May 2016
IN THIS ISSUE...
University Child 
Development Center

635 Clyde Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(P) 412.383.2100
(F) 412.383.2120

Hosting Experiences

 

UCDC has been busy with a variety of hosting experiences these past few months. Most recently, we hosted a day long visit with five NoBo educators from China who were very interested in our philosophy, curriculum and programming. They arrived at 8:30 a.m. and were given a presentation on UCDC's philosophy and curriculum followed by many hours observing the classrooms in action. After lunch, the Head Teachers spent an hour with them answering all of their questions that they had gathered from observing during the day. It was a busy day packed with activity, but very beneficial for all (including the children - they LOVED engaging the educators while they observed!).

This past February, we participated in the Duksung practicum experience, which is a much longer, more connected experience for everyone in the Center. These students spend every day in the four-year-old preschool classrooms for close to two weeks and they become very connected with the children and teachers. The experience becomes one that the children and teachers treasure and everyone seems to grow in different and unexpected ways. Everyone involved always has so many great stories to share and are often touched deeply by the lives of these women from Duksung Women's University.

Jenna Holsing, the Head Teacher of Preschool Two summarizes her experience here...

This year, Preschool Two was visited by a student teacher from South Korea named Young. Prior to her visit, the children excitedly prepared by making her a welcome sign and cards and learning to sing our "Hello" song in Korean (we still sing this song daily as the kids love it!). Once Young started in our classroom, she planned many activities to do with the children. We learned about Han Sams, or traditional Korean sleeves. Each child was then invited to decorate and wear their own. Next, we read a story about Korean masks and then decorated masks using markers, feathers, glitter, and paint. Once the masks were complete, the children wore them while acting out the plot of "The Lion King" (a play we had recently attended).  Next, Young gave each child a top and encouraged them to decorate it. She taught each child how to spin their top, and the children delighted in watching how the colors morphed together as it spun. On her last few days in our classroom, Young taught the children a traditional Korean game, Yut. Instead of rolling a die to determine how many spaces you move, Yut includes for large wooden sticks that you gently throw. How they land decides how many spaces you move your piece. The children quickly picked up on the rules of this new game; Young was certainly a great teacher!

Here is a glimpse of saying goodbye to their student as recalled from Katie Osborne-Roznoyzi, a teacher of four and five-year-olds...

Preschool 4 said goodbye to Hee Jeong with a traditional UCDC last day party. We baked her a blueberry cake, decorated a sign for the door, and sang "Goodbye and Good luck" before presenting her with some handmade gifts. One gift was a memory book with photographs and captions from the teachers and the other gift was a memory book with drawn pictures and messages from the children. The children had very sweet messages for Hee Jeong, like 'Thank you for showing us our names in Hangul!' and 'I will remember playing in Housekeeping Area with you and my friends!' and 'I will always love you!'"

The children were very touched by this experience and they showed their appreciation in various ways. One little boy created a very sweet card for their student that had beautiful drawings and words of love and affection. Another little girl completely fell in love with their student and was so excited about learning how to write her name in Hangul that she showed her entire family at home.

Clearly, this experience is one that touches many and is extremely rewarding for all of those involved. We look forward to hosting these students each year here at UCDC and engaging in other similar experiences for the growth of our teachers and children.

Warmly,

Jamie Wincovitch
Education Coordinator

Curriculum in the Classroom: 
Painting with a Twist
Preschool One

In Preschool 1, we often see how big of a role painting is to children's day to day operations.  For some, it can be a time to tell a story about something they saw over the weekend, while others use their imagination and bring an idea or story they have created to life.  We try to incorporate painting in one way or another on a daily basis.  This activity is just that, but with a twist.
 
Often times, people see painting as someone grabbing a brush and going to work.  While that is true, in Preschool 1, we often try to find other venues for the kids to hone their artistic side and create from various objects. In early March, the weather was still back and forth trying to decide whether it was time for spring or to continue with the winter season. While looking for gloves for the children to wear, Cheryl Petro, one of Preschool One's teachers, saw that there were a lot of single mittens in our classroom.  Since none of them had pairs, or a home, she decided to use that to her advantage.  Cheryl presented large pieces of paper and mittens to the children in Preschool One.  They took the mittens and created magic.  They used the gloves and painted things such as rainbows, dinosaurs and many other objects.  The children were absolutely in love with the idea because they were able to create finger painting styled art, without the mess. They also enjoyed the idea because it was simply another way to create, with an object they wouldn't typically think of as an art creator.
 
