Teacher Spotlight: Beth at Germantown

The teachers at Momentum Early Learning dedicate much of their time and heart to the children in their classroom. We appreciate all of their hard work and the commitment they make to maintain a higher standard of excellence in everything they do. The culture at Momentum is driven by one unified vision… “Grow as a cohesive and fun team with purpose, engagement, passion, and quality”. Here is a look into the life of one of our many excellent teachers. Find out what they love and what inspires them to be a great educator.

beth and husband at game

Introducing, Ms. Beth at Germantown…beth playing dress up

How long have you worked at Momentum?
I came to Momentum in August of 2017.

What classroom do you teach?
I am the Director of Momentum’s Germantown Campus.

What made you want to become a teacher?
I have wanted to be a teacher since as long as I can remember.  I was very good at teaching all my stuffed animals and assigning them homework which I loved to correct and give back to them.

beths childrenWhat or who inspires you?
I am inspired my daughter, Abigail.  She is the strongest most resilient person I know. She is intelligent and loving and super determined!

What is your favorite kind of activity to teach? (sensory, gross motor, etc.)
I haven’t taught Early Childhood in a long time!  I have been teaching elementary and middle school the past ten years.  My favorite subject to teach was math.

What is one of your first memories from school?
Struggling in Math!!!  Ironically, it was my worst subject but that is why I love to teach it.  Breaking it down so kids understand it clearly warms my heart!  I love seeing the “light bulb” go on!

What is one of your hidden talents?
I can still do the splits!

beths animalsDo you have any pets?
I have a Lab named Kelso (That 70’s Show), a Yorkie mutt named Maisy (Yes, after the mouse) and a very illusive cat named Bailey (Yes, Irish cream).

What is your favorite thing to cook? (if you don’t like to cook, what is your favorite food?)
I do a lot of cooking, but I love to make soups!  One of my favorite creations is my mushroom, wild-rice soup.

What is your favorite way to relax?
I love to spend time in my yard, attempting to garden!  My husband and I enjoy golfing whenever we get a chance!  I also tried tennis last year for the first time, I don’t know if they’ll have me back!!

What is your favorite TV show/guilty pleasure?
I only watch two shows on a regular basis.  This Is Us and Grey’s Anatomy complete my week!

What makes a “good day” at Momentum?
Everyday is a good day! I really love when I can get away from the office and spend time with the kids!

What kind of morning routine do you have to get excited for the day?
I enjoy a cup of coffee and some good 80’s music on my way to work!

beths husband and childrenbeths family on vacation

What is the best thing about being a teacher?
For any age it’s the “Aha moments”!

If you could take your class on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Outside!  I love to see children explore the outdoors.  Last year we took a field trip to a lake and had the kids use magnifying glasses, microscopes and their own eyes to explore the water.  It was amazing to see their reactions when they discovered there were things living in the water.

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

Literacy in Early Childhood Education

At Momentum Early Learning we hold four very important Core Values: Safety, Education, Cleanliness, and Technology. To maintain our higher standard of child care, we focus on education and curriculum. Literacy is a key component of our curriculum. We asked Ms. Jenna at our Sussex Campus to explain the value of early literacy in a child’s life.We hope that Jenna’s tips will help other teachers, and inspire parents to get creative with their story time at home!

Meet Ms. Jennajenna

My name is Ms Jenna, and I am a teacher in the Little Scholars classroom at Momentum’s Sussex Campus. I have been working in the field of early childhood education for the past 4 years. I love to plan engaging and interacting activities to help my students learn and grow through play. One of my favorite types of lessons to plan is literacy activities.

Literacy and the Importance

Literacy typically refers to reading and writing skills. Early literacy skills can start developing in the primary childhood years. Some early literacy skills include letter knowledge, print awareness, phonological awareness, and emergent writing skills. Early literacy skills that are developed during the early years of a child’s life can help them become successful later on in school.

