The toddler classroom of 15 to 36 month olds is a community of learners. A community as defined is a group put together and organized by common values, aims, and goals. The children in WMS's toddler community are welcomed each day into a warm, caring, and safe environment that is thoughtfully prepared and carefully maintained to meet the children’s need to move, to explore, and to communicate. While the toddler works and plays parallel to others and begins to learn to take care of his own needs, he also begins to encounter his community with greater awareness. Under the careful guidance and watchful eye of a trained adult, children within the toddler environment begin to learn to care for others and to work cooperatively.
Toddlers are part of the first plane of development. It is a time of great transformation from complete dependency to “let me do it myself”. In the toddler class, basic motor coordination, independence, and language development are fostered and individual personality is respected. The environment offers opportunities to explore and to contribute in a meaningful way, and to observe the cause and effect relationship crucial to a toddler’s development. The classroom is also a nurturing social community where the toddler can experience contact with other children and learn to participate in a cooperative group. Practical skills such as toileting, dressing, and cooking develop fine and gross motor skills, independence, self-esteem, and a sense of order. Sensorial activities entice exploration and allow for classification of sensory impression. All of the activities are enhanced through language as their discoveries and experiences need names.
In the Montessori setting, the toddler is viewed as a dynamic part of both the classroom and the school community and is recognized for their innate abilities and potential, and for their contributions to the whole group.
Wellesley Montessori School 79 Denton Road Wellesley, MA 02482 (781) 237-6670 www.wellesleymontessori.org