Toddler

The Toddler Classroom (Ages 1 1/2 to 3)

Toddlers are a lot of fun! They are ready to learn and excited to progress. Our classroom provides the perfect opportunity for them to follow their all important and natural urge to explore and understand the world around them. The classroom is staffed with two Montessori trained teachers. The materials are designed specifically for this age group.

The children are surrounded with objects that encourage language development, help to refine their motor skills, and aid in lengthening that all-important attention span. At this age there is little pressure to conform to a specific set of rules because the program is designed to meet the toddler’s abilities and his level of maturity. This age group is ready to explore. This age group cannot learn quickly enough! It is important to note that toilet training is part of the toddler curriculum.

The children cannot move up to the CASA classroom until they are toilet trained, and thanks to the teachers and the group environment, and with the necessary support of their parents, they can become toilet trained naturally and easily. Our toddlers spend time outside almost every day. They have fun learning how to run and jump. They are encouraged to explore their physical world. It’s great fun to be a toddler!

Children who have worked in the toddler classroom are very prepared to move into the CASA room with little or no difficulty. Their transition is usually seamless. Once the teachers have determined that a child is ready, the process can begin. Each child will visit his new classroom for a couple of hours every day, over the course of a week or so, until he feels comfortable with the change. Then, a whole new world of ‘work’ opens up for him. There is so much to do. There is so much to learn.

Following you will find a description of the programming in the Toddler classroom:

Kennedy Montessori Toddler Program

Kennedy Montessori’s Toddler Program is based on the Montessori principles of self-directed independent learning, which is often difficult to program for. Each child’s needs and abilities are unique, and it is our mandate to program for each individual child as they develop and progress throughout the year.

Cognitive Development

Montessori materials are based on sensorial exploration. Thus, a child learns by doing and by manipulating objects prepared in his environment. The materials are also designed to be self-correcting, for the purpose of fostering self confidence and the love of learning. As each child is different, the learning process is altered slightly for each child.

Fine Motor Development

Kennedy Montessori’s Toddler program assists in the development and refinement of fine motor skills. At this age there is a direct link from hand to brain, and cognitive skills are enhanced by the work of the hands.

The following areas of fine motor development have been programmed for through the activities offered and the materials available within the classroom.

The Toddler will learn:

•  Development and refinement of pincer grasp
•  Eye-Hand co-ordination
•  Hands in opposition
•  Two hands working together
•  Tactile and visual stimulus
•  Figure ground perception
•  Arms and hands working together
•  Perfection of movement and exactness

Gross Motor Development

Outdoor time is scheduled twice a day giving the Toddler plenty of opportunity to use their large muscles and expel energy. Strength, agility, balance and coordination are practiced on a daily basis, through the use of the outdoor equipment.

Some other seasonal activities include:
•  Nature walks, gardening, & raking leaves
•  Shoveling snow, tobogganing and sledding

Other opportunities for gross motor development occur during indoor play times:
•  Music and movement
•  Yoga for toddlers
•  Balls, bean bags and streamers
•  Tunnel and tent
•  Indoor climber

Language

Language development is extremely important in the Montessori Toddler classroom.  The environment is filled with rich language opportunities throughout the day. The Toddler will learn to associate language to a real object, and then reinforce what was learned by the use of an abstraction. As well, the children are exposed to rhythmic and poetic language during story time and music circle.

The following resources and activities will be explored daily:

•  Music and rhythmic language
•  Books
•  Language cards
•  Practical life exercises
•  Cooking
•  Music class (Monday mornings)

Social/Emotional

Toddlers are taught respect for their environment, their classmates, their teachers and themselves on an ongoing basis. Further opportunity for growth occurs during music time, story time, and both outdoor and indoor play times. As well, snacks and lunch are offered in the classroom which makes for a wonderful social time and the opportunity to enhance their social graces.

Montessori Practical Life skills build a child’s self-confidence and self-worth through purposeful daily routines.

They are:

•  Preparing food
•  Setting a table
•  Washing dishes
•  Caring for their environment
•  Caring for themselves

Art and Creativity

Montessori is reality based, which holds to the theory that a child must learn what is real FIRST and later can explore the abstract (make-believe).  As a result, we do not have a lot of dress-up and make believe in the Montessori Toddler environment. We do encourage the children to use their imaginations during music and reading, while playing games, and during self expression in the arts (drawing, colouring, crafts).

Art activities offered daily are:

•  Painting
•  Play dough
•  Clay
•  Cutting and pasting
•  Crafts (seasonal, theme related)

Kennedy Montessori Toddler Schedule

7:30-8:30 - Before School

8:30-10:00 - Morning Montessori program (Includes toileting and snack)

10:00-10:15 - Music circle (9:15 on Mondays with an Orff trained teacher)

10:15-11:15 - Outdoor play

11:15-11:30 - Prepare for lunch

11:30-12:00 - Lunch

12:00-12:15 - Toileting

12:15-12:30 - Story time

12:30-2:00 - Naptime

2:00-3:30 - Afternoon Montessori program (Includes toileting and snack)

3:30-4:30 - Outdoor play

4:30-6:15 - After school program

In a Montessori classroom it is of the utmost importance that we adjust the program to meet the needs of the child.  Therefore these are approximate times and may be altered to accommodate the children’s needs and desires.

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