· Longer classes
· Higher staff-to-child ratio
· Play-based, child centered programming
· Children do not have to be potty trained
· 3 levels of programming
· Structured and unstructured daily activities/art experience
· 2 hour un-parented programming for 24-36 months
As Early Childhood Educators and Special Education Teachers, we believe the purpose of education is to inspire children with a lifelong passion for learning. Our role as educators is to support and equip your child with the knowledge that he or she will need in order to be a person who will positively contribute to the life of his or her peers, family and community. The teacher is regarded as a partner, nurturer, guide and researcher in the classroom, while the children are recognized as the communicators, explorers and learners. Both classrooms will be supervised and lead by an Alberta-educated teacher.
We offer 3 hour programming for our 3 year and 4 year old programs (many preschools only offer 2 hour classes.) Our longer class times allow your children to work at their own pace without feeling rushed. PuddleDucks is also the only non-daycare preschool program in Calgary that offers un-parented classes for ages 24-36 months.
In our 3 and 4 year old programs there is 1 teacher for every 7 children (most schools are 1:12). In our PuddleDucks Preschool Prep program our ratio is 1 teacher for every 3 children with a max of 6 ducklings per class (other schools are 1:6). Our higher teacher to student ratio means your little Ducklings get more one-on-one learning time.
PuddleDucks Preschool 3-and 4-Year Old Program Teacher (Owner)
My name is Miss Shannon and I’ve been married to my best friend Keith, who is also my number one cheerleader for Team Shannon, for over 25 years. Together we are raising 2 teenage children. Our eldest son Duncan is 18 and our daughter Claire is 16. We also care for and love 3 cats, 1 dog and 1 turtle; we’re a busy house. We enjoy camping, family time with our children, game nights and hosting BBQs for friends in the summer. I love spending time with friends, learning about world history and reading before bed ( the only time you will find me relaxed enough to read). My favourite pastime is going to the movies either by myself or with my sister on Friday afternoons.
I have worked and travelled throughout Canada. I have a diploma in Early Childhood Development as well as my BEd from the University of Alberta. I have 25+ years of experience working with young children as well as identifying and supporting those children who have Developmental Learning needs. My work experience includes Directing and Teaching in a Daycare in Inuvik, NWT. I’ve worked as both an aide and as a teacher in both Daycare and with elementary school aged children. Coordinating and teaching in an in-house preschool program at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton. I had to program, plan and teach a classroom of 12 very high needs children and work around the schedules of Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, a Classroom Nurse and Classroom Psychiatrist as well as 3 classroom assistants. I have also taught 2 different Early Intervention Preschool Programs. One with Rockyview School District as well as with a private program in Calgary. I also worked with school aged children, from 10-15 years with social, behavioural and developmental needs in Medicine Hat.
Now, I finally get to pursue MY dream. I am going to teach and manage my own preschool!
I am a passionate and outspoken advocate for Early Intervention and believe all children, no matter how poor, or how disadvantaged, have the absolute right to any and all opportunities that an early diagnosis or any early educational programming can provide for them. Every child has the right to be given the same opportunities to be successful in life. I believe the little girl I once was still lives in me to this day, as I still believe in miracles. I still believe that a good hug can change the course of a day and I still believe that I can make the world better by the work I do.
Something interesting about me is that when I was in Grade 10, I won First Place in a Canada-wide creative writing contest. I had to write about, “What I would Do If I Was the Prime Minster of Canada”. I won 500 dollars as well as the honour of winning!
PuddleDucks Preschool Prep 24-36 Month Program Teacher
My name is Miss Nikki. I am a mother to two very active boys aged 6 & 7. I am also the wife of a paramedic and soon- to-be (hopefully) MLA.
I grew up on the BC coast and moved to Calgary in 1997 with my mom and sister. I have two degrees from the University of Calgary. My first is a bachelor degree in Developmental Visual Fine Arts and the second is my BEd. I am a practicing and selling artist and I believe very strongly in the benefits of an art-infused curriculum.
