your children and know ite things about being a teacher are forward to a chance to know your children and help them grow. Page 6 The Children’s Learning Center NEWS is a publication of Howard Community College’s Children’s Learning Center 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, MD 21046 Phone: 443-518-1360 Fax: 443-518-4151 E-mail: [email protected] V ISIT US ONLINE AT: www.howardcc.edu/childcare RESOURCES: SCHOOL READINESS! Parents of preschoolers— It‟s not too early to start getting your four year old ready for Kindergarten! Check out this space each month for resources and tips for helping your child to be prepared: For tips & handouts on a variety of early learning and school readiness topics go to: www.readyatfive.org/resources/tips.aspx To search for activities to do at home with children try: www.readyatfive.org/activities/ activity_search.aspx PARENT NOTES: Important Reminders to help with the transition into the new school year: The Children‘s Learning Center is a nut-free environment. Peanuts, tree nuts, or food manufactured with nuts may not be brought into the center All classrooms start the day with ‗circle time‘ which includes a preview of the day‘s activities. It is best for children to arrive by 9:00am daily in order to start their day with their classmates and participate in circle time Each child must be signed in and out at drop off and pick up. The Sign In/Out Binders used in the 2, 3, and 4 year old classrooms have a tab/pocket with each child‘s name. The pocket should be checked daily for important notes and information. Infant classrooms use the clipboards that are in each child‘s cubby Parents are expected to wash hands with their children when they enter the classroom at the start of each day In order to ensure the safety of the children, parents must remain with their children before drop off and after pick-up Each child is to bring lunch in a labeled bag. Since refrigeration space is minimal, ice packs are recommended to keep food items cool. Items which must be refrigerated are to be labeled with the child‘s name and placed in the classroom refrigerator Everything a child brings to school is to be labeled. Children frequently have the same or similar items and labeling will help to prevent confusion. Simple, sturdy clothes are recommended wear for children at the center. Changes of clothes should be checked periodically for size– and weather— appropriateness Footwear suitable for use on playground equipment should have rubber soles, closed toes, and lace ties or Velcro over the top of the foot. Sandals, dress shoes, or boots are not recommended and ―Flip-Flops‖ are not to be worn at the CLC All children in attendance are expected to be able to participate in all activities, including outdoor play The reserved parking spaces in front of the center are to be saved for people with disabilities and have an official sticker or placard Howard Community College is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus For more information about center policies and procedures the Children’s Learning Center Parent Handbook can be viewed at: www.howardcc.edu/childcare little bites: helpful information for parents about children’s nutrition Eating with your children gives you a chance to share mealtime while taking advantage of teachable moments. Encourage them to serve themselves to develop self-help skills, fine and gross motor skills, and independence. Promote and encourage language development through conversation about the shapes, sizes, colors, texture, smell, and quantities of the foods on the plate. Serve and eat new foods to model experimentation and table etiquette! Healthy eating and learning can be on the menu every day!
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