The toddler class is composed of children aged 18 months to 3 years.
It is our goal at Desert Sky Montessori to provide a safe, nurturing environment that allows our youngest children to explore their environment and enrich their growth. We provide an environment, which offers our toddlers opportunities to make choices, learn responsibility, and cultivate awareness. We teach our students to choose their own work, and to clean up after themselves when they are finished with an activity. We guide them toward proper mealtime habits, encouraging them to eat with utensils and clean their space when they are finished. We encourage them to have respect for one another and to cultivate a sense of community and responsibility for one another and for their environment.
ACADEMICS IN THE TODDLER/ TRANSITIONAL CLASS
Our youngest students begin their language studies with an introduction to the phonetic sounds of the alphabet.
We begin the study of mathematics with simple counting, introducing numbers in a variety of forms including stories with counting, songs that incorporate numbers, and the use of sandpaper numbers to introduce number recognition.
For young children, there is something special about the tasks that an adult considers ordinary: washing dishes, paring vegetables, polishing shoes, etc. These activities are exciting to children because they allow them to imitate adults. Imitation is one of the strongest urges during the child’s early years.
Within the practical life area of the classroom children perfect their coordination and become absorbed in an activity. They gradually lengthen their span of concentration. They also learn to pay attention to details as they follow a regular sequence of actions. Finally, they learn good work habits as they finish each task and put away the materials before beginning another activity.
Sensorial materials refine the use of the senses, helping the child to distinguish, to categorize, and to relate new information to what they already know. Dr. Montessori believed that this process is the beginning of conscious knowledge.
Our toddlers work with materials of different sounds and textures designed to heighten the senses and foster learning.
At Desert Sky Montessori School, each class enjoys time singing and dancing. Music extends into our classroom through tapes, games, and musical instrument studies. The music program offers each child the opportunity to sing, dance, play simple musical instruments and learn chants and rhymes. The curriculum, which is based on the multi-sensory approach, is structured to emphasize both the acquisition of the basic skills and an appreciation of music and movement. The songs are centered around the natural pitch of a child’s voice and are generally simple melodies to give the children the rewarding experience of being able to sing along.
Art for the Toddler Class is designed to teach basic skills such as coloring in the lines, using glue and scissors, and learning to manipulate a paintbrush and paints. We also foster creativity and imagination through the seasonal art projects.
The children play outside every day, weather permitting. Outdoor play is a very important part of our day. Outdoor play helps children develop their imagination, their muscular coordination, and allows them to better focus in the classroom.