Ways to Incorporate Literacy in the Classroom

  • Add books into different centers of the classroom:
    • Nonfiction books about animals, insects, plants or weather in the science area
    • Picture or nonfiction books about food, families, or different careers in the dramatic play area
    • Picture or nonfiction books about construction, cars, or transportation in block area
    • Picture or nonfiction books about painting, drawing or artists in art area
    • Picture or nonfiction books from different genres/themes in literacy area
      lit
      (Here is a sample of nonfiction books that are found in the science area of my classroom.)
  • Labeling objects/toys in the classroom in large printlit2
  • Add word cards into writing area (change as needed with weekly themes)
  • Use retelling pieces or flannel board pieces that go along with bookslit3
    (I like to organize my flannel board pieces in labeled pouches along with the corresponding book. Here is a sample of some of my flannel board pieces and books.)
    lit4
    (Here is a sample of retelling pieces and the corresponding book.)

Ways to Incorporate Literacy at Home

  • Read books at bedtime (simple board books for babies and toddlers, age appropriate picture books for preschoolers and school-age children)
  • Expose children to different kinds of print (magazines, newspaper, books, and environmental prints)
  • Sing nursery rhymes, finger plays or your child’s favorite songs with them or to them

lit5
(Here are puppets that I made to go along with popular nursery rhymes and finger plays.)

  • Make up your own stories or encourage children to make up their own
  • Label objects in your home in large print

While felt board stories and literacy games can be fun and engaging for children, sitting down and reading a book is just as important. One of the easiest things you can do is to pick up a book and read to your child! Perhaps set aside a few minutes a day to sit with your child and read, bedtime can be a great time to do this.  Also don’t forget about your local public libraries- not only can you check out a variety of fun books to bring home, many offer free story times throughout the week. Literacy is all around us; expose your children to as much as you can during the early childhood years!

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

Resources to Use

I use a variety of different resources to help me create literacy activities for the classroom. Here is a list of some of my favorites:

Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/)

Teachers Pay Teachers (https://www.teacherspayteachers.com) *some items are free while others you have to pay for

Printable felt board pieces/activities for books  (http://www.makinglearningfun.com/themepages/BookPrintables.htm)

Printable activities for Jan Brett Books (http://www.janbrett.com/index.html)

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Mindee at Sussex

The teachers at Momentum Early Learning dedicate much of their time and heart to the children in their classroom. We appreciate all of their hard work and the commitment they make to maintain a higher standard of excellence in everything they do. The culture at Momentum is driven by one unified vision… “Grow as a cohesive and fun team with purpose, engagement, passion, and quality”. Here is a look into the life of one of our many excellent teachers. Find out what they love and what inspires them to be a great educator.

Introducing from Sussex, Ms. Mindee!

How long have you worked at Momentum?
1 year and 1 month

What classroom do you teach?
I recently moved from CC1 to Little Scholarsmindee

What made you want to become a teacher?
At age 2, I started going to an in-home daycare center run by an amazing woman named Sue. She taught us everything we needed to know to be prepared for school, as well as teaching us to value education. Growing up I looked up to her and was always grateful for all that she taught us!

What or who inspires you?
My Grandpa has always been my biggest inspiration, he was the hardest working and smartest man I’ve ever known. He inspired me to do what I love and never20180314_001850 give up.

What is your favorite kind of activity to teach?
Art activities! I’ve always loved art, and watching kids make art and be creative is so fun! It puts their imaginations to work.

What is one of your first memories from school?Raising and releasing monarch butterflies every summer while I was in daycare. It was such a cool experience!

What is one of your hidden talents?20180314_001741
I play several instruments. In middle school and high school I played oboe and bassoon. I am also currently teaching myself how to play the ukulele.

Do you have any pets?20180314_001804
Yes! I have three cats, Cosmo, Angel, and Misty, and a20180314_001827 chocolate lab named Sable.

What is your favorite thing to cook?
Chicken gnocchi soup

What is your favorite way to relax?
I relax with a comfy blanket and a good book or movie, or by drawing!20180314_001907

What is your favorite TV show/guilty pleasure?
My all-time favorite show is Gilmore Girls. I love their witty humor!

halloweenbeckyWhat makes a “good day” at Momentum?
Every day at Momentum is a good day! Coming in and seeing all of the kids smiling and excited for their day is so rewarding!

What kind of morning routine do you have to get excited for the day?
Breakfast and coffee. Followed by getting ready and thinking about all of the activities we have planned for the day.

What is the best thing about being a teacher?
The best thing about being a teacher is knowing that because of you and your coworkers, you are giving your students one of the most amazing and important gifts they will every receive, the gift of education!

