Jaime Escalante Early Education Center

Jaime Escalante Early Education Center is located in one of the highest populated and dense incorporated areas in Los Angeles County and our Nature Explore Classroom provides our students with an opportunity to connect with nature.

Our students are able to learn, investigate, and take care of living things such as plants, trees, animals, insects, and some reptiles. Our students explore their five senses throughout their play in our Nature Explore Classroom. They touch leaves, sticks, rocks, and insects, smell the aromas of the flowers, taste the fruits and vegetables they grow, hear the sounds of nature, and see the amazing colors of the rainbow.

Our Nature Explore Classroom helps our student with their social emotional development by allowing them to share, cooperate and admire nature’s beauty. Being in nature provides our students the space to self-regulate their feelings and supports their overall growth and development.

What follows are dictations, stories of staff and students as they are in our Nature Explore Classroom.

Camila, “I found a caterpillar”
Teacher, “Where did you find the caterpillar?”
Camila: “It was on the other leaf”
Teacher, “Where are you taking the caterpillar?”
Camila: “To the milkweed because it needs to eat”
Teacher, “Which milkweed plant are you taking it to?”
Camila, “Over here with the other caterplilars”
Teacher, “You are right, how many caterpillars are on the milkweek?”
Camila, “One, two, three, four,” “this one is small and this one is big”

Room 2:
Our staff members benefit from the Nature Explore Classroom as they get to enjoy the landscape surrounding them. Staff members use the Nature Explore Classroom to unwind and take a break or lunch outdoors as the green space provides a calming and relaxing environment.

Room 4
During a nature walk students and teachers passed by a tree.
Aaron: “Teacher this tree lost its leaves”
Teachers: “Why do you think it lost all the leaves?”
Aaron: “Because it rained a lot and there was wind”
Teacher: “If all its leaves fell down, what kind of tree is it?”
Aaron: “It’s a decidous tree because it looses it’s leaves”

Room 6
(Samantha pulled one leaf from the tree)
Teacher: “What are you doing Samantha?”
Samantha: “I am getting a leaf to smell it?”
Teacher: “What does it smell like?”
Samantha: (she pulled another leaf from the tree and gave it to me) “here smell it”
Teacher: “Mmm it has a strong smell, what do you think it smells like?”
Samantha: “Like food” “ come this one smell like chicle”
(She walked to the garden and grab a mint leaf)
Samantha: “this one smell like chicle too”