The Toddler program, for children 2 to 3 years old, introduces toddlers to school and to a Montessori education. Toddlers learn to care for themselves and their environment how to find materials and put them away, how to wash hands and put on jackets and through interaction and guidance they gain a sense of certainty in their environment, independence and confidence.
The materials used in the Toddler program are engaging, attractive and safe. Through guidance, love and support toddlers develop their fine motor and language skills. Toddlers in our program are spoken to in English and Spanish. This language immersion sets a foundation for bilingual proficiency.
Toddlers enjoy working in their private classroom, but share materials and often interact with the children in the Pre-Pre-K program. Toddlers come to school five days a week and may choose to stay a half day or full day. After their Toddler year, children may join our Pre-Pre-K program.
Each curriculum area of the Montessori classroom emphasizes specific skills, but there is dynamic interplay among the areas, enhancing children's natural learning process.
Practical Life exercises form the cornerstone of the Montessori classroom and prepare the child for all other areas of learning. Practical Life exercises are meant to resemble everyday exercises that are familiar to the children. Through the repetition of Practical Life exercises, children develop and refine the basic skills that will serve them all their lives, such as fine motor control, hand-eye coordination, balance, sense of order, concentration and independence. The Toddler classroom offers early Practical Life exercises, such as Pouring, Opening and Closing, Spooning, Bead Stringing, Polishing and Carrying.
Around this age, most children come into language. They have mastered many words and have begun to speak in full sentences. The Language materials in the Toddler classroom encourage the development of language and verbal expression as the first steps on the road to reading and writing. Children delight in bilingual songs, instruction and story telling, so they are fully immersed in the cadences and meanings of two languages. Every day Activities include books, naming objects, beginning sound games and songs such as the Phonetic ABC song.
We all learn about the world through our senses, and this is even truer for Toddlers who have just begun to explore, take in and understand the world around them. Sensorial activities allow Toddlers to understand the world through all of their developing senses. Every quality that can be perceived by the senses is explored in the Sensorial area. Unlike Practical Life, Sensorial materials are generally items the students has never before seen nor experienced. These activities engage and stimulate a child's mind to absorb basic concepts and classifications. Sensorial materials include Knobbed Cylinders for practice with dimension, tactile exercises like Rough and Smooth, Sorting and Shapes.
To set a foundation for success in mathematics, Toddlers are exposed to the world of numbers through counting games and sensorial materials and exercises. In doing so, Toddlers develop pre-math skills such as order, sequence, value, visual discrimination and sorting. Math activities include Pegs, which acquaint Toddlers with order and sequence, and Red and Blue Rods which begin to teach value
Geography is an integral part of the Montessori curriculum. Toddlers are introduced to geography through the introduction of the globe as well as the Continents Song.
The Toddler classroom includes many tactile creative activities for children. Fine motor practice, color work, and imagination all come into play during Art time. Children use crayons, markers, glue, finger paints, tempera paints and clay to create.
Grace, Courtesy and Care for the Environment
In the Montessori classroom, children and adults take care to be gracious and courteous toward one another and their environment. Children are encouraged to develop respect for oneself, for other members of the community, for the living things in the classroom, and for their environment. Carefully putting lessons away so others may use them, carrying things carefully, moving carefully, using polite and respectful language, showing consideration to others and good table manners all practiced in the classroom.
Students are taught Hebrew in words and songs, celebrate Shabbat on a weekly basis and learn about the holidays.