If you could take your class on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would take my class to my favorite place, the Shalom Wildlife Zoo in West Bend. They have a lot of cool animals to see, and some you can even pet and feed!

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

STE(A)M Learning in Early Childhood Education

STE(A)M may seem boring to some, but in reality it is both exciting, educational and fun for students young and old. Here at Momentum, we strive to create a learning environment that promotes learning, so incorporating STE(A)M is not as hard as it may seem to have in an early childhood classroom.

Meet Ms. Jill
My name is Ms. Jill, and I am a teacher in the Lively Learners classroom at Momentum’s Germantown Campus. I have been working in education for the past 7 years, spending a majority of that time focusing on science education. This means that I love working on science based activities in my classroom, especially ones that are hands on that allow the kids to get messy! I like to try and incorporate STEM into as many activities as I can. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This can also become part of STEAM (A-Art). There is always a lack of STEM jobs, especially in terms of female STEM jobs. It is important to start the love for these fields early, so there is no better time to start then in early childhood.

prek children looking through goggles
S-Science
Science itself is a broad title to cover many areas of study that can be covered in an early childhood classroom. Examples include: veterinary, environmental, chemistry, biology, scientific method, astronomy, weather, and physics.
T-Technology
An important thing to note is that technology doesn’t always have to be things with an on/off switch. Technology can be as simple as introducing a new tool for children to experience and use. Examples of technology to include in science centers: hand lenses, tweezers, pipettes, rulers, tape measures, balance, scale, cameras, tablet, computer.
E-Engineering
An important thing to note about engineering is that it doesn’t just have to be about buildings and bridges. Engineering can be designing any type of structure, even toy design! These can be 3D or 2D: Play-doh, craft stick, pipe cleaners, crayons and paper
M-Mathematics
Mathematics can be more than teaching kids about numbers in early childhood. It can include recognizing and identifying money, sorting, patterns, shapes, etc.
STEAM-A-Art
Art can be tied into STEM very easily! Drawing ideas/designs, building with 3D art materials, displaying photographs of process/items of STEM (photos of flowers, clouds, etc)
two year old looking into microscope

Why do STEM?
STEM is a great way to teach children about different aspects of life beyond the early childhood basics. STEM covers so many topics that can benefit all areas of learning and growth. STEM also helps children to explore their world in new ways. It can easy to be add it into play without the children even knowing!

Cross-Curriculum learning using STEM
Using stem you can create many lessons that cover several curriculum field requirements.
toddlers looking through magnifying glassExample for Preschool/Pre-K classrooms (Toddlers/Twos modifications are in parentheses):
You are tasked to build a wind proof building 2 feet tall. (Build a tower)

Materials:
Blocks (crackers)
Duplos (marshmallows)
Pipe Cleaners (frosting)
Leaf Blower (blow air using hand/mouth)

S-Wind Test (leaf blower) (Wind Test-Blowing)
T-Tape measure/ruler (Ruler-model use)
E-design a building (building)
M-cost of materials-assign a cost, measuring, how many materials (counting number of objects used)
Art-Sketch design (draw building)
Language-Present design (share building with class)

baby exploring dinosaur

Incorporating STE(A)M into a classroom is easier than you think. Often times we are teaching these concepts without even realizing it, especially when it comes to play. Having a well stocked science and math area and encouraging children to play and explore will help them develop not only a love for learning, but for STE(A)M fields as well. In Lively Learners, I encourage my children to explore our science center during free choice play. Additionally, I am sure to incorporate these concepts into my lesson plans as it pertains to the theme each week. My children love doing science experiments/activities large and small. They may not realize that they are learning science because they are just two and a half and having fun, but seeing the looks on their faces when they see a successful experiment lets me know, I am teaching them those important science concepts while they are having fun.

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

Additional Resources
https://www.rand.org/blog/2016/06/integrating-stem-learning-in-early-childhood-education.html
https://edsolutionsllc.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/stem-content-package.pdf

A Spotlight on Smith-Magenis Syndrome

Parenting comes with endless amounts of questions no matter how much you prepare for it. For some Drew4families, finding out your child was born with a rare disease only adds more questions to the list. The main objective of Rare Disease Day is to raise awareness among the general public and decision makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives. At our Sussex Campus, our friend Drew has taught us on a daily basis, what it means to love and care for a child born with a rare disease. We asked his mother, Sarah, to share his story with you.


