Waisman Center–WECP

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Summer 2017 Meteor Program

Program Goals
Welcome to the information page for our summer Meteor Program!  This program is  designed for children who have completed 4-K, K, and 1st grade, offering the opportunity for children to have a fun, camp-like summer experience while they are continuing to grow in their important academic skills.  Following children’s interests, our project-based approach incorporates activities that contribute to:

As part of the Waisman Early Childhood Program (WECP), our mission is that of inclusion. Our belief is that all aspects of diversity - including ability level - broaden opportunities for learning and contribute positively to everyone's development.

Program Options & Fees
If you are new to the Waisman Early Childhood Program Applications for the Meteor Program must be accompanied by a $25 nonrefundable application fee, payable to WECP. We will contact all applicants by March 31 to tell them whether or not they have a spot in our program.  After you have been notified that there is an opening for your child, you will receive an enrollment packet and a Meteor Family Handbook that includes specific policies and procedures.

There are 3 sessions in the Meteors Program; families may enroll their child for 1 to 3 sessions  Please see the current Meteors Application for dates.

Program Description
The Meteor Program is housed in the Waisman Early Childhood Program, located in the Waisman Center, 1500 Highland Ave, Madison WI, in a large air-conditioned classroom with direct access to a full-size gym and a 1 ½ acre playground (Discovery Garden).  We are within easy access to the many opportunities provided by being located on the UW-Madison campus.  Children have daily access to a wide array of developmentally appropriate learning centers and classroom based activities:  arts & crafts, “recyclables” projects, board games, puzzles and “thinking” games, creative dramatics, and books, book writing, and large motor games. 

In addition to classroom based activities, the Meteors are responsible for our six school gardens, which include several vegetable gardens, a Butterfly Garden, and an Alphabet Garden.   Our gardens incorporate learning opportunities in science, nutrition, literacy and math, as well as build confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

Another component of the Meteor Program is a weekly field trip.  Most of these are by foot or by campus or city bus (located a short walk away).   Some areas of study may include entomology, food & nutrition, geology, engineering, art & design, or dairy sciences. 

Program content is a combination of teacher and child interests, involves hands-on activities, and is related directly to children’s experiences and prior knowledge.  For example, teachers may realize the children have been talking about the construction project taking place across the street from the Waisman Center and suggest learning more about construction.  Using a webbing process, children suggest several aspects of construction they would like to investigate, such as the type of equipment used for various construction projects, what construction workers need to know, how buildings are designed, and the process of actual construction.  They develop a list of questions to investigate and learn how to get information (from observation, talking to experts, reading books, the web, etc.).  All this is coordinated with classroom activities and projects (e.g., drawing blueprints and creating a building from recyclables) and a related field trip(e.g., visit to other construction sites on campus).

Meteor Staff
The Meteor Program is staffed with three full-time teachers licensed in early childhood and/or special education.  At least one of the teachers is licensed in early childhood/elementary education.  Teachers work as a team in determining specific activities for the program and their implementation.  The planned ratio of 1 teacher to 3 or 4 children provides close supervision of children on field trips, and for maintaining quality programming if one teacher is gone for a vacation day or other reason.

Description of Activities
The following describes the activities outlined in the Typical Day/Typical Week table above:

In addition, on the last day of each session families are invited to a classroom-prepared lunch with produce from our garden..

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Last modified on Friday, January 20th, 2017