What's Going On Inside a Toddlers Brain?

As the parent of a toddler, your big adult mind is always trying to make sense of what’s going through their tiny kid one. “Why are you flopping on the ground?” “Why are you biting me for no particular reason?” “Why are you peeing yourself while maintaining eye contact?” The biggest issue is that you don’t know what they’re thinking, and they can’t tell you yet. But science can.

Dr. Dean Burnett, a neuroscientist (and author of the Idiot Brain, and Guardian columnist who moonlights as a stand-up comic), says that the early days of brain development are fascinating because all of the connections needed throughout life are forming and coming together. Dr. Burnett is also father to a 4-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter, so this is basically applied science. Here’s why your kid’s still-forming gray matter makes their behavior anything but black and white.

Your Kid Is Dory From Finding Nemo

Adults have mental models based on experience and the memory of how things should work. These are schemas to organize situations. Young children don’t. “Everything for toddlers is new and exciting; they don’t have a wealth of experience on how to judge things,” says Dr. Burnett. In fact, kids younger than 7 are basically hardwired to not store many memories. Since they’re not Arnold Schwarzenegger, you can’t assume a child will have total, or even partial, recall.

Repetition Vs. Comprehension

The brain doesn’t grow in the exact same way as the rest of the body. A kid can master crawling through repetition, but that doesn’t mean they will grasp the concept of why they need to put on shoes. What toddlers do understand is that when something is different than the day before, it sets them off. “All the connections in their brains aren’t made yet,” says Dr. Burnett. “When their expectations aren’t met, toddlers have lost control. They don’t know how to react, so they get distressed and sound the alarm bells because you’ve given them a red sippy cup instead of the green one.” (To be fair, that red sippy cup is superior.)

Small Brains Work Twice As Hard

“There’s actually a lot more connections in a child’s brain than in adult one,” says Dr. Burnett. “It isn’t until adolescence that the process of pruning begins, whereby the brain starts losing memories that aren’t ever activated to be more efficient.” Yes, your toddler is processing too much, not too little, which should blow both your minds. Conversely, teens are doing a ton of pruning, which is why they’re always sleeping instead of mowing the lawn.

It’s All Fight Or Flight

There’s a safety detection system that resides deep within the brain, right around the hippocampus, which triggers the “fight or flight” response to high-stress situations. Some of the potentially-lethal things to avoid are part of the evolutionary process (spiders, snakes), while others are learned human behaviors (roller coasters, Phish concerts).  A young child’s brain doesn’t recognize the difference. What’s benign to grown-ups isn’t necessarily to toddlers. “They don’t know when a thing is harmless, they just know it’s unfamiliar, which can set them off,” says Dr. Burnett.

The Evolution Of Screaming

Your toddler’s freak-out over anything (everything?) is to be expected. It’s a form of self-preservation. “From an evolutionary standpoint, part of the reason a child cries and throws a tantrum is to get the most possible attention from an adult within a group or community,” says Dr. Burnett. Flailing and wailing can both scare off predators and call an adult, which makes screaming fits a biological imperative. You can share this exciting scientific discovery the next time you bring your kid on a plane.

They’re Not Tasting Broccoli The Same Way

We all want to teach our kids to be good eaters. But, there’s a cerebral reason children prefer birthday cake over, say, broccoli cake. “Toddlers have different taste sensations, foods can be more vivid for them, so spinach and broccoli may be more bitter or sharp, says Dr. Burnett. “As opposed to ice cream, which is full of sugar. The brain likes it because it’s high energy, so treats will be sought out.” Well, if nature says you should eat this doughnut …

Doomed to Repeat the Past, Only Louder

You thought that, as kids move out of the toddler years, things get more mature. Wrong. As their brains form more permanent memories, kids can be even harder to handle. “At, say 5 years old, children have a base level of understanding, which can make crying fits worse because they have a sense of how things should go,” says Burnett. Tantrums may be infrequent, but they can be doozies because kids, like adults, have to work through their anger. It’s the difference between a toddler melting down for a minute before being distracted by a shiny object, versus a kindergartener’s entire world collapsing when you turn off Doc McStuffins.

The Good Will Hunting Takeaway

A toddler’s head is a complex place. But think about how chaotic your fully-formed brain can be — and you’ve had 30 to 40 years operating it. Dr. Burnett says parents should always remember, it’s not their fault. “They don’t mean it,” he says. “They don’t want to keep you up all night, ruin your schedule, or make your life actively harder.” Or maybe science just hasn’t discovered your kid’s long con, yet.