Drew hospital 2015

Hi, I’m Sarah Kemper.  Mother of Drew (3) and Emma (2) who have been part of the Momentum – Sussex family since 2014.  I am honored to write this post about a very rare genetic disorder that has been part of our family, also since 2014.  I write this from a mothers perspective and I thank you in advance for taking the time to read on and help spread awareness for Smith-Magenis Syndrome.Family July 2017

Drew was diagnosed with Smith-Magenis Syndrome when he was 10 days old.  At that time, we were in shock and had no idea what that meant for us and for the life of our son, except that it would be on a different trajectory than what we had planned.  The initial few months post-diagnosis, we engulfed ourselves in researching what SMS was in the hopes of understanding what was to come.  We realized quickly that there was such a wide spectrum of the disease, and although it was good to gain some background knowledge, we did not want it to define Drew and what he was capable of before he could show us.

Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS) is a rare genetic disorder, occurring in approximately 1 in 25,000 births.  Itdrew8 is a non-familial chromosomal disorder characterized by a recognizable pattern of physical, behavioral and developmental features and is the result of a missing piece of genetic material in chromosome 17, referred to as deletion 17p11.2.

Some of the common features of SMS include:

  • Sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness due to a reverse circadian rhythm of melatonin production
    • At about 18-24 months, we began seeing many more night time awakenings and Drew fighting sleepiness all throughout the day.  Even now, we might find him asleep when we thought he was playing or he dozes off eating lunch because he is too tired to make it to nap time.
      Drew sleeping
  • Low muscle tone
  • Feeding issues in infants
    • At 6 months old, Drew was hospitalized for 17 days due to numerous respiratory viruses along with pneumonia.  A couple months later he was still on oxygen when he slept and we found out his lungs weren’t healing likely due to aspiration.  So at about 10 months old, we were back at Children’s getting his G-tube placed
  • Developmental delays
  • Varying degrees of cognitive impairment
  • Speech delays
    • There is so much going on in that head of his that he can’t often communicate to us.  We can say that Drew knows his colors, numbers and letters of the alphabet though.  He also memorizes spelling from activities, books or interactive toys
  • Decreased sensitivity to paindrew2

Some of the common neurobehavioral features include:

  • Endearing and loving personalities
  • Hyperactivity/ADD
  • Sudden mood changes and/or explosive outbursts
  • Prolonged tantrums
  • Self-injurious behaviorsDrew thinking

DrewWhat does Smith-Magenis mean to us? It means learning how to use, clean and change out a G-tube. It means learning sign-language and other methods of communication. It means waiting until your child is two before seeing him walk, and even at three and a half he is still wearing braces around his feet and ankles to help with support. It means navigating day to day activities while constantly re-directing the best we can when we are at the cusp or in the middle of a major melt-down.  It means being awakened a lot at night and usually for good at around 4:30a.  It means walking on egg-shells every day as you never know what random toy, comment or directional turn in a store will set him off.  It also means endless hugs, the best smiles and giggles possible and such a sweet soul of a boy who we get to call our son.

SMS is a tough disease.  Tough on Drew.  Tough on us as his parents, Maddie as his half-sister and Emma as drew10his sister.  Tough on his wonderful caregivers, teachers, therapists and doctors.  We have been very fortunate to have landed with a team of great doctors at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and a great team of teachers and caregivers at Momentum.  They all love seeing him learn andDrew2 grow just as much as we do.  We are truly blessed with the support of so many around us. We are constantly encouraged by the special bonds and relationships formed by everyone who works with Drew. We enjoy seeing that they truly want him to succeed. With that being said, however, there have only been 2 of the 40+ doctors, therapists and teachers who have helped and come in contact with Drew, who have ever even heard of Smith-Magenis. So, thank you for helping us spread awareness.