Ideas like this are a good way to see how creative a child can really get.  Some may create a picture and not explain what it may be, but have an idea in their mind, while others create a long in depth story about it and want to share it.  Painting is incredibly important for this age group because while it does develop fine motor skills, but also a stronger vocabulary.
Spotlight on Staff - Favorite App

We all have a favorite app - read on to learn more about what takes up our teachers time here at UCDC.

  • My favorite app is definitely Overdrive. I can download audiobooks from the Pitt library and use my hour-long ride home to unwind by "reading" a book!  - Shelley Martin, Infant Three
  • Sadly I'm currently a Words with Friends addict and I waste away too much time on Facebook. - Jamie Wincovitch, Education Coordinator
  • Well, I have no apps because I still use a flip phone, but when I'm at home on my laptop, Facebook definitely sucks up a lot of my time. - Emily Marsh, Preschool Two
  • My favorite apps are: First 5 by Proverbs 31 Ministries and RetailMeNot. The first one helps me to start my day on a positive note and the second one helps me save money when I'm out shopping.  When it comes to social media, I probably spend the most time on Facebook. I love seeing pics of friends old and new! - Michelle Mattys, Preschool Four
  • One of my favorite apps is the Zillow app which shows pictures, prices, and descriptions of houses for sale. I'm not even looking to buy a house, but it is very addicting to look at houses all over the US! - Jenna Holsing, Preschool Two
  • Do the appetizers at Applebee's count?  - Maureen Sahr, Toddler Two

In and Around Pittsburgh
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The weather is getting warmer and the spray parks will be opening soon! Pittsburgh has several spray parks that are free! 

Take a look at the different locations and plan to check them out this summer. It's a great way to beat the summer heat!

Check out this link.

 

 

News to Know
  •  Have you seen the new music wall on the playground?  A huge thank you to Traci and Tressie for planning and building the music wall.  The wall provides varied opportunities for children to explore sounds and use materials in new and different ways.  The kids are definitely enjoying these new opportunities.
  •  The plant sale was a great success.  Thank you to everyone who ordered and bought plants.  Thank you to those who bought the extras in one day! Thank you to the staff, students and parents who helped to unload the truck (at 6:30 AM), sort plants and fill orders. Without all of this help we would not have been able to sell so many beautiful plants!  If you didn't purchase this year, please consider supporting the center during next year's sale.  
  • Welcome to Julie Brennan, our new Assistant Teacher in Preschool 3. Julie comes to us with many years of experience as a teacher and parent. We're excited to welcome her to our UCDC family. 
  • Congratulations to Katie (Infant 4 head teacher)  and Ben Anglin on the birth of their daughter, Madaket "Maddie" Jean Anglin.  We wish them the best as they start this new journey of parenthood!
  • Sometime during this month, we are anticipating a visit from the Pitt Police in order to teach the preschoolers about dog and bike safety. This is a timely topic as the weather warms and a visit that the children look forward to!
Nutrition Update: 
Fighting Lead Exposure with Nutrition
By Amanda Maeillo
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It is always important to include a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat or fat-free dairy in your diet. Then your body is full of healthy foods it is more difficult for lead to be absorbed. Additionally, to decrease lead absorption one should also make sure their diet is rich in nutrients such as calcium, iron and vitamin C. Calcium keeps bones strong and the lead out. Iron blocks lead from being absorbed and vitamin C, while helping the body better absorb iron, may also help with getting rid of lead. Try incorporating foods naturally high or fortified in these nutrients to help reduce absorption from any lead exposure in the diet. 
Did You Know?

Did you know that UCDC is in the process of getting ready for our gardening season? We have plans to grow lettuce, zucchini, strawberries, green onions, pole beans and much more! Involving young children in gardening strengthens their understanding of food and food origins as well as makes them more likely to try new foods when they have a hand in growing it.
 
Preschool Wisdoms
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"Nap time" - Molly
 
This month, we asked the little ones of Preschool One what they love about school. Read on to find out what they love best. 

Reading books - Emma
I love housekeeping, dressing in work clothes - Peter
Dinosaurs - Andrew
Reading books - Kate
Playing with sharp tooths - Raga
Reading books - Sam
Eating lunch - Jesse
Playing trucks - Tudor
Lunch - Arkady
Eating lunch - Emmy
Reading books - special books - Finn
Princess - Hanling
Trucks and cars - Alex
I like sand - Jack
Nap time - Molly