KEYS TO INDEPENDENCE
Our Montessori Toddler environment is carefully prepared to aid our toddlers in achieving independence. The environment is designed to foster the unique relationship between movement and mind by guiding our toddlers to move and “do” toward a constructive activity. Once the toddler is walking, his hands are free to explore. They have a new-found interest in accomplishing things with their hands and work intently on figuring things out for themselves.
At MMA we allow toddlers the independence to explore and to make choices within a safe environment. It is important to give freedom (within the security of limits, of course) in a loving and trusting environment in order to build strong foundations for relationships. At this age it is crucial to allow children to do things for themselves in order for them to gain confidence, which fuels further exploration and learning.
Parents have the option of packing a lunch for their toddler, or purchasing daily hot lunches. Lunch is served family-style. Children take turns setting the tables, serving others, and cleaning up. Hot lunches are provided by Yummy In My Tummy.
Yummy In My Tummy provides MMA with fresh (never frozen) hot meals, that are eco-friendly, toxin-free, and composed of environmentally sustainable USDA-certified organic ingredients.
The food is either roasted, baked or simmered to prevent any loss of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals in the cooking process. The food arrives in BPA-free, phthalate-free, BHT-free, and BHA-free containers.
We offer a variety of enrichment activities in our After School Program including Arts and Crafts, Dance, Zumba, Mind Lab, Cooking, Phonics and Language, Tae Kwon Do, Team Sports, Gardening, Music and Movement, Puzzles and Board Games, Readers Theater, and Computers. The group of activities offered changes each semester which encourages our students to explore new disciplines.
Each afternoon begins with a healthy snack and outdoor playtime if the weather permits. Children participate in their scheduled enrichment activity from 4:00 - 5:00 pm each day.
Foreign language classes serve to expose children to other cultures. Spanish is taught from Toddler House through Upper Elementary.
Activities organized around the routines of daily life, help toddlers learn to care of themselves, others and their environment: Washing hands, sweeping, polishing, dressing and undressing, food preparation, and social skills to name a few.
Language materials range from matching exercises to learning the sounds of letters. Toddlers are introduced to basic sounds like “a” in apple or “c” in cat. Using the object boxes, the children match the corresponding first sound of an object with its appropriate sound written on a card. Every lesson is a language experience.
MUSIC AND MOVEMENT:
Dancing, singing and playing instruments to develop language and movement are done everyday.
Art: Children learn color mixing techniques and are exposed to rich artistic, historically significant works of art.
In the Toddler House, children learn their numbers and develop basic counting skills. The orderliness of their environment, the sorting and other sensorial lessons help them form the foundation necessary for developing the mathematical mind.
GRACE AND COURTESY:
Teachers model how to wait for a turn, respect someone else’s space, walk in the classroom instead of run, ask politely for help or offer to help someone else, as well as other important social skills that allow a group of children to function independently, but also respectfully within their community. In this way the children gradually build the social skills of a polite society.
The opportunity to move freely, developing both fine and gross motor skills is not only important from a physical standpoint, but also from a psychological one.
Gardening is an extension of practical life. In our Peace Garden, Toddlers learn the basic skills of caring for their environment. They also explore the inhabitants of the garden, such as butterflies and centipedes.
About our teachers
All of our head teachers have obtained their Montessori certification as well as a BA in Education. All of our classroom assistants either have or are working towards one or both of these credentials.