I’ve worked for 6 years as a special education teacher helping to support families get the funding, screening and therapy help their children need. I also worked one-on-one with each of these children. As an art teacher I’ve run a number of clay programs through Rockyview’s community outreach program. Now I am so thrilled to be the lead teacher for our PuddleDucks Preschool Prep class!
An interesting fact about me is that I actually have LESAs (Livestock as Emotional Support Animals) at home and they are chickens! I have spent the last year fighting with, and then working with, the city of Calgary to have a new bylaw created to allow certain types of LESAs legally within the city. If you ask me about my 3 chickens I will probably glow with excitement and then pull out the photo album on my phone.
I love growing plants, especially orchids and perennials or anything I can start from a cutting. I also have a very close relationship with coffee. Glue sticks and I are mortal enemies... If you happen to see fingerprints on projects, they are probably more likely mine than your kid's!
I’m the worst with names... one might contemplate the irony of being a teacher and having a tough time with names but I LOVE my job!! Name tags are usually required for a bit though!
I want you to know that my number one goal is to make your little duckling feel welcome and at ease in my PPP classroom. The more comfortable they are, the more they will learn! I’m so, SUPER, excited to meet everyone and start this wonderful journey with you!
My name is Miss Jennifer and Shannon and I have been friends since childhood. I am a co-founder of PuddleDucks Preschool and “behind-the-scenes” administrator.
Like my other PuddleDuck colleagues I am also a parent, and have a passion for children. We see the need for a preschool that reaches all aspects of our community including children who have some difficulties cognitively and/or socially.
I worked for many years as a pediatric orthodontic assistant until I returned to university. I’m a graduate of HR from the University of Calgary. I have been working as Human Resources professional for mainly oil and gas companies. I have over 10 years of experience and have been running my own consulting company now for over 10 years. Currently I’m a stay at home mom to a wonderful 8-year-old.
I will be providing the business operations for PuddleDucks Preschool Inc.
PuddleDucks Preschool Prep Program
I am Miss Jenna and I will be assisting Miss Nikki this year in her classroom!
I am the mother to a very wonderful son (age 7) who has Severe Hemophilia and Autism.
My son attended preschool and had the honour of having Miss Shannon and Miss Nikki teach him. He was almost non-verbal when he began preschool, with few social skills. If it weren't for their teaching, he wouldn't be anywhere close to where he is today.
I am a firm believer that early intervention with a child’s learning is crucial. After several years of learning and growing with a child who has multiple special needs, attending meeting after meeting, clinic after clinic and a battery of testing, I feel that I am extremely capable of assisting with the teaching and nurturing of any child, special needs or not.
A fun fact about me is that I am a bit of a music nerd! I love listening to it as much as I can. I find it therapeutic. I play saxophone and am a trained singer (but you won't find me belting out show tunes in public, I’m quite shy).
I hope to bring positivity and laughter to the class and hope that your children will love coming to school with us! I am so excited to meet your little ones!
PuddleDucks Preschool 3- and 4- Year-Old-Program
At PuddleDucks Preschool, we are committed to developing a child’s love for learning and a sense of purpose in life by cultivating positive growth in your child’s Character, Confidence, Competence and Compassion.
Each of these skills build upon each other and help children better understand themselves and the world around them. At PuddleDucks we strongly believe in creating an environment which provides
children a SAFE place to explore, create, make mistakes, try something difficult, try something new, ask questions, and be a better friend, essentially, “become” who they were meant to be in this world.
At PuddleDucks Preschool we are inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy. This means that themes are developed to tap into children’s interests and their natural curiosity about the world around them, but also build on basic skills such as numerical, letter recognition, prepositions, cause and effect, and problem solving as well as the ever important social skills. Being ‘inspired by’ also means that here at PuddleDucks we do not limit our students’ learning style to one governing philosophy. Instead, we see each child as a unique learner and therefore we've chosen to pull what we believe are the best qualities from a number of educational pedagogies
(Montessori, Reggio and Waldorf).
