Mrs. Copeland

Welcome to Mrs. Copeland’s Early Childhood Classroom!  Here you will be able to find calendar updates, classroom information, and resources for you and your child.  You will also be able to take a look into our classroom and see all the ways we are using child-centered practices to meet the individual needs of our students in developmentally appropriate ways. Please feel free to contact me at lcopeland@syc427.org at any time!

My name is Laurel Copeland and I teach Early Childhood Special Education at South Prairie Elementary. I have been teaching and working with children for the past 10 years and I am so excited to be teaching in my hometown! As a life-long resident of Sycamore, and a Sycamore graduate, I am thrilled to be giving back to the community that gave so much to me.

I received my BS in Child Development from Northern Illinois University in 2006. I then continued my academic career at Northern to receive my MS in Early Childhood Education with Special Education Approval. In 2012 I completed my ESL Endorsement, also through NIU. My passion is teaching young children and I am continually looking for opportunities to further my knowledge in this field.

In my personal life, I love spending time with my husband Jake, our daughter Rory, and our dog Baxter! I enjoy working on our home, spending time with family and friends, and reading. Book recommendations are always welcome!


 Here you will find some information about my teaching philosophy as well as my vision for Early Childhood Education.  My classroom philosophy revolves around respect.  If we have respect for our children, environment, and curriculum then we will provide an age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate Early Childhood program.
As an Early Childhood educator I believe in hands-on activities that allow children to explore their world.  This means that I use the interests of the children as well as my background in child development to provide stimulating and engaging activities that the children can manipulate using all their senses.
In terms of teaching approaches, our program uses Creative Curriculum- a research based, child centered, and developmentally appropriate curriculum.  This curriculum works hand in hand with our assessment system, Teaching Strategies Gold.  TSG is an online assessment system that uses authentic assessment and work sampling to document each child’s individual rate of growth and development.
Observing children and reflecting on their play, development, and individual needs allows me to create the best environment for learning.  Throughout the year we will be focusing on all areas of development including social/emotional, cognitive, language, and physical.  I offer a variety of play-based activities to help solidify these aspects of development while continually challenging each child to problem solve and question their own knowledge.
Finally, one of the most important roles in the classroom is that of the family.  Education is a team effort and I value the family’s role within each child’s life.  I have many teaching tools for families to utilize at home in our family resource library.  I am always available to answer questions, seek out resources, and advocate for your child.

The only items we would like students to provide are:
  • A backpack that fits a standard size folder
  • An extra set of clothes to keep at school- pants, shirt, socks, underwear
  • Diapers/pull ups/wipes if the student is not toilet trained

Wish List Items:

  • Cleaning wipes- Lysol, Clorox, etc.
  • Dixie Cups
  • Kleenex
  • Play- Doh
  • Shaving cream
  • Corn starch
  • Food coloring
  • Paper towels

Snack Donation List:

  • Fruit/cereal bars
  • Yogurt
  • String Cheese
  • Fresh fruit/veggies
  • Pretzels
  • Graham crackers