October 2018 Newsletter

October 2018 Newsletter


October Dates:

October 4 & 5                          Tuition Due

October 15 - 19                        Fall Consignment Sale



Please make tuition checks payable to 4 Corners Community Nursery. Your tuition check is due the first consecutive Thursday and Friday of each month as follows for the 2018-2019 school year:

  • October 4 & 5

  • November 1 & 2

  • December 6 & 7

  • January 3 & 4

  • February 7 & 8

  • March 7 & 8

  • April 4 & 5

  • May is paid at time of registration


Tuition for the two mornings a week program is $305.00 a month, tuition for the three mornings a week program is $365.00 a month, and tuition for the five mornings a week program is $485.00.


If we do not receive your tuition on the above dates, there will be a delinquent fee of $20.00 per week.  We do not expect you to make a special trip to bring in the tuition if your child is sick.  You may mail in your tuition, and the date of the postmark will be considered the date of payment.


We encourage using electronic payments. Laura, our Business Manager will email a monthly invoice with an option to pay via bank transfer.   You may also contact your bank directly where your bank sends 4CCN a check on the first of each month September-April.






October snack menu; Soda crackers and cheese slices, Ritz crackers and peanut butter,  Goldfish and juice, Animal crackers and juice, and oatmeal cookies and applesauce. The snack menu is posted on the bulletin board outside the office.


Information Book

Please refer to your Information Book (orange cover) which you received at Open House for information on 4CCN.  This includes tuition due dates, holiday schedule, and general policies of 4CCN. The Information is also available on our website at www.4ccn.org. A Google calendar is also posted on our web site to refer to for school closings and activities. www.4ccn.org>About4CCN>OurCalendar.


Washing Hands/Preventing Illness

September was off to a tough start for cold/flu season. We have had many children and staff home sick with some bug.  At 4CCN we wash hands several times a day to prevent the spread of germs and illness. When your child comes home from school, please get into the habit of washing their hands to help prevent the spread of germs in your home.


Halloween Celebrations:

Halloween is a fun time, but for young children who do not always understand the concept, it can be frightening. At 4CCN we will celebrate Halloween with simple activities that do NOT include costumes.  We will celebrate Halloween on Tuesday, October 30th or Wednesday, October 31st.  Please check your classroom bulletin board for more information about your child’s activities.


Fall Consignment Sale Info.

The Fall Consignment Sale is quickly approaching! This year's fall sale will be held the week of October 15th. We will have a huge selection of season specific children's clothing (NB-size 12), plus toys, books, games, baby gear, costumes and maternity clothing for sale. 


As you know, an event of this size can only be successful with the help of many hands. Please help us make the most of this sale, our one and only fundraising event at 4CCN, by signing up for and completing your required volunteer shift(s). If you have not received an email with a link to the Sign Up website, please contact our chairwomen, Stacee Silagi and Kerri Thauby, via email at consign4ccn@gmail.com.


Please be aware of the following important dates and times for consignors and shoppers: 


Consignor drop off times

Monday, October 15th: 9:30 am - 1 pm and 7 - 9 pm

Tuesday, October 16th: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm


Sale dates

Tuesday, October 16th: 7 - 9 pm

Wednesday, October 17th: 9:30 am - 1 pm, 7-9 pm

Thursday, October 18th: 9:30 am - 1 pm, 7-9 pm

(Thursday is half price day!)


The sale is located on the lower level of Luther Rice Memorial Baptist Church in the Social Hall. Both consigning and purchasing are open to the community. 



Keeping ALL Children Safe

For the safety of all children, please do not drop off children at the front door. Please find a parking space and walk your child/children to their classroom.


NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN UNATTENDED IN YOUR CAR WHILE DROPPING OFF SIBLINGS.   If it is necessary for you to leave your child/baby in the car for drop off or pick-up, please ask someone to stand by your car while you bring your child into school or have some one walk your child into school for you.  Remember, it is unlawful to leave children unattended in your car.


Maryland's child safety seat law requires that all children under age eight be secured in a federally approved child safety seat according to the safety seat and vehicle manufacturers' instructions, unless the child is 4 feet, 9 inches or taller. The child restraint must be right for the child's size, age, and weight.


