The first step into the Montessori curriculum
Old School Montessori Toddler Program is the first step into the Montessori curriculum, and for many children, their first experience of separation from their parents. Our friendly environment meets the very specific needs of our young learners, with a relaxed schedule, variety of age-appropriate activities, responsive staff, and opportunities for movement and development of gross and fine motor skills. Our goal is to encourage independent learning and to help children develop their concentration. A carefully planned program of daily activities provides predictability and structure, while allowing for enough flexibility so each child’s individual needs can be met.
The works that the children carry out every day fall into these clearly defined areas:
The children are able to perform simple daily activities which adults normally perform in order to restore and maintain proper conditions in their environment. Our children learn and practice such activities as:
- food preparation, table setting, pouring, serving own meal, and clean up
- sorting and puzzles
- bathing, dressing, and caring for doll
Practical Life activities are important to young children who learn by imitating their parents.
In the period from 18 to 36 months, the children’s vocabulary grows from about ten to one hundred words. We accompany that language explosion with activities that promote acquisition of new words.
Sensorial activities are embedded in all aspects of the child’s day, ranging from individual table/rug activities to group activities, such as nature walks and exploration of their surroundings. Through these activities, children develop the discrimination of shape, color, size, weight, texture, temperature, and sound.
Children have the opportunity to paint, draw, and use stamps on a daily basis. Additional art projects are presented to expose children to different media which they explore and use to express themselves freely.
Introduction to rhythm, music appreciation, and sound discrimination.
GROSS MOTOR DEVELOPMENT
Pushing and pulling a wagon, jumping over a rope, filling big jars with water, and following the Directress during line time are some of the activities that encourage movement, allow motor coordination, and the development of the large muscles
Role of the Toddler Directress
The main role of the Toddler Directress is to prepare a classroom environment that responds to the needs of the children, as evidenced through the observation of each child and the class as a whole.
According to the theories of Maria Montessori, during the first three years of life the child undergoes a process of self-formation which occurs in four areas: independence, coordinated movement, language, and the development of the will. These are outward manifestations of brain development. The Montessori Directress is constantly adapting the works and environment to support these four areas with a special interest on independence and language.
During these years, the child learns by making adaptations to his surroundings that happen, “quietly and unnoticed as long as the child’s environment adequately corresponds to his inner needs.” (from The Discovery of the Child, by Maria Montessori)