According to research, learning and development are at their highest rate in the preschool years. Some children, due to conditions noticed at birth, special needs, or developmental delays which occur in the early years, risk missing some of the most important learning and developmental milestones. Early intervention helps keep these children on a path to making the most of abilities and skills developed during the early years.
Early intervention is forward looking, even into adulthood. It has been shown that EI therapies do far more than provide for immediate benefits during the developmental years. They significantly increase the child’s ability to integrate in future social environments, including school, community, and ultimately employment.
**Your duckling may or may not need early intervention; we (your teachers) are trained to help identify these early indications if they do present themselves. If your little one does need extra help our early intervention partner Step By Step is here to help navigate government funding and supplying highly trained individuals in our classroom environment.
Most preschool programs will not accept children UNLESS they are Potty Trained. PuddleDucks Preschool understands that not all children move through their developmental stages at the same pace. We do not feel that these children should be left out, nor do we feel that a parent should have to rush back to their child’s preschool in order to change them. Your child does NOT need to be potty trained to come to PuddleDucks Preschool.
Our caring and nurturing staff will be here to assist you with potty training. If your duckling has an accident or needs a diaper change, we've got your back!
** It is important to ensure your little one always has a fresh change of clothes and a few diapers or pull-ups available in their backpack.
At PuddleDucks Preschool we foster an open-door policy; this means that we are an un-parented program, however, parents and guardians are always welcome and encouraged to stay and join in on any class. The only time you will be required to stay is if your little duckling is showing signs of distress when you leave.
PuddleDucks Preschool does not require mandatory classroom volunteers. However, we love getting to know our families and encourage you to stay for a class if you so wish. Once the September madness is over, a Classroom Volunteer Sign-Up sheet will be posted.
Why do Children Need both Craft and Art?
Beyond being a mental stimulant, fine art and craft activities are great for a number of developmental attributes for your ducklings, such as:
· Creativity & self-esteem
Playing with colours, shapes and textures encourages your preschooler to use the creative side of their brains, and completing crafts will help boost their self-esteem.
· Fine motor skills & coordination Working with their hands helps children practice their hand-eye coordination and develop their fine motor skills.
· Cognitive functioning
Seeing colours, feeling textures, and smelling different materials helps to reinforce children’s processing abilities and memory.
There are no hard and fast rules and no wrong way in art activities for preschoolers. Letting them loose with colours and crafts allows them to express themselves fully, showing them the reward in self-expression.
What is mindfulness? There are many answers to this question as it can be different for each person who practices. The aspect of mindfulness we will be focusing on is learning how to be in and enjoy the present. There are many ways that we will incorporate mindfulness into our curriculum, the first being: learning how to breath deeply with purpose. We will practice taking deep breaths at circle time, during our craft time and when we start to feel out of control emotionally. The second way we will incorporate mindfulness in our programs is with the practice of beginner level children's yoga.
Benefits of Mindfulness:
This is a first year, one-time offer for our families who register before December 31, 2018. It's a little "thank you" from our family to yours as you are our first ever registered families.
If you are one of our Founding Families you will only have to pay your $100 (non-refundable) registration fee once ever. That means, regardless of how many ducklings you register in our programs after the first, you will be waived their registration fee. We know that your little ones are the most important part of your lives, so THANK YOU, for placing your trust in our programs.
**This offer is only available until December 31, 2018. After which all children will be required to pay a $100 non-refundable registration fee.
To take advantage of this offer:
"From classroom personality to storybook hero, Mat Man™ is a favorite among young children. Children first meet this charming character through the Handwriting Without Tears® Build Mat Man activity. Mat Man teaches important readiness skills: Body Awareness, Drawing & Pre-writing, Counting, Building, Socializing & sharing.
The teaching philosophy behind Handwriting Without Tears is that "the curriculum is designed to make handwriting easy to teach, and easy to learn."
Our PPP Program will be introduced to some basic Mat Man lessons during their "All About Me" theme month.
