”The environment itself will teach the child, if every error he makes is manifest to him, without the intervention of a parent or teacher, who should remain a quiet observer of all that happens”
– Dr. Maria Montessori
The Toddler program is for children ages 12 months to 18 months as the children begin to become more mobile. The Toddler program helps to promote independence and cultivate each child’s unique character. This is also the time when we begin to instill important traits such as sharing, empathy, and working together.
Bursting with energy our Toddlers are learning and exploring every aspect of their environment. It’s a crucial point in any young child’s life and our teachers are there to guide and encourage them on their adventures! In this environment, the children can explore and develop their language skills, by expanding their growing vocabulary and refining gross and fine motor skills. It also provides social interactions. The toddler environment, designed to be an extension of the home, allows a young child to grow, develop, and gain independence in a safe, loving, and secure atmosphere.
Below is an example of a typical day in our Toddlers program!
This is the age of independence. The teacher’s main objective with this age is to encourage gross and fine motor skills and independence. Children in this classroom are very capable of doing things themselves and we encourage them to do so.
We provide a constant routine which is very important for children of this age including the teachers.
The teacher directs the children to have self-control by giving instructions which they follow. This is done with songs, marked off areas with colorful tape, and significant amount of practice. This is established before the children are allowed to remove items from the shelf. The teachers are diligent in the proper way to remove and return items from shelves as well as how to work with the materials. It is very important at this age for the children to learn not to touch works without instruction given first.
Children are also taught how to walk properly in the classroom as well as outside of the classroom. Walking exercises are done daily. The exercises show the children how to stay in a group and follow the teacher instructions while out of the controlled classroom environment. The children are also taught the proper noise level in the classroom as well as throughout the building.
Our teachers understand that the children’s developmental level at this age is very “me” oriented. The concept of sharing and appropriate spacing is difficult for them but this is encouraged at all times. The Montessori works are set up exactly in the manner the Primary room has but in a smaller scale. We make sure that appropriate amount of materials are presented. If the teacher has too much or too little, then discipline issues will arise.
All materials are left to right starting with Practical Life, Sensorial, Math & Language.
There are plenty and appropriate materials on the shelves in the classroom. Some items are changed out throughout the year so the children are excited about new tasks. The children at all times are encouraged to verbalize their needs. A two-year-old uses 75% more brain power than an adult. The children at this age absorb their surroundings at enormous rate, but may not have the developmental skills to verbalize what they observe. This can be very frustrating to a child and our teachers understand that and nurture during this development.
Each day children have an art lesson in class. Also present is dramatic play such as dress up and a doll house with a mirror so they see themselves as well as a quiet place to look at books. The teacher has lessons regarding verbalizing feelings and discusses items such as weather to show the children there is an environment outside of their own.
They are taught how to properly clean up after finishing specific works or meal time. The teacher guides them throughout this task, but is mindful not to clean up for them.