When it's time to write my article for the newsletter, I always look for something to be inspired by; an incredible event or experience. Or maybe a conversation or moment in my life that is very interesting. Considering the amount of adults and children that I come into contact with each day, you would think that would happen quite often. But then I also want my article to be witty, funny, inspiring, and up-lifting. I believe it should also be full of wisdom and great anecdotes that speak to all of the readers. It should also be something that the readers want to read about.
It also needs to be just the right length (250 characters to be exact). Otherwise my editor told me that people wouldn't read it.
Is it possible that I'm setting myself up for failure? This month the answer is yes...so instead of an article, I'm just leaving you with this quote to think about until next month.
"If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done."
Curriculum in the Classroom
Legos are always popular in Preschool 4. Lego building activities provide the children with many opportunities to strengthen their fine motor skills, practice problem solving, and invite cooperation with their peers. They also provide the children with the chance to express their creative and inventive building ideas.
The teachers look for ways to expand on the children's ideas and broaden their learning experiences while using Legos. One recent project involved using the Legos as a science experiment in the water table. The teachers posed a question to our many Lego builders:
Can you build a boat that will float? Many of the children were excited by the challenge and quickly got to work. They experimented with many different designs. They tested their theories in the water table to see what would work and what wouldn't' work. They made discoveries about weight and balance as they watched their structures sink or float. Some of the children had to problem solve and make design changes so that their structure would stay afloat. Other children expanded the challenge by adding and counting Lego bricks to see how many their boats could hold before it started to sink. At group time the children had a chance to share their experiences and what they had observed and learned from their building. This inspired more children to want to give the science experiment a try.
Other Lego activities in our classroom have incorporated math concepts while having the children sort Legos by color and then use them for pattern making. Legos have also been used as an art experience so that the children could use Lego prints to make creative designs.
UCDC Art Gallery:
Highlights from the Hallway
- Please remember to sign your child in and out each day in the classroom. This helps us to ensure the safety of every child. If your classroom is on a walk or on the playground, the teacher will have the sign-in clipboard for you to use. Thank you!
It is clear that UCDC supports breastfeeding mothers by offering private spaces in the building, supporting on-demand feeding schedules for infants, and welcoming parents to nurse their children anywhere in our building.
Fortunately, the larger University also supports breastfeeding by providing Lactation Rooms on campus. Click here for a list of spaces around campus.
- Congratulations to Toddler Four's Christina Fink and her family on their newest addition, Mia Christina Fink. She was born on Friday, October 13th weighing 5 lb 5 oz and was 17 3/4 inches long. Congratulations!!!
- Falk School is having their Open House on Friday, November 17th from 10:00-noon or noon-2:00 pm. This will give prospective parents the opportunity to tour the building and visit classes with current Falk School parents as your guides. If interested, please RSVP by Friday, November 10th. You can register online at falkschool.pitt.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-624-8024.
In our ongoing efforts to eliminate some of our parking lot issues in the morning and evening, the city agreed to alter the zoned street parking to a "30 minute loading zone" for two spaces in front of our building. Parents/guardians can use these spaces for drop off and pick up.
The University of Pittsburgh Psychology and Early Childhood Education student classroom observations continue to take place into November.
As a reminder - we will not close the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for Professional Development Day this year.
UCDC Philosophy Explained:
UCDC's Illness Policy
As we move into cold season, it's important to review our illness policy for the health and wellness of all of our children and teachers.
The need to send an ill child home during the day does arise and it is best to think about a backup plan for care. The Center and parents share responsibility for the health of children enrolled. Illness policies are in place to ensure that children who are unable to participate in group care due to illness get the medical attention or parent interaction that they need. They also limit the spread of illness and germs and support a safe and healthy environment for the many different individuals that come into our building.
Center's responsibilities include:
- Identifying an ill child or staff person
- Informing the child's parents/guardians
- Reporting exposures to other parents and staff as well as the proper health agencies if the type of illness necessitates this
Parents/guardian's responsibilities include:
- Assuming the responsibility of keeping a child home if there is any doubt about the child's fitness to participate in activities in the Center
- Reporting exposure to a communicable disease (chicken pox, strep throat, lice, etc.) to classroom teachers or the Director
- Providing any information that will help classroom teachers make adequate decisions regarding children's health
- Arriving promptly after receiving a phone call about a child's need to be excluded from care In the interest of other children and adults
The following symptoms will be designated as symptoms of impending or existing illness and children will need to be excluded from care.
The state of Pennsylvania requires that a child with symptoms of a communicable disease or infection, that can be transmitted directly or indirectly and which may threaten the health of children in care, shall be excluded from attending a childcare center until the center receives notification from a physician or nurse practitioner that the child is no longer considered a threat to the health of others. Therefore, each child must come back to school with a note from the doctor documenting the illness and stating that the child is no longer contagious and is able to return to child care. In the event that an antibiotic treatment is required, the child must have received the treatment for 24 hours before returning to the Center.
- Vomiting- once with an additional symptom, or two times without an additional symptom
- Uncontrolled diarrhea- frequent loose or watery stools compared to child's normal pattern. (Excluding breastfed infants who normally have frequent unformed and somewhat watery stools) Stool frequency exceeds two or more stools above normal for a child. Loose bowels could be accompanied by abdominal cramps, fever and generally not feeling well
- Severe coughing- rapid and/or difficult breathing, wheezing
- Fever- flushing, tired, irritable behavior, noticeable changes in child's behavior, children are unable to participate in typical activities
- Children under 4 months of age - 100 degrees
- Children over 4 months of age - 100 with an additional symptom (rash, vomiting, diarrhea, glandular swelling, severe cold symptoms, unusual fatigue or irritability, inability to participate, not eating)
- Children over 4 months of age - 101 with no additional symptom
- Mouth sores- with drooling, unless a health professional determines the child's condition is not from a communicable disease
- Unidentified skin rash - until a health professional determines the child's condition is not from a communicable disease
- Pink eye with white or yellow discharge
- Glandular swelling/severe sore throat with fever
- Scabies, head lice or other parasitic infestation until child is treated and the child is nit-free
- Contagious illnesses that can easily be spread from one child to another
- Extreme lethargy, inability to participate in group activities because of irritability or the necessity for increased individualized attention beyond what caregivers typically provide.
Children should also be symptom free for at least 24 hours without the use of OTC (over the counter) medications or fever reducing medication before returning to the Center.
Some of the children in Preschool One shared their favorite places to play in their classroom.
Ice cream making - Louisa
Upstairs floor toys with animals - Zachary and Ari
Floor toys with trains - Dyllan and Sophia
Dinos - James
Housekeeping - Ethan, Iris, Mia, Jordan, and Stephen
Floor toys with cars - Evelyn
UCDC utilizes a child centered, extended family approach that is fostered by supporting the developmental needs of all children. We foster children's self esteem, creative abilities, sense of belonging and success by implementing a developmentally appropriate curriculum based on NAEYC and Keystone STARS standards, through a play-based approach to learning. We support families and partner with them to provide an environment that welcomes their collaboration and supports both cultural and family preferences.