We introduce Mat Man to both our 3s and our 4s right in September. The 3s and 4s all learn the music, stories and activities associated with our Handwriting Without Tears program. The 3s focus more on the music and the shapes, whereas with the 4s we start learning our Letters and Sounds. In October, we start working on our Handwriting Without Tears program. This program works through the alphabet and introduces writing by using the basic shapes covered in the 3-year-old program and the sounds of the letters.
PuddleDucks Preschool Prep Program (PPP Program)
We are proud to offer a program for those children who are chronologically too young to attend a 3-year-old preschool program, but are behaviorally ready to participate in small group programming. The PPP Program will be available for children who are 24 months to 36 months or 3 years in age. This program will allow the children to explore in their own classroom with age-appropriate toys and equipment, and is taught by Miss Nikki. This program will run shorter than the others at 2 hours per class to accommodate these children’s shorter attention spans and will only have a maximum of 6 children in each class. Each PPP class will be supervised by an Alberta-Educated Teacher as well as a classroom assistant. Preschool Prep will primarily provide children with a taste of what the full preschool program will look like so that when they move on to the 3- and 4-year-old programs, they will be more prepared.
The 3 Year Old Program VS the 4 Year Old Program
This is a question we are often asked when parents come to check out our preschool. 3 year olds and 4 year olds are very different developmentally. All children are unique learners and because of that we create programs quite differently for our 3 year olds and our 4 year olds.
It is no secret that 3 year olds have bursts of energy and attention; they are more like a sprinter versus a long distance runner. They can sustain their attention for a very short period of time so generally at carpet time we sing songs and do movement games and keep sitting time to a minimum. On
average, 10 - 15 minutes of carpet time is all that 3 year olds can handle. Being a 'sprinter' also means that 3's can get tired quicker than a 4 year old. A full morning a preschool can be quite exhausting for a 3 year old. They often move around the room without sustaining any real attention in any one area. They like to explore their world. Touching, smelling, squishing, feeling, looking…this is how they learn about their world. Allowing the 3 year olds to explore their classroom in a way that they are comfortable is important to their success here at Preschool.
The 4 Year Old Program
This program is designed with Kindergarten in mind! We want your little one to feel confident when they go off to Kindergarten and we work hard throughout the year to reach goals that will set them up for Kinder-Success. 4 year olds are usually more excited and willing to get their day at Preschool started. They have stuff to do! They are busy and inquisitive and they feel comfortable with their classmates. In the 4 year old program parallel play is not often seen. Asking questions, joining in centers and confidently expressing their ideas to adults and friends is something that 4 year olds become so great at. In the 4 year old program, children develop a deeper interest in the world outside of the classroom; they want to know about the world. 4 year olds have lots of questions, they want to spend more time learning about an idea or theme, and they can also sit longer at circle and carpet time. Being able to hold attention during carpet time is an important skill needed for Kindergarten. We also promote more independence in the 4 year old program. We keep a routine in our classroom so that the children are offered the opportunity to know what is coming next and prepare themselves for the transition. We notice that the 4 year olds also start to take pride in their work and they want to spend more time doing their projects or crafts.
The CDC seperates early learning into four main areas:
1. Social and emotional
3. Movement/physical development
4. Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem solving)
Development does not happen in a neat, linear fashion. It’s uneven and varies from child to child, even within the same family.
Some Common Milestones
At 2-years-old, children:*
At 3-years-old, children:*
At 4-years-old, children:*
When to be Concerned About Your Child's Development
· Doesn’t point to show things to others
· Can’t walk
· Doesn’t know what familiar things are for
· Doesn’t copy others
· Doesn’t gain new words
· Loses skills s/he once had
Monday-Friday Morning Classes:
Monday-Thursday Afternoon Classes:
PM classes are designated for mixed (3s and 4s), or 'Family Groupings.' PM programming will be more relaxed, and will allow for the variety of needs that occurs in a mixed age group.
Monday-Thursday Morning Classes:
Monday-Thursday Afternoon Classes:
If you have questions about the opportunities available to you in our programs, feel free to send us a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
4612 Varsity Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta T3A 0Z9, Canada