As summer comes to an end, we are starting to wind down on our new student play dates. Here at Charlotte Montessori our play dates take place in both the toddler and primary classrooms. These special visits serve as the first step in our transition process for all new students (new to the school and toddlers moving up). There are many benefits to having play dates such as getting to know the class environment, meeting new friends and forming a relationship with the teacher. With our play dates lasting from 2:30-3:30 the student gets a chance to experience work time, circle and outside time.
Typically our play dates are scheduled for the afternoon as that time of day tends to be more relaxed and laid back than the morning work time. We begin each play date by having the student ring the bell in the hallway which signals they are ready to enter the classroom. After ringing the bell we greet them at the door and welcome them inside to explore the classroom.
Here is one our new students observing a friend complete a color sorting work!
Once inside the classroom we direct them to the practical life, art or sensorial shelves as these are the first areas they will be introduced to as a first year student. My favorite work to introduce is the knobbed cylinders as they are intriguing and self-correcting. During this time I follow the child and see where there interests are. If they choose a work that is age appropriate I will present the lesson and observe as they complete the work. If they happen to choose a work that is to advanced, I will redirect them to a more appropriate work.
Here is one of our toddlers who will be moving up to our classroom this year completing the number roll.
After exploring the classroom and trying some new works we transition to circle to apply our sunscreen before heading outside. Once everyone has received sunscreen and used the bathroom (if needed) we will head out to the playground. This is usually the favorite part of every play date! We recommend having at least 2 play dates before the start of the new school year. Following the play dates, the parents are invited to join us during the teacher work week for a Wine & Cheese Gathering to discuss classroom details and expectations.