4CCN has an extra booster seat available for use in case of emergency. Please ask someone in the office to borrow the booster should you be without a car seat for a trip home. We want to make sure all of our children are safe at all times.




Playground Use After School

If we ever get a break from all the rain, we welcome you to use the playground after school hours (2-year-old families please wait for the 4-year-old classes to go back inside).  Safety of all children is very important even after school.  Please supervise your children at all times.  Please follow these safety rules we have in place during the school day:

·         Parents only unlock gate

·         Keep gate closed at all times

·         Parents need to supervise children at all times

·         No jumping off equipment

·         No climbing on fence

·         Cover sandbox after use

·         No throwing mulch/sticks/rocks/sand KEEP SAND IN SANDBOX!

·         Stay away from classroom windows

·         Parents/care takers are liable for the safety of their children after school hours

Last family to leave, please lock the gate with padlock. Thank you!




May 2018 Newsletter

The Last Day of School

The last day of the school year for the Tuesday/Thursday class is Thursday, May 24th.  The final day of school for 2017-18 is Friday, May 25th.  Please read “End of the Year Celebrations” in this newsletter regarding the last day of school.

May Snacks

During the month of May, we will be finishing up all the snacks we have left in our cabinet. Cookies, crackers, juice, Goldfish etc.

In-House Field Trip

Under the Sea will visit us on May 8th & May 9th. We will explore creatures that live in the sea. You can visit more aquatic life at the Glen Echo Park Aquarium, www.gepaquarium.org.

Board of Directors Meeting

On Wednesday, May 16th, the Board of Directors will meet. If there is anything you would like discussed, please let a board member know. The board members for 2017-18 are Andrea Altuner, Jessica Goudiss, Brenna Mikesell, Nikki Rosen, Helen Lyon, Carla Temenak, Laura Stewart and Susie Ostermeyer.

Staffing Changes

4CCN has been very fortunate to have had so little turn over the past years. Unfortunately, we have some staff who will be retiring at the end of this year.

Kathy Dunmire and Kathy Sampson both have worked at 4CCN for many years, Kathy D since 2007 and Kathy Sampson since 1998. Carrie Ewachiw will stay home to spend more time with her family and Ann DeVol will no longer work as an assistant but be our lead substitute teacher.  We have been so fortunate to have these ladies part of the 4CCN community. They will definitely be missed but we wish them well.

September Dates

Returning families here are some dates for your calendar:

September 3rd – Labor Day

September 6th & 7th – Get Acquainted Open House 9:15-10:15

September 10th – No School, Holiday

September 19th – No School, Holiday


2018-2019 Staffing

(as of May 1, 2018)

MWF 2s Mrs. Campbell (lead)  Aide position vacant

T/Th 2s Mrs. Campbell (lead)  Aide position vacant

MWF 3s Lead vacant  Kathleen Ficco (aide)

MWF 3s Mrs. Schaefer (lead)   Aide position vacant

T/Th 3s Mrs. Schaefer (lead)   Mrs. Ficco (aide)

T/Th 3s Mrs. Lyon (lead)  Mrs. G. (aide)

MWF 4s Mrs. Carbin (lead)  Mrs. McKneely (aide)

MWF 4s Mrs. Lyon (lead) Mrs. G. (aide)

5-day 4s Mrs. Temenak (lead) Mrs. Nadelhaft (aide)

Openings Available

We still have openings available in our MWF & T/Th 2-year-old program, T/Th 3s and MWF 4s programs. Please let your friends know about 4CCN.  Please have them give us a call 301-681-9520 or send an email sbostermeyer@gmail.com.  You are our #1 advertiser, help spread the word about our great program.

Annual Survey

The 4CCN Annual Survey will be emailed to you directly in the beginning of May. Please take some time to fill out the survey. Your input is important to us. The Board of Directors evaluates the results and gives us an opportunity to discuss any necessary changes.  Thank you.

Playground Use after School

The weather is finally getting warmer outside and we are enjoying the playground after school.   Safety of all children is very important even after school.  Please supervise your children at all times.  Please follow these safety rules we have in place during the school day:

·         Parents only unlock gate

·         Keep gate closed at all times

·         Parents need to supervise children at all times

·         No jumping off equipment

·         Go down slide only

·         No climbing on fence

·         Cover sandbox after use

·         No throwing mulch/sticks/rocks/sand KEEP SAND IN SANDBOX!

