Thursday, May 12, 2016

Butterflies in the Classroom

Butterflies in the Classroom

Every Spring, the classrooms in the center are able to bring in some type of animal or insect for the children to observe and learn about life cycles. This year, we have chosen caterpillars. Last week, we introduced the small caterpillars to the children. They enjoyed looking at them and a few of children were able to identify what they were. Over the weekend, they grew about three times their original size. The children looked at the caterpillars from a closer perspective, using magnifying glasses. The children were able to draw what they had observed. In the weeks to come, we will watch the caterpillars form their chrysalis and turn into butterflies; we will release them into the garden after having them in the classroom for a little while.

Along with the butterflies, the children will have the opportunity to investigate the life cycle of ducks. The Kindergartners currently have duck eggs in an incubator in their classroom. We looked at the eggs last week, before placing them into the incubator, and we will go down to visit them throughout the semester. In a couple of weeks, we will be able to take part in the candling of the duck eggs; this is where we place a bright light directly on the eggs in order to see the heartbeat and watch the ducks grow, like an ultrasound. We have done this in the past and are so excited to be able to share this experience with the children!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Ms. Eid and Ms. Goodwin's Inquiries

Dear Parents,

We would like to start off by saying that it’s been an amazing year so far; the children have become familiar with each other and getting used to the routine in our classroom.  During Whole group, the children are given an opportunity to learn the group time routine and sing along with the teachers as well as be active listeners.  They have been participating with singing while watching a felt story go along with the song; they have been sitting for a longer period and listening to more books. It has been enjoyable to watch the children grow every week we have seen how they are starting to participate during group time more and more each week.

 The children have been exploring different ways of representing motion. One way was through the movement of water.  We introduced the water table with classroom items, the children began exploring with using their hands through splashing, then they showed an interest with pouring and transferring water using different items that can hold water such as bowls and cups. This activity was successful in terms of extending children’s play, through their thought and ideas. We thought it would be interesting to introduce items that cannot hold water, but can transfer water instead.  Funnels and tubes were added to the water table, the children were able to see that the water does not stay in the tubes and were amazed to watch the water go down from the other end.  The children are very familiar with water play at this point; therefore we are working on different ways of setting up the material using a pegboard on the water table.  The children initially explored the pegboard using their buckets to pour water down into the tubes.

We also introduced movement on ramps using different objects. The children also showed an interest in ramps and cars, which inspired the idea of doing lessons on how objects move on ramps. We have added sand and carpet to the ramps to try and find different ways cars and balls might move. We noticed that different textures have really added to the children’s curiosity of movement. It has been remarkable to see the different ways the children manipulate the materials and find new ideas to make objects travel up and down on the ramps. Recently we tried using tubes on the ramps, which has been interesting to see how they have been more challenging to the children then we initially thought. The children really help us generate new ideas to incorporate each week. These lessons have really concentrated on the children’s observational skills, memory skills and fine motor skills. It has been fun watching them learn new concepts over the course of the semester.  We look forward to the next few months with your children.


Mrs. Goodwin & Mrs. Eid

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Reggie Rainbow

Reggie Rainbow

On Thursday afternoons we have been participating in a program called Reggie Rainbow, along with the rest of the center. Each week we "travel" to a different island where we try a fruit and a vegetable of a particular color. This week, we traveled to The Island of Yellow. We tried Starfruit and Yellow Peppers! 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What's Happening in the Classroom?

Although the semester has just begun, the children are showing interest in a wide variety of materials and explorations. We are planning based on their interests and our observations of how the children react to the materials we provoke them with. Take a look at what each group of children have been working on!

Shadows and Light

The Tuesday/Thursday children have shown an interest in dancing in the past. We showed them a video of dancers, in order to get them excited about following their motions and dancing with them. This turned into the children observing their shadows and becoming intrigued by the light. They began using the flashlight in the classroom to highlight different objects and trying to follow the path of the light. By observing their actions, we decided to bring in the big projector and shadow screen. The children enjoyed watching how they could alter their shadows' sizes. We are excited to see how the children's thinking expand with shadows in the next few weeks.

Caring for Babies

The Tuesday/Thursday children are also very interested in caring for the babies we have in the classroom. They feed them, change them, rock them to sleep, and give them baths. This week, we are introducing the doctor kit with the babies to see if the children are interested in taking care of them in a different way.


Both groups of children have shown an interest in cooking and mixing. They spend a lot of time in the kitchen, pretending to cook and mixing with the big bowls and spoons. We have introduced water with the bowls and later on added cornstarch. This made a substance called Oobleck. The children enjoyed mixing the substance and then using their hands to manipulate it and watching it drip.


The Monday/Wednesday/Friday children love using the cars and trains. We introduced the ramp with these materials and they have enjoyed watching them travel down the ramp. They push them down, up, and have experimented with different types of cars and objects to see how they travel differently and similarly down the ramp. This is something we plan on continuing throughout the semester.

Classroom Donations
The children's interests play a big role in the explorations we plan throughout the week. We have many resources and materials present in our center and classroom, but there are always things that we need more of. We are running low on working flashlights and kindly ask that if you have any old ones you are not using at your house, to please bring them in for the children to use. We are also in need of baby bottles, so the children can continue caring for the baby dolls in our classroom. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Meet the New Teachers

Meet the New Teachers

Ms. Shatara

My name is Freda Shatara and I am eager to announce that I will be your child’s new teacher this semester. I have recently graduated from the University of Michigan – Dearborn with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with focuses in Early Childhood Education and Mathematics. Although this is my first time being your child’s teacher, this will be my 5th year as staff at this center. I have been a teacher’s assistant in a few of the classrooms and co-taught with Mrs. Petee last spring.
Outside of the classroom, I live a very active lifestyle. I love being outdoors, going to the gym and spending time with my family. My favorite thing to do is travel. I have visited over 10 countries and plan on continuing my adventures this summer in Turkey. I also make frequent trips back to my home state of California.
I have had many experiences teaching with different age groups and I am excited to begin my journey with you and your children. I am sure they will be teaching me just as much as I am teaching them. If you have any questions or concerns, please, do not hesitate to email myself ( or Mrs. Stone at any time.

