Outside Swings

Summer Meteor Program

AGES: 4 – 8  |  Summer Program Only

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 working cooperatively, learning about and contributing to our community, creative expression, mathematical and science concepts, literacy and writing.

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.

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 building 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. The Meteor Program is staffed with two full-time teachers licensed in early childhood and/or special education and/or elementary education and 1-3 teaching assistants. The Meteor Staff collaborate as a team in determining specific activities for the program and implementation of the activities and strategies. The following describes some examples of activities outlined in a typical week:

  • Free Choice: Child-directed selection of activities in various learning centers in the classroom, including specific table activities related to curriculum goals in literacy/writing, art and math, and science.
  • Meteor Meeting: Opportunities for conversation and singing, morning exercise/yoga, and an overview of day’s events.
  • Cooperative Games: A variety of noncompetitive community-building activities, usually outside. Examples include searching for bugs, creating obstacle courses, chalk art, water and sprinkler activities, parachute activities, and treasure hunts.
  • Read, Read, Read: Several reading choices are offered over the week: A half hour of reading individually, reading with a partner, reading with the Sunshine room (1-year-olds), teacher-led group chapter book reading, or journaling.
  • Group & Individual Projects: Ongoing and daily, over at least a week: The classroom works as a group to create a joint project, typically related to the area of study. Each child has an individual project related to the group project that is of specific interest to that child.