Infants and Toddlers Observations, Essay Example
Part I: Basic Information
The Learning Ladder Preschool and Childcare campus is located in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin at 312 West Cottage Grove Road. Learning Ladder Preschool and Childcare is a group childcare program for children ages 6 weeks through 11 years old and includes three infant and toddler classrooms: the Inchworm Room for 6 weeks through 12 months, the Grasshopper Room for 12 months through 24 months, and the Ladybug Room for 2-year-olds. In addition to their infant and toddler classrooms, Learning Ladder also has three preschool classrooms, a T4K Pre-K program, two after-school program classrooms, and a summer camp. The Learning Ladder is licensed by the State of Wisconsin and recognized as meeting or exceeding Department of Children and Families and MGSD standards. For my three hour observation, I observed the Ladybug classroom.
The Learning Ladder’s Ladybug classroom is for two to two-and-a-half-year-old children. There are currently fifteen children in the classroom and three instructors. Of the three instructors, all are female, one is a teacher who holds a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, and two are assistants with Associate degrees in Early Childhood Development. All three employees received up-to-date training and certification in CPR and first aid, and all have extensive background checks on file with Learning Ladder. Learning Ladder encourages and provides opportunities for employees to take continuing education classes in education and development during the year.
Part II: Indoor Space
The indoor space of the Ladybug Room is colored with light yellow and brown walls and a light brown floor. Murals, posters, and children’s artwork decorate the walls. The room itself is organized into several dedicated play stations, each clearly defined by a partially enclosed space and/or play mats. The stations include an indoor climber, a large playhouse, puzzle area, block area, playset area, dress-up area, and a rug for the whole classroom to gather for different group activities. There is a separate cubbie area at the back of the room for children’s personal belongings and paperwork. Outside the classroom is a bulletin board where weekly lesson plans are posted. Photographs of classroom activities are also posted here and updated daily. There is one bathroom with two toilets and diaper changing area. Placing the bulletin board just outside the classroom allows parents to stay updated on information without distracting the staff and children during activities. The layout with the classroom stations are very easy to move around. Each station is separated enough to keep the children focused on the activity.
Part III: Activities
Learning Ladder follows an active play based learning curriculum. The interaction between toddlers and adults is constant. Most of the children actively used words, with many stringing together two or three words at a time. Some children did attempt the potty; the others were changed on a schedule or as needed. The day started with everyone gathered on the rug to sing a welcome song and see who was there. Then breakfast, followed by bathroom/diaper time, on to station play in small groups, and gathered together again for music time before bathroom and lunch. After lunch they gathered on the rug for a story, then was rest time, followed by outdoor playground time. The children came in, washed up and used the bathroom, then had a snack. They played at the stations in small groups again for the rest of the afternoon. Playdough was brought out at a table and each group played with it for a time. Before the end of the day, the children gathered at the rug again and sang a goodbye song. The instructors were all present during pickup and available to the parents and children both. The children all seemed to move through the routine comfortably. The activities changed up enough to hold their attention and the mix of active play seemed to help keep most of the children focused when they needed to be still for eating, on the rug, or rest time.
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