Practical Life activities form the cornerstone of the Montessori classroom and prepare the child for all other areas. The emphasis is on process rather than on product. Through the repetition of Practical Life activities, children develop and refine the basic skills that will serve them all their lives. The Toddler classroom offers the early Practical Life exercises, such as Pouring, Opening and Closing, Spooning, Bead Stringing, Polishing and Large Water Activities. These activities are aimed at enhancing the child’s development of fine motor control, hand-eye coordination, balance, sense of order, concentration and independence.
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Each curriculum area of the Montessori classroom emphasizes specific skills, but there is dynamic interplay among the areas, enhancing children’s natural learning process.
Around the age of two, children’s speech development experiences an explosion of words, soon followed by sentences. The Language materials in the Toddler classroom encourage the refinement and enrichment of language as the first steps on the road to writing and finally reading. Early Language materials and oral exercises like storytelling and reading aloud support the toddler’s need to be immersed in language. Activities include books, puzzles, naming objects like fruits, vegetables and animals, and beginning sound games.
We all learn through our senses, and this is especially true of very young children who are at the beginning of taking in and understanding the world around them. Sensorial activities assist Toddlers in the great task of organizing, integrating and learning about their sensory input. Sensorial materials include Knobbed Cylinders for practice with dimension, Color Paddles, tactile exercises like Rough and Smooth, Musical Equipment, Sorting and Shapes.
To help prepare the mathematical mind, Toddlers are exposed to the world of numbers through counting games and concrete materials. These exercises encourage the development of important pre-math skills such as order, sequence, visual discrimination, sorting, one-to-one correspondence and directionality. Toddler Math activities include stacking and nesting cubes, number blocks and puzzles, and sorting and counting materials.
Toddler and Primary children are exposed to the sounds and rhythms of the Spanish language through games, songs, and activities. Lessons initially include counting, colors, and basic vocabulary.
Toddlers through Middle-Schoolers enjoy music classes learning concepts such as beat, meter, and rhythm. Toddlers learn to use their bodies with the rhythm of the music.
Toddler through Middle School students participate in regular Physical Education classes during the day. They practice moving their bodies and developing their gross motor skills.
Our Library program supports the curriculum and educational programs of Toddlers through Middle School students. Toddler students learn how to handle books and enjoy listening to a variety of stories and storytelling activities.
Children learn about our responsibility to the community at large and learn from their experiences with others. The entire school raises funds for Heifer International, with Toddler and Primary children hosting a bake sale, Elementary children participating in “Read to Feed,” and Middle School students selling crafts.