To learn more go to prisms.org or smsresearchfoundation.com

A closer look at an invisible illness

Most people wouldn’t even know from looking at her. You would never know her struggle because she is so positive and happy. Rare Disease-Addison’s Disease. Today we celebrate her and countless others whose story needs to be told. The main objective of Rare Disease Day is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives. At our Germantown Campus, our Little Scholars teacher, Ms. Lauren has taught us what it means to thrive with and sometimes suffer from a rare disease. We want to share her story with you.

lauren at the hospitalI was diagnosed in September of 2013 with Primary Adrenal Insufficiency, also known as Addison’s Disease. Addison’s Disease is a disorder that occurs when your body produces insufficient amounts of certain hormones produced by your adrenal glands. In my case, my adrenal glands have shut down completely. One of the treatments for this is to take a replacement dose of steroids to try and help mimic what my body doesn’t create.

The symptoms of Addison’s Disease can come on slowly and develop over years. Some of the symptoms of Addison’s Disease are:

  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Sudden weight-loss and loss of appetite
  • Severe nausea and vomiting- leading to dehydration
  • Increased heart-rate
  • Salt craving
  • Joint and muscle pains

In my case, I was severely sick for 8 years before finally being diagnosed.

Sometimes, the symptoms of Addison’s Disease can come on suddenly- causing what’s called an Adrenal Crisis. In this case, I take an emergency steroid injection in my thigh and immediately head to the hospital for IV fluids and steroids.

laurens injection

Signs of an Addison’s Crisis are:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe pain in lower back
  • Vomiting so much you cannot keep your steroids down
  • Low blood pressure

Something as simple as a cold or ear infection can (and has) thrown my body into an Adrenal Crisis.

In the nearly 5 years that I have been diagnosed with Addison’s Disease, it has taken a lot from me. Addison’s Disease has made me spend more time admitted in hospitals and emergency rooms then the average person in their teens and early 20’s ever should. It has made me miss out on countless activities because I was too sick to attend. It made me miss out on 3 hours of my own wedding reception because my body went into one of the worst adrenal crisis I’ve ever been in-it almost killed me.

addisons diseaseadrenal insufficiency

What Addison’s disease hasn’t taken from me:

  • The feeling of empowerment I get when sharing my story
  • Being able to train and successfully complete many races
  • Being the best teacher I can be to six amazing early childhood classes over the years
  • The desire to live each day to the fullest
  • It has made me a more compassionate person
  • It has never fully taken away my smile
  • It has made me a better wife and soon to be mommy!

Thank you for listening to my story and allowing me to spread awareness. If I can leave you with one final piece of advice it is this- never judge what you don’t understand. Many rare diseases are also called “invisible illnesses.” You can’t often tell what someone is going through just by looking at them.

I may have Addison’s Disease, but it surely does not have me.

For more information go to www.nadf.us

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Carrianne at Germantown

The teachers at Momentum Early Learning dedicate much of their time and heart to the children in their classroom. We appreciate all of their hard work and the commitment they make to maintain a higher standard of excellence in everything they do. The culture at Momentum is driven by one unified vision… “Grow as a cohesive and fun team with purpose, engagement, passion, and quality”. Here is a look into the life of one of our many excellent teachers. Find out what they love and what inspires them to be a great educator.

Introducing from Germantown, Ms. Carrianne!

How long have you worked at Momentum?
I started at Momentum in March of 2017, and I just returned from a medical/surgery leave on February 5th!

carrianne with the babies at child carefeeding a baby at daycareWhat classroom do you teach?
I stared as the lead teacher in CC3, and now I am assisting Ms. Tonya as in CC2!

What made you want to become a teacher?
I have this charisma with children everywhere I go, and I enjoy making them smile and laugh! For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to make a difference, and when I decided that being a police officer was not satisfying, I decided to stay in early childhood and teach- working with children is a blessing!

What or who inspires you?carrianne with her husband
God inspires me to be the best me I can be! I am also inspired by my Big Sister and my Little Sisters from Big Brothers Big Sisters, my husband-Kevin, and my family! My teaching is inspired by Dr. Seuss, and my teachers (most of whom I still keep in contact with), taught me with pride and passion, so I get my dedication from my teachers!

What is your favorite kind of activity to teach? (sensory, gross motor, etc.)
I enjoy circle time. Reading the story of the day, singing educational routine songs, teaching the basics, hands on activities, and introducing new material/concepts that go with the themes! This is my favorite part of the day, because you’re in a group setting and you can be personal and have fun learning.

