Toddler (Ages 18mo-35mo)
The primary function of the seed is to be dug deep into the earth, and by design it is encapsulated in a protective layer on the outside. Inside the seed, there is a cotyledon that protects and provides food to the seed. When the right environmental conditions come together to support this seed, suddenly a sprout begins to form above the ground! Likewise, our toddler classroom is a fertile ground for our children to firmly anchor their future healthy independence, social skills, hygiene skills, and academics.
Just as cotyledon protects and provides nutrients from its surrounding environment to allow the small sprout to emerge, so will our classroom nourish our toddlers to emerge in their social, emotional, and academic learning skills.
The Montessori toddler classroom has materials and group activities designed to stimulate development in language, which allows all the children to order, collate and classify the knowledge they are gaining.
Developing the four skills
- Sensitivity to order: Order is created through consistency and repetition, through a well-organized environment, and internally, in the way a child operates within the classroom. Thus, with routine children are more interested in putting things in order and in their place.
- Concentration is necessary behavior before any learning takes place, and our classroom procedures and materials encourage it.
- Movement: The child who is moving around the classroom quite frequently is gaining the sense to move gracefully and efficiently in a body they are learning to control.
- Focused repetition: The child who stacks the pink tower and attends to the details of their work is thus laying the foundation of perseverance.
- Exploration: exploring the materials on the shelf “not necessarily using them correctly” but exploring all the things that go with that certain material!
- Coordination: Physical coordination is necessary behavior for children because they learn through the body and senses. The development of eye-hand coordination comes with practice in the areas of coloring, painting, removing stickers, and cutting. Fine motor control develops through use of playdough, tweezing, and washing. An understanding of, and control of our body in space is all cultivated through opportunities provided by the materials.
- Independence: “I can do it myself” is said by every toddler. In our classroom we strive to answer each toddlers’ cry to “Help me do it myself!” by providing that help and then we celebrate each opportunity they take to advance the skill.
- Allow extra self-care time
- Resist the temptation to jump in and assist
- Offer gentle suggestions that might help ease the task.
- Offer limited choices
- Independence is a goal of learning and comes from a child’s innate desire to understand and affect his or her environment. It’s only through self-motivated accomplishments that we experience the joy of learning.
Without OCCI no academic curriculum has the opportunity to flourish. So, too, our toddler classroom has its seed in the soil of OCCI to allow your toddler to flourish and grow.