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Univ. Of Northern Iowa Child Development Center (Price Laboratory School)

1 Price Laboratory School
Cedar Falls, IA 50613

(319) 273-2263


Philosophy & Approach

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"The philosophy of the UNI Child Development Center is one of Constructivism. These assumptions are made about children and the ways that they learn:
1. Children are intrinsically motivated to learn.
2. Children construct their own knowledge through interaction with their environment and other people, thus making learning an internal rather than an external process.
3. Learning involves making mistakes to allow for natural steps to understanding.
Children are encouraged to be autonomous to the degree that they are able to do so. Autonomy, in this context, means the ability to govern one ’s self, taking into account all relevant factors.
Personal autonomy is encouraged by giving children choices that are structured to their level of development. This includes making a conscious decision about the learning center that they choose to visit and the activity that they choose to do there. The children have the opportunity to find solutions to problems that are acceptable to everyone involved. This could include determining rules for a game that is being played, solving a social conflict between two children, deciding on the best way to get their toys picked up, analyzing what type of silverware is needed for lunch, and hypothesizing and testing their conjectures for a science experiment.
The climate in the classroom is one of mutual respect with the teacher being a facilitator of learning rather than a dispenser of knowledge. Children are encouraged to respect others in the classroom as they are themselves respected. In working toward the development of autonomy, the children are encouraged to become responsible for their own behavior and make decisions reflecting that responsibility. This guidance approach includes the use of encouragement and natural or logical consequences.
The purpose of this program is twofold:
* The Center provides high quality, full-time child care for the children of faculty, staff, and students of the University of Northern Iowa.
* The Center serves as an educational laboratory for UNI students majoring in Early Childhood Education and other related fields, facilitating the students’ learning about young children."
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

7:30 - 9:00 am Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00 am Diapers, Center boxes, Activities
10:00 - 10:30 am Snack
10:30 - 11:15 am Outside, Large Motor
11:15 - 12:00 pm Lunch/Diapers
12:00 - 2:00 pm Nap, Quiet Activities
2:00 - 3:00 pm Snack/Diapers
3:00 - 4:00 pm Centers boxes, Activities
4:00 - 5:00 pm Outside, Large Motor
5:00 - 5:30 pm Clean up, Diapers
7:30 - 8:00 Children arrive; Child-initiated activities
8:00 - 8:30 Breakfast & tooth brushing; Child-initiated activities
8:30 - 9:45 Child-initiated activities; Teacher-directed activities ; Large motor play; Routine care
9:45 - 10:15 Snack & tooth brushing; Routine care
10:15 - 11:15 Beyond the room; Large motor activities (can include outside playgrounds, campus grounds, upstairs, cafeteria, etc.)
11:15 - 12:00 Lunch and tooth brushing, tooth brushing, and clean up
12:00 - 12:15 Nap preparation; Routine care
12:15 - 2:30 Nap
2:30 - 3:30 Snack & tooth brushing; Child-initiated activities; Teacher-directed activities
3:30 - 4:30 Beyond the room; Large motor activities
4:30 - 5:30 Child-initiated activities; Teacher-directed activities; Clean up

7:30 - 8:30 Children arrive; child-initiated activities
8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast; tooth brushing
9:00 - 10:15 Child-initiated activities; teacher directed-thematic activities; toileting; diaper changes
10:15 - 11:15 Indoor or outdoor large motor activities
11:30 - 12:00 Lunch; tooth brushing
12:00 - 12:30 Nap preparation--toileting; diapers; brush teeth; etc.
12:30 - 2:30 Napping or resting on cots
1:30 Non-nappers get up
2:30 - 3:00 Snack; tooth brushing; toileting; diaper changes
3:00 - 4:00 Child-initiated activities; teacher directed-thematic activities
4:00 - 5:00 Indoor or out door large motor activities
5:00 - 5:30 Child - initiated activities; clean-up
3~5 ROOM
Open Children begin to arrive. Choice of activities including assisting in preparation of breakfast.
8:00am Breakfast or choice of activities (Brush Teeth)
9:00am Large Group (May include fingerplays, books, music, movement, flannel board story, language experience, etc.)
Learning Centers Children choose between blocks, science, cooking, dramatic play, library, math, puzzles, games, sensory table, music, art, or centers planned around a theme; includes planned small groups.
10:15am Bathroom break and prepare to go outside.
10:30am Outdoor Play
11:00am Table Setters come in to prepare tables for lunch.
11:15am Others meet for large group or small group activities.
11:30am Lunch (Brush Teeth)
12:00pm Books and Puzzles (Prepare for quiet time)
12:30pm Rest time Visit bathroom and Brush Teeth.
1:30pm Non-nappers up, may go to room, cafeteria or outside.
2:30pm Snack visit bathroom and wash hands or books and puzzles.
3:00pm Large Group/Learning Centers (like a.m.)
4:00pm Outdoor Play Visit the bathroom.
5:00pm Quiet time in room (Quiet play, writing center, books, puzzles or games)
5:30pm Close

5:30-6:30 Free Play/Centers
6:00-6:30 Music/Activity
6:30-7:15 Large Motor: Outside, Cafeteria
7:15-7:30 Wash for snack/Bottle prep.
7:30-8:00 Snack
8:00-8:15 Diapers/Brush Teeth
8:15-8:45 Music/Activity/Centers
8:45-9:30 Free Play

5:30-6:30 Arrival of children/Free Choice
6:30 Bathroom/Prepare to go outside
6:40 Outside/Gym/Cafeteria
7:30 Snack(Brush Teeth) Books and Puzzles
8:00 Group
8:30 Centers
9:00-9:30 Quiet Time/Program Ends "
Excerpted from the preschool's website