Ms. Goodwin

My name is Kayla Goodwin I am in the Children and Families program a Michigan Dearborn. I will be an intern this semester in your child’s classroom. I will be in the class on Mondays and Wednesdays. This is currently my last semester in the program. I currently live in Allen Park. In the past I have babysat for multiple families that had children from the age of six months to about ten years old. I have worked summer camps for my city were I interacted and watched children from three years old up to thirteen. I have a lot of experience working with all different types of children and I truly enjoy working with them. I hope to learn more about your children this semester. I was in this class last semester so it has been really remarkable watching the children grow. I hope to help them continue to find new ways to develop and discover new things. I look forward to seeing you all and working with your children.

Ms. Eid

           My name is Manal Eid and I am a Children and Families major at the University of Michigan.  This will be my last semester and I will be completing my internship in your child’s classroom for the next fifteen weeks.  My schedule will be Mondays to Thursdays from 8:00 am-12:00 pm.  I am very excited to begin working in Mrs. Stone and Ms. Shatara’s classroom and I look forward to learning from both of them.  I am also very eager to get to know, work with, and learn from you and your child. 
            While in college, I worked as a teacher assistant in first and second grade classrooms with Dearborn Charter Schools. I am especially interested in teaching preschool, which makes this internship a wonderful experience for me.
            As part of my internship, I will gradually begin teaching your child under the supervision of both teachers.  I will assist with lesson planning and daily activities and end the semester by taking over curriculum planning independently.  This internship is designed to increase my role in stages.
            I would like to share that I am a proud mother of a ten-year-old girl.    I assure you that I am a very dedicated and motivated person, and I will present myself with professionalism and caring behavior at all times.  I realize that every child in this class is equally and individually special and I will treat each student with the utmost respect.
            Please let me know if there is anything I can do to better help your child, you can contact me at if you have any questions or concerns.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Introduction of Mrs. Stone and Mrs. Petee's Interns Fall 2015:

Hello Parents:

My name is Evelyn Barnes-Lyons (Ms. Evie) and I am one of the interns who will be working with your toddler this semester. I am a graduate of Cuyahoga Community College of Cleveland, Ohio. I have an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and I have been working with young children for close to forty years. I am currently working on my bachelor’s in the Children and Families program at the University of Michigan – Dearborn. My specialty area of teaching is with the three and four year olds, but I look forward to working with your toddlers this semester. During my free time I enjoy reading, going to Zumba classes, and dancing.

ECEC Families,

Hello my name is Maha Reda and I will be one of the Interns in your childs class. I will be at the ECEC on Tuesday and Thursdays from 8 to 4.  I am currently in my last semester at U of M getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Children and Families. I am a mother to 4 children, triplets plus one who also attended the ECEC. It is nice to experience both views as a parent and as a student. I get to finally see what my children experienced when they were here. I did my strategies class last semester with Ms. Stone and fell in love with this age group. I am so excited to be working with your children this semester and very excited to get to know each one of you. I love watching your child explore and learn new things. They are so curious and wanting to be on the go. It is so amazing to watch as the children try to interact socially.  I hope we all have a good semester and I cannot wait to continue working with your children and watch them grow every day! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Welcome to the new school year!

Welcome families to the beginning of the school year! We are so excited to get to know your family and to work with your child. We are going to have two early childhood interns working with us on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. In a few weeks they will be sending home a note to families introducing themselves, talking about their experiences in the classroom, and what they observe the children learning.

We are going to be spending a lot of time outside during the first few weeks of the school year. Be sure to sign the sunscreen permission slip form if you are comfortable with the Avon Skin so Soft sunscreen the school provides. You are welcome to bring in your own sunscreen beginning of the term, and we will give you a form to fill out giving us permission to put that sunscreen on your child.

The beginning of the school year can be very stressful for families when it comes to drop off. It is normal for children to be unsure or even upset the first couple weeks of school, as they get to understand the routine and to get to know the teachers. This transition will become easier for both you and your child. You will be receiving a drop off routine based on what we have found helpful transitioning children in the classroom. A copy of this drop off routine will be posted near the sign in sheet to remind families of the routine.  If you have any questions about this please let us know, and if you ever need to check on your child after drop off please call (313) 593-5424 and we will gladly update you.

About the Teachers

Catie Stone is a graduate of The University of Michigan-Dearborn and she has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Special Education. She has been working with the toddler age group for eight years, and in her free time she enjoys playing with her puppy and going up north.

Rebecca Petee is also a graduate of The University of Michigan-Dearborn and she has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Language Arts. She was previously a preschool teacher at the ECEC, and she is looking forward to working with toddlers. Before she graduated, she worked with Catie in the toddler classroom for two years. In her free time she enjoys playing with her dogs, spending time with family, and preparing to welcome her baby in January. We are both excited to start the school year and to work with each other as co-teachers. 

Classroom Wishlist:

·         Non-toxic indoor plants
·        R ope and/or icicle lights
·         Used pots or pans
·         Clothing/items which represents your family’s culture
·         Your family photo in a plastic frame