 What is one of your first memories from school?
I have a few…

  1. I was in head start and we were reading One Fish Two, Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and I wanted to write a book, so I wrote One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish and copied it (the best I could, not knowing what plagiarism was) and to this day I am still obsessed with Dr. Seuss.
  2. I was learning to read in Head Start and I saw a speed limit sign and it said 5 MPH. I told my Mom that I could read that sign and I know what it said, 5 minute parking here.
  3. In kindergarten we had a community helpers/bring your parent to school day, and we did an art activity project, where we had to pick three things that we wanted to be when we grew up. I picked a police officer, a teacher, and a farmer. I went to college for Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement (to be a Police Officer), I am a teacher, and I enjoy the country!
  4. Also in Kindergarten, we were making bunnies for Easter, my teacher was not happy with me because I made my ears rounded and the cutting exercise was to have them pointed. I was ready to color the ears and I wanted the hot pick crayon and a boy had it and would not give it to me so I tried to take it from him and bit his hand!

carrianne with a child carrianne with another child

 What is one of your hidden talents?
I can sort of wiggle my ears, and I can make a clover with my tongue!

Do you have any pets?
We want a dog, but where we rent we can’t have large pets, so we have 3 beta fish (2 boys and a girl) Storm, Midnight, and Sunset!

What is your favorite thing to cook? (if you don’t like to cook, what is your favorite food?)
I like to make Swiss chicken! It’s boneless skinless chicken breast, cream of mushroom soup, fresh mushrooms, swiss cheese, and fresh bacon bits.

What is your favorite way to relax?carrianne with family
I love playing cards, games (board and video), and puzzles to relax!

What is your favorite TV show/guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is Netflix. I enjoy a lot of shoes/movies and books, right now my favorite show is This Is Us!

What makes a “good day” at Momentum?
For me a good day at Momentum is smiles, laughs, and hugs!

What kind of morning routine do you have to get excited for the day?
Well I start by picking out what outfit I’m in the mood for, then I eat a nice breakfast, brush my teeth, and my husband and I always do our goodbye routine. I always listen to KLOVE on my way to work (anytime in the car). Just thinking about the kiddos in my class puts a smile on my face and I’m all ready for the day!

What is the best thing about being a teacher?
For me the best thing is making a difference. My oldest child from my first center is a Freshman this year and still gives me hugs when he sees me. Also, I just reconnected with my 2nd grade teacher from 20 years ago over the weekend and she still remembered me!!!carrieanne with a friend If you could take your class on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would take them Up North to Eagle River. I am from Eagle River and to me it is God’s country and the most peaceful and beautiful place I have been. It keeps me going back, so I would like to share a part of something special to me with them!

eagle river

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Colleen at Sussex

The teachers at Momentum Early Learning dedicate much of their time and heart to the children in their classroom. We appreciate all of their hard work and the commitment they make to maintain a higher standard of excellence in everything they do. The culture at Momentum is driven by one unified vision… “Grow as a cohesive and fun team with purpose, engagement, passion, and quality”. Here is a look into the life of one of our many excellent teachers. Find out what they love and what inspires them to be a great educator.

Introducing from Sussex, Ms. Colleen!

How long have you worked at Momentum?
I have been at Momentum since August of 2009, when we first opened!

colleen-grandopening       colleen4

What classroom do you teach?colleen-now
Lively Learners – 2.5-3 year olds

What made you want to become a teacher?
I have always loved working with children. I started babysitting when I was 10 and I taught Sunday School for a few years. I love watching children’s minds grow!

FullSizeRender

What or who inspires you?
My family: My husband John who I have been married to for 30 years, my son DJ who is a high school history teacher, and my daughter Ali who is a nursing student.      colleen2

colleen3

What is your favorite kind of activity to teach?
I really enjoy doing science and sensory activities with the kids. Activities where they can watch and make things change color or shape are always fun!

What is one of your first memories from school?
I remember going to nursery school when I was 4 and being very scared. I made a friend the first day and we have been friends ever since! 🙂

What is one of your hidden talents?
I love to bake! Especially cheesecakes.

Do you have any pets?colleen
I have a dog named Cody, he is a Pomeranian mix.

What is your favorite thing to cook?
I love to bake any kind of treat – cookies, cakes, and candy.

