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Serving 12 children between the ages of one and two years, a curriculum of "learning centers" is introduced and implemented. Toddlers are given many opportunities to become autonomous learners as they work and play in this hands-on, multi-sensory classroom.

Each of our classrooms has a dedicated lead teacher and assistant teacher. Children also are cared for by our teaching assistants.

Meet your lead teacher, Ms. Leslie Ornelas

Leslie Ornelas

Hi, my name is Leslie Ornelas and I'm the lead teacher in the Toddler I classroom.

I graduated from SFA with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies in May 2022. I'm from Palestine, Texas, but have made Nacogdoches my home. I have a goldendoodle named Finnigan and you can find us enjoying the fresh air at the park.

I'm looking forward to being your child’s teacher as they learn and grow!

Meet your assistant teacher, Ms. Krystin Yarbrough

Krystin Yarbrough

Hi, my name is Krystin Yarbrough and I'm the assistant teacher for the Early Childhood Laboratory's Toddler I class.

I'd love to tell you a little about myself! I attended Martinsville ISD and during that time I was involved in many activities and organizations, including the National Honor Society and Future Farmers of America. Upon graduating, I attended Panola College with the intent to earn a degree in agriculture. However, I quickly realized I wanted to work with children after working in the nursery at my church.

Spending time and engaging with children and watching them grow is what I'm most passionate about. I have worked with kids for many years now and I'm grateful for this opportunity to work with amazing colleagues who become like family!

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.

In the Toddler I classroom, learning centers offer individual play and group activities such as stories and music. The centers also are designed to encourage physical, social, emotional and language development.

Toddlers are given opportunities to become autonomous learners as they work and play in a hands-on, multi-sensory classroom.

Daily schedule

Time Activity
7:10 to 8:15 a.m. Arrivals and learning centers
8:15 to 8:30 a.m. Restroom routine
8:30 to 9 a.m. Snack
9 to 9:15 a.m. Group time
9:15 to 9:30 a.m. Restroom routine
9:30 to 10 a.m. Art
10 to 10:45 a.m. Outside play or motor room
10:45 to 11 a.m. Wash hands
11 to 11:30 a.m. Lunch
11:30 to 11:45 a.m. Restroom routine, brush teeth
11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Naptime
2 to 2:30 p.m. Quiet wake up, restroom routine
2:30 to 3 p.m. Snack
3 to 3:15 p.m. Group time
3:15 to 4 p.m. Learning centers
4 to 4:15 p.m. Restroom routine
4:15 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:

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

We provide diaper wipes, 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


Climbing, crawling, running, balancing and swinging. There is no shortage of playground opportunities to explore! If you come by while your toddler is enjoying outside play, you might find them riding a Cozy Coupe or using their imagination in the sandbox. 



Early Childhood Laboratory
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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