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Serving 20 children between the ages of three and four years, the curriculum of "learning centers" is geared to meet the cognitive, physical and social-emotional needs of this age group. Children are building the foundations needed to learn to read and write as well as developing math and reasoning skills.

Each of our classrooms has a dedicated lead teacher and assistant teacher.

Tammy Wall
Tammy Wall

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Chelsea McCombs
Chelsea McCombs

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Children also are cared for by our student teaching assistants.

I worked as a teacher's assistant at the Early Childhood Laboratory from 1996 to 1998, and returned in 2001 as a teacher. I have taught in both pre-K rooms, the toddler II room and the infants room.

In December 1998, I graduated from SFA with a bachelor's degree in elementary education, specializing in early childhood. After graduation, I taught for three years at Rusk Primary School as a kindergarten, prekindergarten and Head Start teacher. I have two daughters: Destiny, who graduated from SFA in 2016 with a degree in social work, and Kamry, who was in the first infant class when the Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center opened in 2009.

I love working with children and have fun learning. If you want to find me, look for a crowd of children singing and dancing!

Growing up, my dad owned a chain of early learning centers in the Fort Worth area, so I have always been involved with education. This led me to realize working with children is what I wanted to do. I attended college online at the Childcare Education Institute to earn Child Development Associate and Texas Director credentials. I am continuing to take classes to keep current with my degrees.

My favorite thing to do is hanging out with my family, friends and our animals. We love going to the lake, being outdoors and attending all kinds of sporting events. Basically, we don't like to sit at home.

Activities and development

Early Childhood Laboratory classrooms follow the Constructivist Theory approach. Our teachers develop outdoor lesson plans to correlate with weekly lesson plans that reinforce indoor learning and structure playtime to optimize learning. Using curriculum and assessments for guidance, design of the learning centers is based on the learning needs of each individual child.

Learning centers offer individual play and group activities such as stories and music. Emerging skills at this age include conflict resolution.

In the Pre-K I classroom, children are building foundations to learn to read and write, and are developing math and reasoning skills.

Daily schedule

Time Activity
7:10 to 8:30 a.m. Arrival, wash hands, quiet learning centers
8:20 to 8:45 a.m. Wash hands, snack, limited learning centers
8:45 to 9:30 a.m. Clean up, restroom, morning meeting, music
9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Outside play or motor room
10:30  to 10:45 a.m. Group story time
10:45 to 11:30 a.m. Learning centers
11:30 to 11:35 a.m. Wash hands, prepare for nap time
11:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. Lunch
12:05 to 12:15 p.m. Clean up, restroom
12:15 to 2:15 p.m. Naptime
2:15 to 2:25 p.m. Quiet wake up, clean up nap items, restroom
2:25 to 2:35 p.m. Snack
2:35 to 3:35 p.m. Learning centers
3:35 to 3:50 p.m. Review calendar, story, music
3:50 to 4 p.m. Restroom, line up for outside play or motor room
4 to 5 p.m. Outside play or motor room
5 to 5:20 p.m. Departure

Stocking their cubby

Here's a quick checklist of items to keep in your child's classroom cubby:

  • Lovey (small comfort item)
  • Two to three sets of season-appropriate clothing

We provide naptime items (cot, pillow and blanket), toothbrush and water bottle. 

Toys must stay at home. 

New families:

Bring three to four photos of family members for your child's scrapbook collage page.

Photo gallery of classroom and playground

Pre-K playground

The pre-k I and II classes share a large playground with ample shade and many opportunities for dramatic play. During outside play, children enjoy riding tricycles along a bicycle path, creating masterpieces in the sandbox, swinging to the moon, scaling the large climber and enjoying snacks or lunches using the numerous picnic tables.



Early Childhood Laboratory
Phone: 936.468.4006
Fax: 936.468.8226
Staff directory

Physical Address:
Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center
2428 Raguet St.

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 6105, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

National Association for the Education of Young Children

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