After going through the important Sensitive Period of learning how to walk, our Toddler children are encouraged to explore their world. This new found freedom of movement is balanced with emphasis on the respect of others and the environment, verbalization of needs and the practical life skill of caring for themselves. Challenging tasks are gradually introduced that will enable them to master basic movement, develop vocabulary, acquire social skills, and to gain independence. It is here that the child begins to learn many of the pre-Language and pre-Math skills that they will need throughout their lives.
Practical life skills continue to be an important part of their day, as they improve social skills and interaction with the classroom environment. This is the age when they begin to develop more awareness of others in their environment and begin to experience the ideas of community and responsibility. Toileting is an important developmental step for these children and we work with parents in making this process a natural part of development.
At this stage of their lives, children are realizing that they are capable of doing many things by themselves, and they are encouraged to use this realization to learn new skills. As Dr. Montessori said, “The hand is the prehensile organ of the mind”, and the prepared environment of the Montessori classroom offers them many opportunities to use their hands to greet each new phenomena that they encounter. Reading and writing skills are expanded through use of sandpaper letters and learning to sort and differentiate. The children are taught a proper pencil grip, and engage in exercises that strengthen the muscles used in writing.
Phonetics begins here with exercises in rhyming sounds and tonal recognition. This is when their ability to communicate verbally explodes, and the teacher directs them to lessons that will challenge and expand their vocabulary. At the same time, they are beginning to learn how to map these verbal skills to written skills through the use of Montessori materials.
Math skills begin with concrete concepts such as proportion, sorting, seriating, and size. Logic is not a characteristic of a child of this age, so the use of Montessori materials that offer concrete examples are needed to lead them to the more abstract aspects of numbers and number operations.
|7:30 – 9:00am||Arrivals, Morning Snack and Diapering|
|9:00 – 9:15am||Circle|
|9:15 – 9:45am||Snack/Work Period|
|9:45 – 10:30am||Montessori Work Period|
|10:30 – 11:00am||Outside Play – Side Playground|
|11:00 – 11:45am||Lunch/Clean up and Diapering|
|12:00 – 2:15pm||Nap, Wake-up, Diapering, Outside Play|
|2:15 – 3:00pm||Outside Play – Back Playground|
|3:00 – 4:00pm||Montessori Work Cycle and Snack|
|4:00 – 5:45pm||Outside Play and Extended Day Activities|
Practical life plays a major role in the development of a Toddler. This area of the curriculum has an emphasis on the process rather than on the product. Through the repetition of Practical Life works, Toddlers develop and refine their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, sequencing, independence, and increase their attentions span and focus. The works can include grasping, scooping, pouring, spooning, lacing, food prep, and caring for self and the environment.
A Toddler’s speech development experiences an explosion of words, soon followed by sentences. The language materials in the Toddler Classroom encourage the refinement and enrichment of language as the first steps on the road to writing and finally reading. The language units host works from matching and sorting, to identifying and discriminating. The letter sounds are introduced slowly and reinforced as the beginning sounds of tangible objects found the in the classroom that they manipulate.
Toddlers learn through their senses in an effort to categorize the world they are discovering around them. Sensorial activities assist Toddlers in the great task of organizing, integrating, and learning about their sensory input. Sensorial materials include Knobbed Cylinders for practice with dimensions and developing the pincer grip, Color Tablets, Tactile Exercises, Smelling Cylinders, and Musical Instruments.
As an extension of the Language curriculum, Toddlers are exposed to the world of numbers and shapes through concrete materials. These works encourage the development of important pre-math skills such as order, sequence, visual discrimination, sorting, one-to-one correspondence and directionality. Number recognition is worked on by using the sand paper numbers beginning with 1-5, than introducing 6-10 and 0 as later extensions. Basic math skills such as numeral and quantity recognition are introduced though counting works, which uses concrete objects to match with the numbers.
As an extension to the Sensorial curriculum, Manipulatives focus on the use of hand-eye coordination, developing the pincer grip, visual discrimination, and encouraging refinement of the fine and gross motor skills. Materials can include opening and closing, connecting, nesting, and stacking.
This is an area of the Toddler classroom that is featured for only a few short months in the beginning of the year. It focuses on works that enhance a Toddler’s understanding of the permanence of an object after it has left their sight. This is a great area for Toddlers when they are first starting at the school and perhaps not used to being in the sole care of a teacher.
This area of the curriculum focuses on Grace and Courtesy, including respect for oneself, for the members of the classroom, and for the environment. Toddlers practice conflict resolution, carrying things carefully, returning them to their place, moving gracefully and carefully, using polite and respectful language, showing consideration to others, good table manners, properly introducing oneself, and interrupting politely. This curriculum also focuses on cultural studies and diversity in the classroom, community, and the world by introducing other countries, their customs, and developing an understanding and love the differences in each other.