What is your favorite way to relax?
I love to go to farmers markets and wineries!

What is your favorite TV show/guilty pleasure?
I really enjoy watching cooking shows! I also love to watch Criminal Minds.

What makes a “good day” at Momentum?
When you see a child who has been struggling with an activity they have been trying to learn for a while, and they finally accomplish it! When their face lights up with pride, that makes a good day. 🙂

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What kind of morning routine do you have to get excited for the day?
As I drive to work, I go over all the fun activities that have been planned. I like to keep to a regular routine every morning.

What is the best thing about being a teacher?
Watching children’s minds learn and grow, and knowing that I have helped educate those children!

If you could take your class on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would take my class to Africa to see all of the really cool animals and different cultures!

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

Get creative with dramatic play!

At Momentum Early Learning we hold four very important Core Values: Safety, Education, Cleanliness, and Technology. To maintain our higher standard of child care, we focus on education and curriculum. One of the most important ways children is through play. Dramatic play is important to children’s deployment because it allows children to act out their life in a way that they might not have the words to describe. It also helps them make sense of everyday situations that they may see adults in. With dramatic play, the creativity is endless! Ms. Lauren is passionate about creating a variety of dramatic play situations for her four year olds to experience. We hope that her ideas inspire you to create your own dramatic play areas at home or in your classroom soon!

flower shop dramatic playMeet Ms. Lauren
Hi, I’m Ms. Lauren and I am the teacher in Little Scholars. In my preschool classroom, my favorite center to set up is Dramatic Play! There are many different names for dramatic play such as pretend play, make believe or imagination play. Simply put, dramatic play is taking a theme and allowing children to play and explore. A few of the main benefits of having a dramatic play center are encouraging conversation and conflict resolution, integrating math and literacy skills as well as helping children break out of their shell. When students are acting out pretend scenarios, such as a restaurant server taking orders at a cafe, they are able to not only use math and literacy skills (reading the menu or writing down what their guest wants), as well as communication skills – talking to their table and other peers as they then make the food.

What do you need for dramatic play?dramatic play donut shop
When creating a dramatic play center in your living room, child care or school, some of the best ideas come from materials you already may have at home! Do you have extra pots, pans, cupcake tins and empty boxes of cupcakes? Let the children pretend to be at a bakery and whip up some yummy cupcakes. Do you have tons of luggage, old travel brochures, and kitchen table chairs? Set up an airport and let the children take you to their favorite places, whether it is Target or Disney World! One of my student’s favorite dramatic play centers came from their love of donuts. I went to Duncan Donuts and asked if I could have some empty boxes, napkins and cups. I have found that most places are always willing to give you a few extra items. These can really enhance the play and the dramatic play experience! They then helped me create a Donut Shop. We cut circles out of construction paper and they went wild decorating their donuts. They took turns taking orders for donuts, put them on fancy paper plates and delivered them to the tables. Our donut shop was a HIT and something that I will continue to do each year.

dramatic play campsiteBe a kid again
Some things I have found to really encourage play in this center is to become a kid again and play too! When we made a campground dramatic play, I sat in a chair around our “fire” (basket full of sticks we collected from outside and scrunched up red and orange tissue paper), took a big stick and told the kids I was going to roast a marshmallow. Within seconds, I had a whole class full of students next to me ready to roast their own campfire food. Our favorite was to pretend we were cooking chicken nuggets!

dramatic play sitting on an airplaneLearning through play
Most times while playing in dramatic play, students won’t even realize how much they are learning as they play. For example, when we created an airport, I made boarding passes for the students. In order to climb aboard our airplane (4 chairs stacked together 2×2), they had to match the Uppercase Letter on their pass to the lowercase letter I taped on the chair. They giggled and laughed as they identified each letter to see just where they would be sitting.

With dramatic play, creating a fun and engaging area will encourage your children to learn and grow each day. Positive interactions and learning through play are part of our curriculum and hold an important role in YoungStar and at Momentum Early Learning. All it takes is a little effort to create a fun and exciting experience for both adults and children alike. The next time you are sitting in your living room, child care classroom or school, take a look around. Do you see a restaurant? A space ship? A pizza shop? The possibilities are truly endless!

dramatic play hair salon pizza dramatic play

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Cassi at Germantown

The teachers at Momentum Early Learning dedicate much of their time and heart to the children in their classroom. We appreciate all of their hard work and the commitment they make to maintain a higher standard of excellence in everything they do. The culture at Momentum is driven by one unified vision… “Grow as a cohesive and fun team with purpose, engagement, passion, and quality”. Here is a look into the life of one of our many excellent teachers. Find out what they love and what inspires them to be a great educator.

