Toddler Class (18 months through 3 years of age)
St. James provides a rich Montessori five day a week toddler program. The toddler program is a 10 month based school year beginning in August and concluding in May. There are no summer sessions. We have four classrooms; our smaller classrooms house twelve toddlers and our two larger classrooms hold eighteen children. We have a 6:1 ratio, with a lead teacher and assistant(s). St. James offers a half day and a full day program.
The Toddler Curriculum
The Montessori curriculum was designed with sensitive periods in mind. We focus on care of self and care of environment, relying on the toddler’s “do it myself” mode of thinking to increase their own independence. A simple lesson, setting one’s place mat for snack, has a rhythm, sequence and order. It builds throughout the year into a full sequence of preparing and serving the snack, staying seated to eat the snack, cleaning off one’s plate when finished, wiping off the place mat, returning items where they belong, washing the dishes, washing the cloth napkins, hanging them to dry, ironing and folding the napkins, and finally, preparing the shelf of table setting for the next day.
We present lessons as a group and individually. We are sensitive to the child’s need for focus. Even while presenting a lesson, minimal words are spoken so that the focus is trained on the lesson. The teachers track the works each child chooses. We observe when the child is ready for the next work, or if they need more time to master the particular skill.
Our toddlers are also introduced to spirituality through an on hands felt-board, where we act out some of the stories from the Bible. Prayers and blessings are an important part of our day!
Gross motor is key for the toddler. Works in the classroom encourage movement with a purpose. Our Natural Playground allow for toddlers to practice balancing, climbing and running. Our Children’s Garden not only is a place for walking paths, digging, planting and harvesting…it also is a place that reveals the power of creation as we actively participate in the life cycle of the butterfly and the seed.
8:15 - 8:30 Children begin entering the classroom and choose work
8:30 - 9:45 Individual work time
9:45 - 10:00 Diapers/toilet
10:00 - 10:15 Group Snack
10:20 - 11:10 Outside time
11:10 - 11:20 Diapers/toilet
11:20 - 11:30 Water break and light snack
11:30 - 12:00 Circle time/music/yoga
11:45 - Dismissal for half day toddlers
12:00 - 12:45 Lunch
12:45 - 1:00 Diapers/toilet/clean-up
1:00 - 3:00 Nap/quiet time
3:15 - Dismissal
3:30 - After school care begins