Learning and Growing
Martha’s Table’s Child Development Center’s nationally accreditation status was renewed for another year! In early August the program passed the assessment with flying colors. The daycare has been focusing on a holistic approach to learning and growth – including the child, teacher and parent. Areas of focus include; social and emotional development, professional development, curriculum and teaching, nutrition and music and movement.
Social and Emotional Development
The daycare has partnered with an Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist, Mr. O’Connor through the DC’s Dept. of Mental Health Futures Program. For a year he has been giving the children social and emotional development assessments and also providing workshops for parents surrounding the topic of raising a healthy social/emotional child.
Here is an example of how working together, the teachers, parents and Mr. O’Connor have made a difference.
An eighteen month old using inappropriate language and aggressive behavior is now able to tell a teacher “I am not ready yet” (to leave the playground) instead of breaking down. The Martha’s Table Teaching Team, parents and Mr. O’Connor infused routine strategies at school and home to improve communication then to decrease the power struggle.
Daycare staff has received many hours of professional development training including 7 on site brown-bag sessions. Teachers learned to improve lesson plans and make them more meaningful.
Kids Comprehensive Service offered ‘extending language’ training to equip classroom educators with the fundamental tools useful in planning activities to support the development of language and literacy skills throughout the curriculum. Teachers reviewed language development for preschoolers defined the terms extending language, expressive language, receptive language, narrative discourse, vocabulary, background knowledge and discuss, examples of frequent types of vocabulary words early language learners should be exposed to.
Curriculum and Teaching
Once a week the team of teachers in each classroom meet to interpret and use assessment results to align curriculum and teaching practices to the interest and needs of the children. Teachers include the DC Early Learning Standards into the weekly lesson plans. They also use photo and written documentation to track the children’s growth. All classrooms give a monthly report which includes; a monthly plan, weekly lessons taught, pictures and written assessments, a calendar, individual parent conference reports and wish lists.
Sponsored by the University of the District of Columbia Nutrition and Agriculture, a professional in the culinary arts and storytelling comes to Martha’s Table Child Development Center once a week to teach healthy eating habits through hands on activities.
Parents are invited every 2 months to experience the same recipes and make up stories while cooking.
80% of PreK children said a fresh fruit or vegetable was their favorite food.
Music and Movement
Our one year olds receive a music class at no cost once a week from Claire Cherry, a professional music teacher. Children learn to listen to sounds and beats and repeat them.