Showing: 1 - 1 of 46 RESULTS

What to expect when my Toddler transitions to a Primary Classroom

Transition to any new classroom requires change for children, parents, and even teachers, who are eager to meet and learn the unique personality and gifts of each child. Here are some things you may notice about the environment of your child’s new classroom:
* Group size and ratios
The toddler community classrooms can serve up to 12 children between the ages of 18 and 36 months. When your child “graduates” to the primary classroom, you’ll notice the group size doubles while the number of adults remains the same. In the Montessori environment, a larger group size supports the children’s independence without sacrificing quality in care and education. Children will still have individual and small group lessons with a trained Montessori guide, but they will need less 1:1 assistance with self-care and focus because they will have mastered a lot of these skills in the toddler community. Our toddler guides work very hard to help them achieve independence in toileting, dressing, care of the environment and especially in choosing, completing and putting away their work. They will be doing these things independently in the Primary classroom. This ratio also allows for increased time to interact with other children and their environment, given their budding social skills.
* Staff communication
In the toddler community, you may get an opportunity to talk with your child’s guide daily and you’ll hear from them via email weekly with a class update. This will change in the Primary classroom, you’ll communicate less with the guide, who will still be supporting your child but will be focused on supporting their independence. You are, of course, encouraged to reach out anytime you have any questions or concerns, and you will be invited to observe in the classroom. Parents will have access to photographs of your child working with the Montessori materials through a system called Transparent Classroom. Parent-teacher conferences will still take place twice per year, where the guide will share with you the child’s progress.
*New education opportunities, more freedom
You will notice that the primary classroom contains a large quantity of materials. Just like the toddler environment, practical life opportunities will vary throughout the year but many of the materials will remain out for the whole school year. This is because the children will work through the exercises that accompany the Montessori materials at their own pace and will practice these exercises over and over until they have mastered them. Because the children learn so much over the course of the three years in the Primary classroom, there are many different materials to support that progression of development. You will also notice that opportunities for more freedom exist in this new environment. The main focus of a Montessori Primary classroom is the 3 hour, uninterrupted work cycle — children are free to choose from any practical life work and any other work as long as they have had a lesson with it. The 4th hour of school is for recess, where they’ll have free play in an un-fenced outdoor area; this will be new for our toddlers who have always had their outdoor time within th fenced outdoor areas until now!

Transition Readiness and What to Expect
Children who enter the primary classroom must be independently using the toilet (this includes being able to complete the process without assistance from start to finish). To prepare your child for the change, we recommend supporting their independence at home, involving them in household chores and routines and offering lots of choices. They will be able to visit their new room ON THEIR OWN to meet their new guides and learn a little bit about classroom routines at the scheduled orientation the week before school starts. Having the child visit on their own is an important part of their introduction to the “Children’s House” as Maria Montessori originally called her classrooms for this age group. Keep in mind that parents will have this same opportunity shortly after school begins at our Back to School Night! When your child initially enters the Primary classroom they are introduced to all of the main areas of the classroom; practical life, language, sensorial, mathematics, geography, history, science, art, with the focal point being in the practical life area. The practical life area, in the Primary Montessori classroom, is an essential area for a young child. Therefore we encourage children to work in this area regularly to build the skills needed to be successful in the academic areas, such as math and language arts. The practical life area helps to promote independence, concentration, coordination and order within the child. We find that when daily individualized lessons are given in the academic areas children that have obtained these chief skills seem to flourish and become confident, independent learners and take pride in doing things for themselves. Because it will be a new school with new people, your child may experience the separation anxiety you may have witnessed when they first started in the Toddler Community. Coming to school will be a whole new experience for them, as they are now in a “new” environment. Please note that this anxiety will only be temporary and helping to keep the children in a routine will greatly help their transition into their new classroom. The 5 day attendance schedule will really help them transition smoothly. Please note that if you have concerns at anytime during the transition process we would request that you address your concerns with us so we can help to encourage a positive transition.