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The Honeybee Classroom is made up of a Lead Teacher, Shalan Knapke, Assistant Teacher, Gail Lawrence, and a Part-time Assistant Teacher, Mindy Moses. We also have three student employees; Emily Rorem, Emilee Steinbach, and Megan Clark. 

The classroom has 8 children that can range in age from 6 weeks to 2 years. Children at these ages are interested in learning about and making sense of the world and their environments. The team members in the Honeybee Classroom use their knowledge of child development and the children's interests to plan activities that encourage the growth and development of social-emotional, motor, language, and cognitive skills. The team also plans activities to facilitate growth and development in the areas of literacy, math, science and technology, social studies and the arts.

We also strongly encourage all of our parents and families to be actively involved in their child's development and education. Parents are a child's first teacher and can provide much insight about their child to the team members in the Honeybee Classroom. The team members can then refer to this insight when planning lessons or carrying out routine care giving procedures.  

Our Project

Currently in the Honeybee Classroom, there are 7 toddlers and 1 infant.  We have just begun a project on buses.  This project began because several of the toddlers spent about two weeks looking for buses when they were playing outside. Each time a child would see a bus he would point and exclaim, "Bus!" As a result of this continued interest, Shalan, Gail, and Mindy began to plan a focused study on buses.

We began by creating an anticipatory web. This web details anything and everything we could think of about buses. We will use this web to plan activities throughout our bus project. So far, we have facilitated the song and story "The Wheels on the Bus." The children join in this story by doing the actions and naming some of the parts. The favorite action amongst the children is crying like a baby--we have some great actors in the room!

After singing the song and telling the story, the children proceed to make a bus of their own out of the chairs in the classroom. Each child gets a chair, and the teachers help the children to line the chairs in two rows. Once the chairs are lined up, the children sit down. Sometimes, the children will bring items with them on the bus such as stuffed animals, toys, or a baby doll. When all of the children are seated, one of the teachers acts as the bus driver and pretends to start the bus. We drive all over town and sing "The Wheels on the Bus."  The children also enjoy the toy buses we have brought into the classroom. Throughout the day, one can see the children filling the buses with people and pushing them all over the room. 

As our project progresses, we will gather materials related to buses that will enhance our learning. Whenever we need items or materials for our classroom, we reach out to families in our classroom, to our co-workers, and to all of the families in the center. We compile a resource list and send it out via e-mail. If anyone has an item, they bring it in for us to use and explore. This is a great way for parents and families to be actively involved in their child's learning. It also sparks a sense of community throughout the center.

More About the Classroom

Shalan Knapke

Shalan has been the Lead Teacher in the Honeybee Room since August of 2008. She attended St. Ambrose University and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education in December 2007. Shalan has a Special Education endorsement, a Reading endorsement, and has been trained and certified in PITC (Program for Infant/Toddler Caregivers). After graduating from college, Shalan took a job with the Davenport Community Schools where she taught preschool. In August of 2008, Shalan interviewed for the Lead Teacher position in the Honeybee Room here at the Children's Campus and was offered the job. She lives in Davenport with her husband, Kyle, and their dog, Stella. 

Gail Lawrence

Gail has been a member of the Honeybee Team since 2005. She began as the Part-time Assistant Teacher in the Honeybee Room then moved into the Full-time Assistant Teacher role. Gail has her CDA and has been trained and certified in PITC (Program for Infant/Toddler Caregivers). Gail loves cooking and shares her passion with the children and members of the Honeybee team; cooking with the children is a regular occurence in the Honeybee Room. Gail has two children and three grandchildren. She lives in Davenport with her husband, Dana.

Mindy Moses

Mindy became a member of the Honeybee Team in June 2010. She started as a student employee working while attending college at St. Ambrose University. Shortly after starting, Mindy moved into the Part-time Assistant Teacher role. She continues to take classes at St. Ambrose where she is working toward earning her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. She will also earn an endorsement in Special Education. Mindy will student teach during the Spring of 2013. Mindy lives in Durant with her boyfriend, Cain.

Honeybee Daily Schedule

7:00 Arrivals; Learning Centers and Optional Activities

8:30 Snack

9:15 Outside or Play in the Large Motor Room

10:00 Learning Centers and Optional Activities

11:30 Lunch

12:00 Lunch clean up; tooth brushing; diapering; Learning Centers and Optional Group Time

12:45 Naptime for Older Toddlers

2:45 Snack

3:15 Learning Centers and Optional Activities

4:15 Outside or Play in the Large Motor Room

5:00 Drinks; Final Diaper Changes; Departures