This is the last of three posts about the Montessori Toddler Classroom at Montessori Preschool @ Copperfield. Scroll down to see photos of a typical day in our toddler room.
This post discusses the end of the work period, recess, and lunch time.
Our toddler environment (Ages 18 months – 2 ½ years) is specially prepared to provide toddlers many opportunities to explore the natural world, acquire language, and develop socially and independently. The Montessori Method teaches children learn to care for their environment, themselves, and one another with love and respect.
End of the Work Period
The end of the Montessori work period at Montessori Preschool @ Copperfield is marked by the sound of a bell. The Montessori Directress rings a bell and all children stand up and cross their arms. She makes a short announcement that the work period is over, and all children return activities to their original location. The children are encouraged to arrange the work on the shelves neatly for the next day as well as to roll their rugs.
Students gather together to reflect on their work day, and the Directress requests each student to stand up and form a line leading to the back door for recess.
Outdoor play and enjoyment of nature are especially fun in our enormous backyard. Children unleash their physical and creative energies by playing basketball, running races, building forts, and even “BBQ’ing” some hot dogs.
Our backyard has oak and pine trees, which are home to sparrows, crows, blue jays, and cardinals. The Directress uses outdoor play to reinforce lessons on the seasons, nature, the weather, interpersonal skills, and character traits. For example, children are taught to play with one another and share play items.
After recess, Toddlers wash their hands and use the restroom.
Lunch time is an opportunity for Toddlers to assert their independence. Children are never fed and are encouraged to use utensils, cups, and napkins appropriately without spilling any food. In fact, the skills needed to eat effectively are first taught in the Practical Life area of the Toddler classroom, where children practice pouring grains from one container to another without spilling.
Toddlers often chat about their day, sitting with friends and proudly showing their lunches. Given our international student body, Toddlers are exposed to cultural diversity early on through food. They see and smell their peers’ meals – Indian parathas, Mexican carne asada, and Brazilian plantains.
After lunch, children wash their hands and use the restroom in preparation for nap time.
A day in the Montessori Toddler Classroom is highly active and dynamic. Children work independently, under the guidance of a Montessori Directress. In addition, children are not just trained in language and math at an early age using the Montessori Method – but also in skills that lead to future academic success like concentration, discipline, and control.
The Montessori Method for Toddlers is unique because of its integrated philosophy and hands-on learning approach. Every section of the Montessori Toddler Classroom connects with another section. For example, holding materials from the Sensorial section with the thumb and first two fingers strengthens finger muscles to hold a pencil for writing. Another example is the activity of pouring grains or liquids from one container to another without spilling. The same level of concentration is needed for advanced math topics such as addition and multiplication in the Montessori Primary Classroom. All materials and furniture are child-size, so children can independently operate in the classroom without the aid of an adult. Children can select their own activities (within limits) and each material is tactile and colorful to encourage a love of learning.
Read Parts I and II
Read Part I
Read Part II
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