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Maria Montessori

The Founder of Montessori Education
Location:Home > Toddler

Our Toddler classroom, also known as, Infant Community or Toddler Community, offers children aged eighteen to approximately thirty-six months opportunities to explore their independence and connection to the world using their extraordinary capacity for learning.

For many children, this is their first learning experience outside the home. Children in these early years literally absorb the life around them, so we pay particular attention to the classroom environment, sounds they will hear, and the objects they will see and touch. With kindness and respect, we introduce the real world as they learn through constructive activities.

The classroom is set up much like a home, with distinct areas for preparing food, eating, changing clothes, toileting, group activities, individual work, and quiet moments. By allowing children to develop strong relationships with adults and children outside her family, however, the Toddler Community offers opportunities beyond those typically available in a family home. Developing these relationships builds social skills and helps the child begin to understand her relationship to her community and her environment. Coming into a stimulating, living environment gives the chance for social interaction, independence, self-expression, as well as small and large motor development.

The classroom curriculum consists of the following general areas:

• Practical Life, or life skills, such as taking care of oneself, others and the environment.
• Eye-hand Co-ordination, both small and large muscle.
• Cultural activities, such as art, music, movement, and celebrations.
• Language, including vocabulary enrichment, sentence structure and communication
   through conversation, stories, poems and songs.
• Social Development or, individuals living and working in a community.

Through the curriculum we work toward four main goals:

• Awakening the child’s spirit and imagination.
• Encouraging the child’s normal desire for independence and high sense of self-esteem.
• Helping the child develop the kindness, courtesy, and self- discipline that will allow him or
   her to become a full member of society.
• Helping the child learn how to observe, question, and explore ideas independently.

Montessori teachers usually present a lesson to young children one at a time, or in small groups, and they limit lessons to short presentations. The goal is to give the children just enough to engage their interest so that they will want to repeat the work on their own. Lessons are clear and simple; they include the name of the material, its place on the shelf, the ground-rules for its use, and some of the possibilities inherent within it. They are keys to self-directed discovery.

Montessori teachers keep close track of their students’ progress, maintaining a high level of challenge. Because they normally work with each child for two or three years, teachers get to know their students’ strengths and weaknesses, interests, and anxieties extremely well. Montessori teachers often use the children’s interests to create an even richer curriculum with keys that open more doors to positive development.

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