·         Stay away from classroom windows

·         Parents/care takers are liable for the safety of their children after school hours

AP Testing

High School students from the area will be taking their AP Exams during the weeks of April 7 – April 18th. Testing will take place in the Social Hall (consignment room).  You may notice more teens around the building during those two weeks.

End of the Year Celebrations

4CCN over the past years has had an all-school picnic at a local park or a small good-bye celebration on our playground on the last day of school. As of this writing, we have not determined if we will be at a local park on Friday, May 25th or have something at 4CCN. We will discuss this at the May 16th Board of Directors meeting. If you would like to voice your opinion on which option you prefer, please compete the annual survey when you receive it in your inbox!

4CCN does not have any kind of promotion or graduation ceremony for our 4-year olds. Children respond differently to situations. Where some children are very comfortable with a celebration like this, it makes others very anxious. We want the end of the year to be a positive one for all children. Please celebrate this mile stone as a family that suits your child/family best.

Help Your Child Develop Personal and Social Responsibility

Your child demonstrates personal and social responsibility when he acts and behaves in ways that show he cares for and respects himself, others, his belongings, and the world.  Teach personal and social responsibility by creating a home where your child is expected to be helpful.  Young children love to help. In fact, your child may want to help you make the beds or put away the laundry, he may imitate or copy you dusting the furniture or sweeping the floor or may say, “Let me do it” while you repair a toy. Take your child up on his or her offers to help: these are teachable moments!

·         If your child accidentally tears a page in a book, help her repair it with tape or glue. Then, read the story together

·         Have your child make a “get-well” card for a friend who is sick or make a “thinking of you card” for a relative.

·         Show your child how to feed the fish, water the plants, and weed the garden. Thank him/her by giving him/her a sticker to wear or putting a stamp on his/her hand.

·         Make a chart that shows everybody’s responsibilities for taking care of the house to show your child how everyone helps with chores.

A BIG Thank You!

So many of you helped us throughout the year. Thank you for being part of this community of families.

J Thanks to everyone who apportioned snack for us.

J Thanks to those who served as room parents, helped with the BBQ and Ice Cream Social.

J Thanks to the parents and teachers who served on the Board of Directors.

J Thanks to Andrea Altuner and Laura Stewart for two successful Consignment Sales.

J Thanks to those of you who fulfilled your required consignment hours and extra thanks if you worked additional hours.

J Thank you to Matt Rakola who photoshopped our class photos.

J Lacey Talero, our Scholastic Books coordinator.

J Regina Park who has formatted the monthly newsletter for me.

J Thanks to a great staff who work so hard throughout the school year.

J Thank you for sharing your children with us. They give us so much joy and laughter.

J Thank you for being a part of this great community!

March 2018 Newsletter

March Dates:

March 1 & 2 – Tuition Due

March 7 & 8 – Vision Screening for 3 & 4-year old children

March 14 & 15 – In-house Field Trip Maryland Zoo Zoo Mobile

March 26 – April 2 – Spring Break

April Dates:

April 3 – No School – Teacher Professional Day


March Snacks:

This month we will be cleaning out our cupboard from all the snacks from our short weeks these past weeks.  The children will enjoy Saltine crackers and cheese slices, graham crackers and apple juice, cookies and apple juice.

 Ice Cream Social:

It was so good to see so many families at our annual Ice Cream Social. Everyone who came had such a great time dancing and creating yummy sundaes. Seeing our alumni students come back to visit always makes the afternoon extra special.  Thank you all for supporting the event by participating, buying toppings and helping with the clean-up.

Consignment Sale:

The spring consignment sale will be held the week of April 16 – 20.  The fall and spring consignment sales are the only fundraising activities at 4CCN.  Everyone’s participation is required for the success of the sale. Money raised for the sale pays for playground equipment and maintenance as well as purchase furniture and materials for the classrooms.

The link for Sign Up was emailed to families on                         There are limited spots for each day/time slot. Sign up early as spots are on a first come, first served basis. 

If you are interested in consigning, codes are available for $5.00. Please stop by the office and pick up code, tags and information.

