Photo for Cloud Room

Cloud Room

AGES: Older Toddlers 24 months by September 1

The Cloud Room is home to 12 toddlers, two teachers and a classroom assistant. The goals for the Cloud children include:

  • Feeling comfortable and safe
  • Actively exploring the environment
  • Becoming familiar with classroom routines
  • Developing relationships with new adults and children
  • Gaining confidence in asking for help and in seeking and accepting comfort
  • Achieving a sense of belonging in a group

To work towards these goals, teachers set the stage for learning and discovery by creating a warm and accepting environment, and by providing materials and activities that encourage each child’s growing curiosity and independence. Teachers also facilitate and guide the learning process by observing and incorporating both the interests and needs of the individual children, as well as those of the group. Families are an integral part of the Cloud room, and the Cloud teachers exchange information daily with parents and strive to make the transition between home and WECP as smooth as possible. Respecting the unique qualities of toddlers is an important component of the Cloud Room, and we support their growing sense of self by offering choices, providing enough materials, listening to and encouraging their emerging communication skills, modeling positive interactions with peers, and applauding their increasing independence and feeling of competence. Days in the Cloud Room are predictable and typically include free play, short circle times, outdoor and gym times, art and sensory experiences (water table, play dough), music, books and puzzles, blocks, and imaginary play.  There is an emphasis on exploring nature and the wonders of the seasons.

Cloud Teachers

Aliece Maedke

Position title: Teacher

Hello, my name is Aliece Maedke, and I grew up in the Stevens Point Wisconsin area.  I received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point in biology, before my husband and I moved to Madison around 7 years ago. Since moving, we have welcomed a large chocolate lab, Thor, and our now 4.5-year-old daughter, Juniper, to our family. As a family we love to spend our time exploring the great outdoors and enjoying all the beautiful wonders it has to offer. In the summer we look forward to camping adventures in the gorgeous state parks in Wisconsin and the surrounding states. I love utilizing my passions for our natural environment and working with children, and my background in science and early childhood education, to inspire children’s sense of wonder about our natural world. I can’t wait to meet everyone and to be a part of the Waisman Early Childhood Program team!

Joan Mrkvicka

Position title: Teacher

Hi!  My name is Joan Mrkvicka!  I joined WECP in November of 2021.  I am excited to join this team of professional and caring teachers.  I have an animal science degree from Virginia Tech but have been in the early childhood field for over 30 years.  I have had a licensed and accredited family childcare business in my home for 25 years, been a nanny, worked in multiple childcare centers and family childcare homes, and worked for WECA as a Relief Squad providing respite for many childcare programs.  In my spare time I love being outdoors, riding my horse, training my dog, and volunteering at Badger Kennel Club where we provide fun events and training for dogs and their owners.