Ages 2-3 Years
For many children in the Montessori Beginnings program, this is the first time they are spending significant time outside of the home. For that reason, many materials in the classroom are reflective of home life. Working with familiar materials in a new setting can help ease the transition, especially early in the year. Teachers quickly help children establish routines to gain additional comfort. They sing songs, read stories and begin to learn about friendship.
Each day in the Montessori Beginnings program includes greetings, gross-motor play on the playground or in the gym, circle time to build community, snack, and work time where children explore materials in the classroom and learn one-on-one with the teachers. For children who stay all day, their time also includes lunch, nap and a second work time.
Grace and Courtesy
Children in the Montessori Beginnings program begin to learn about their bodies and how to take care of them. They learn to wash hands, use tissues and cover their coughs. They also learn how to be a part of a community by greeting teachers and friends, saying “Please” and “Thank you” and gaining tools and vocabulary for social interactions.
Many materials in the Montessori Beginnings classroom are reflective of daily life. Children practice scooping, sweeping, and pouring to not only improve fine motor skills, but to provide opportunities for independence. For instance, after practicing pouring water between two glasses, a child may be ready to serve him or herself a beverage during snack time or during dinner at home.
Each child has a cubby where jackets, lunch boxes, inside shoes and changes of clothes are stored. The children learn to self-dress and take care of their belongings.
Children do not need to be potty-trained when entering the Montessori Beginnings program. However, they actively participate in the diapering process until parents and teachers agree that the child is ready to begin potty training. A toddler-sized bathroom is connected to the classroom to help ease the process.
The first moments of the day can be challenging for children who are not
accustomed to leaving their parent. Montessori Beginnings teachers understand this difficulty and help the children find tools to help the transition, which may include waving through the window then starting the day with a familiar book, song or activity. As the children begin to understand that school is a safe and fun place to be, those goodbyes become shorter, demonstrating active growth for our youngest learners.