Consignment Sale Chair People

Laura Stewart and Andrea Altuner have run the consignment sale for the past two years. In December Laura took the position of Business Manager and is now employed by 4CCN. She will not be able to fully commit to her role as Consignment Sale Co-chair. We are looking for 1-2 new Consignment Sale Chair people to shadow this year’s spring sale to take over for Fall 2019 sale.  If you are interested or would like more information on what is involved in running the sale, please speak with Laura or Andrea or Susie.  This is such an important part of 4CCN as this is the only fundraising we do. It provides funds to maintain the playground, purchase classroom equipment and expands the learning with In-house Field Trips.

Vision Screening:

The 3 and 4-year old children will have their vision screened on either Wednesday, March 7th or Thursday, March 8th.  Information was emailed to 3 & 4-year-old families. Parents are encouraged to practice the HOVT matching game (3-year old) or the “E” game (4/5-year old) at home.  Teachers will also work with the children during class time. If your child wears glasses, be sure that they have them at school on the day of screening. Results of the screening will go home with your child at the end of the day.

Class Photos

Class photos are available from your child’s teacher. They are $5.00 each. The teacher has one photo per family. If you need more copies, please let us know and we will order more.Many thanks to Matthew Rakola for a fantastic job of Photoshopping the not so perfect photos. 


Registration for the 2018-2019 school year has begun! Thank you for promoting 4CCN to your friends and families!  We still have openings in our MWF & T/Th two year old classes and our Tuesday/Thursday 3s program and MWF 4s program.  If you know of anyone who is interested in enrolling their child, please have them call the school office. Thank you!

 Teachers Professional Day

On Tuesday, April 3rd the 4CCN staff will attend required training. 4CCN will be closed on that day so the staff can attend.  This day of training extends spring break one more day.

Encouraging Independent Behavior

As your child grows, he/she will be able to do more and more things on his/her own.  With your help and support, your child will lean many tasks – getting dressed, eating, using the bathroom, making some decisions, and playing independently, just to name a few.  While your child will not be able to everything that an adult can do, being able to do things by him/herself, makes him/her feel good about him/herself, successful and confident.

 Encourage your preschooler to use words to express him/herself. For example, if your child would like another glass of milk at the dinner table, wait until he/she asks for it before giving it to him/her.

Have your child put away toys and material before moving from one activity to another.

·        Encourage you child to help you around the house. Let your child sweep, dust, put away clean clothes, or match the clean socks.

Book suggestion: Little By Little by Amber Stewart & Layn Marlow



February 2018 Newsletter

February Dates:

February 1 & 2 – Tuition Due

February 2 – Ice Cream Social 4-5:30

Friday, February 9 – Community Registration begins @ 8 am

February 13(T/Th) – Class Valentine Celebrations

February 14(MWF & 5-day 4s) – Class Valentine Celebrations

Monday, February 19 – No School, President’s Day

February Snacks:

This month the children will enjoy these delicious snacks; Goldfish and apple juice, Nilla Wafers & peach slices, mini bagels and cream cheese and Animal Crackers and apple juice.

Valentine’s Day Celebrations:

Valentine’s Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 13th for the T/Th classes and Wednesday, February 14th for the MWF and 5-day 4s class.

Don’t forget to bring your Valentines!

The two, three and four-year-old children will celebrate by bringing a Valentine for each of their classmates. Your child’s name should be on the card and the outside should be left blank.  Please check your class bulletin board for additional information.

4 Corners Community Nursery Ice Cream Social

The Annual Ice Cream Social will be on Friday, February 2nd. John Henry England will entertain us with his music and fun!  This has been a fun family event for several years.  Bring your whole family for a fun afternoon of dancing and making ice cream sundaes and mingling. Snow is in the forecast for Friday, if MCPS closes school or cancels afternoon/evening activities, we will postpone our event.

Open House/Community Registration

We have been very busy giving tours for prospective families. Many thanks to Brenna Mikesell, Alana Laliberte and April Alemroth for helping out with Open House tours. Please continue to let your family, friends and neighbors know about 4CCN!  Community registration begins on Friday, February 9th at 8 am.  If you have not yet registered for 2018-19, please do so before the 9th.

4CCN Snow Days

It is only the end of January, beginning of February and it has been quite a winter with snow closings, delays and early dismissals.  As of this writing we have had a school “snow day” (school closed) on Thursday, January 4th and Wednesday, January 17th. We have had 3-2-hour delays; 1/5, 1/9, & 1/ 30. One early closing on Monday, January 8th.  4CCN policy has 4 snow days for Tuesday/Thursday classes and 6 days for Monday/Wednesday/Friday.