18 months to 3 years
The toddler classroom provides a developmentally appropriate learning environment where children are free to explore and grow cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally. The toddler environment is set up to nurture a child’s inherent curiosity by enabling children to explore and discover. The toddler program focuses on fostering each child’s self-confidence and good self-image. The program also focuses on each child’s social skills and to also instill in them a positive attitude toward learning. The toddler program is broken up into several areas.
This area of the curriculum is the bridge for young children between home and school. They are able to do adult activities they see at home while fostering skills for them to learn to take care of their environment as well as themselves. The aims of these activities are for the child to attain independence, a sense of order,concentration and coordination. Practical life activities having to do with the care of the person are: buttoning, zipping, tying, washing ones hands etc. Activities having to do with the care of the environment are: cleaning, polishing, food preparation, watering plants etc. Practical life also includes fine motor development such as pouring, cutting, balancing etc. The last areas that practical life activities also work on are the child’s social development. This includes their interpersonal skill, grace and courtesy, speaking, and participating in group
In the sensorial curriculum, the child discovers the world around them through the use of their senses. Dr.Maria Montessori identified the period from 2- 6 years as the age of the “absorbent mind.” Children come to know and understand the world they live in through their five senses. The Montessori sensorial materials, such as the pink tower, geometric solids, sound cylinders, and color tablets help a child to understand and internalize the concepts of size, shape, color, taste, touch, and sound. These materials build the foundation for developing skills in the areas of music, mathematics, and language.
The language curriculum focuses on oral language activities (singing, finger plays, stories, conversation time) and pre-reading and pre-writing work. Language is built on the foundations established in the first two years of life. Materials in the classroom help them enhance their language abilities.
The children begin their journey in mathematics by going from the concrete to the abstract. Lessons presented in the practical life and sensorial curriculum lay the foundation for the child to begin to explore the world of mathematics. The concrete math materials enable the mathematical mind of the toddler to journey from the concrete to the abstract through manipulation and experimentation. Children first explore the concept quantity or “how many.” The Montessori materials build on each other in a natural progression, encouraging the child to explore and discover. From there, the child moves on to using symbols or written quantities and then begins to combine quantities for the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.