Introducing from Germantown, Ms Cassi!

cassi with her friends

How long have you worked at Momentum?
My first official start date was October 27, 2017.

What classroom do you teach?
I teach 1 year olds in Cuddly Cuties 3.

What made you want to become a teacher?
When I was younger, I would line my stuffed animals up in the kitchen and use the rolling pin as my pointer to teach on the board (the refrigerator).  When a child (stuffed animal) was in trouble, they had to take a time out in the principal’s office (the bathroom). Needless to say, I have wanted to be a teacher ever since a young age. Now that I’m older, I have come to terms that I could never teach the way I did with my stuffed animals. Shaping young minds is truly my passion.

cassi and her niecesWhat or who inspires you?cassi with her dad
My dad is my inspiration in life. He changed his whole entire life around when he became sober 18 years ago to save his family and his own life. He has shown me that nothing is impossible and you can achieve anything that you put your heart and your mind to. If you work hard enough, never back down, and have a little faith; then you will come out winning on top. I am so proud of my dad and have never been happier to have him as my own. He is my true hero.

What is your favorite kind of activity to teach? (sensory, gross motor, etc.)
I love to teach children fine motor skills like putting the shape block in the matching shape hole, or learning to open the hidden animal doors, or learning how to link and unlink the connect letters. Learning how to do those things will actually set them up for big things later on in life.

What is one of your first memories from school?
My favorite memory from school was that there was a tree house inside my kindergarten classroom. I was so excited to go to school every day to play in the tree house. There was a star student every week and that student was the only one that could take their nap in the tree house for the whole week. That tree house is not in that classroom anymore, but I’m sure glad it was when I was there.

What is one of your hidden talents?cassi and her momI have always loved to write. I make up these stories in my head and write them down on paper. I would write short stories in high school and wrote my parent’s poems which they have framed till this day. Words just start flowing through my mind and it’s hard to stop them. I would write my own flannel board stories for the children in my Practicum classes during college. I shocked my teacher when I told her that I made those stories up and didn’t copy them from a book. I actually wanted to be a writer before pursuing teaching, but then I realized that working with children is what I’m meant to do in life.

cassi and her dog

Do you have any pets?
I have a handsome 4 year old lab-coon mix named Major Moose Gatzke. He’s my pride and joy, and truly my best friend. He’s the most loving dog you will ever meet.

What is your favorite thing to cook?
My favorite meal to cook is BBQ Pineapple pulled Chicken with Brown Rice. You just throw it in the Crockpot for a few hours and you’re good to go. My favorite food would have to be my dad’s smoked ribs with his homemade signature sauce.

What is your favorite way to relax?
I love to curl up in my bed with Major by my side and watching a good show or movie on Netflix.

What is your favorite TV show/guilty pleasure?
My favorite TV shows are the Chicago series (Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Chicago Med). They portray real life events and have a great story line behind them.

cassi teaching

What makes a “good day” at Momentum?cassi teaching (2)I honestly love the days when the children are excited to see you right when you walk in the door in the morning. Getting morning hugs from your children is the best feeling ever. It makes for a great start to your day

What kind of morning routine do you have to get excited for the day?
First and foremost I have to take care of my child (Major) before I do anything else. Then I drink 1-2 cups of coffee. I usually jam out to some music on the way to work to get pumped up for the day.

What is the best thing about being a teacher?
I love seeing children learn something that you have been teaching them. Whether that’s learning sign language, learning what a cow says, or learning the color blue. It’s such a great feeling when they finally master what you have been teaching them and learning new experiences.

cassi and her sister (2)cassi and her sisterIf you could take your class on a fieldtrip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to take a class fieldtrip to visit Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel in New Hampshire. Families are able to have meet and greats with the sled dogs (many of which are rescue and second chance), help harness and hitch their team, and even help drive the sled. This would be a fun trip for the children and for the dogs.

 

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.