Toddler 2

Toddler 2 - November 9, 2018


Several classroom parents collaborated to share a wonderful Diwali presentation with the Toddler 2 students this week. The students were eager to welcome their visitors and hear about some traditions associated with the Festival of Lights. After the presentation, the children enjoyed painting and decorating their own diyas, beautiful clay lamps used for displaying candles during Diwali. Thanks to the parents for their lovely presentation and hard work!

Pumpkin Painting

After their week of tireless pumpkin-scrubbing efforts, the Toddler 2 students were delighted to paint their clean pumpkin with a cheerful rainbow of colors. As this was a true collaborative project, the children had to negotiate how to share the paint, the brushes and the available space on the pumpkin "canvas." The pumpkin artists were exceptionally proud of their hard work!

Toddler 2 - November 2, 2018

Pumpkin Works

The Toddler 2 children were delighted to explore pumpkins in several different ways this week. A favorite new activity was cleaning a large pumpkin in the water table. The children used a spray bottle and a scrub brush to wash and scrub the pumpkin and they enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing the pumpkin becoming clean through their hard work. Other friends explored the Jack-o-lantern collage and enjoyed chatting about their own experiences carving pumpkins.

Toddler 2 - October 25, 2017


Music is an integral part of the Toddler curriculum, as vital to the students' school experience as any academic subject. We are delighted to welcome Ms. Cristina to the classroom for 20 minutes of Music class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The Toddler 2 students eagerly look forward to her visits, which are always a joyful part of our day. The children explore melody, rhythm, pitch and wholebody movement through a variety of engaging activities. This week, they enjoyed exploring with scarves, meeting Mr. Giraffe, using the rhythm sticks, dancing and playing instruments together.

Toddler 2 - October 19, 2018


In addition to the traditional Montessori subject areas of Language, Math, Practical Life and Sensorial, the Toddler classroom includes a large section devoted to Manipulatives. This section of the classroom gives children the opportunity to make discoveries, explore physical objects and solve problems by getting their hands on materials like puzzles, blocks, nesting cups and peg boards. Particularly for young children, who are not developmentally ready to understand many abstract concepts, the manipulation of concrete objects is essential to their understanding of the. world around them. Using these activities develops eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills, patience and dexterity. These materials also invite deep concentration as the children explore the many ways in which the objects relate to one another.

Finding Solutions with Manipulatives

Many Manipulative materials invite children to  find solutions to hands-on puzzles. Activities like two-dimensional puzzles, the Cylinder Block, nesting dolls, shape sorters and peg boards challenge the Toddler students to develop their problem-solving skills. An important component of these activities is allowing the children to become comfortable with frustration and failure as natural parts of the problem-solving process.

Manipulative Materials

Other Manipulative materials offer a more open- ended experience for the Toddler students. These types of activities invite wonderful creativity and exploration, as well as deep concentration. Building with a variety of materials (everything from wood to suction cups to magnets to bristle blocks) encourages the children to experiment with pre-engineering principles as well as to experience cause and effect firsthand.

Toddler 2 - October 12, 2018

Math Curriculum

Like all subject areas in a Montessori classroom, the Toddler Math curriculum is flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of skill levels. From learning to identify basic numerals and geometric shapes to practicing simple addition, the Math materials adapt to meet each child at his or her current level of proficiency. Most toddlers spend a great deal of the school year exploring three key concepts: numeral recognition, an understanding of quantity, and finally the association between the two. Many young children can count by rote; however, a true understanding of quantity is a much more complex and challenging skill that can take months of practice to master. While the Math materials are frequently rotated and refreshed to maintain the students' interest, most activities continue to focus on these three concepts throughout the school year.

Sandpaper Numbers

These students are using the Sandpaper Numbers, a traditional Montessori material that introduces the numerals (0-9) and helps the children to learn to identify them. In addition to identifying the name of the numeral, the child develops a tactile memory of it shape as they trace the sandpaper outline. Later, when they begins to write numbers, they will retain a muscular memory of how it feels to make the shape of the numeral with their hand.

Counting Ducks

The Toddler 2 class counted using rubber ducks, a popular new piece of work in the Math area this past week. This activity contains a series of cards, each of which displays a numeral along with the corresponding number of empty spaces, and a basket full of small ducks. The children placed a duck on each space, thus learning to associate the numeral with the quantity it represents. The association of numeral with quantity is a challenging process, quite different from counting by rote, that will be a focus of the Math area throughout the year.

The Counting Game

Developing an understanding of quantity is a foundational skill for any type of Math work. This week, the students played the counting game, a playful and interactive activity that reinforces the ability to count objects and identify quantities up to 10.

Counting on Fall

During circle this week, we introduced a new counting activity. Everyone participated in counting a beautiful selection of fall objects such as colorful leaves, pinecones, and apples.

Toddler 2 - October 4, 2017

Maria Montessori called the time between birth and age three a "sensitive period" for language acquisition, and modern science has since validated that claim. The Toddler classrooms are designed to capitalize on this period of rapid growth in both the children's receptive language (what they hear and understand) and their expressive language (what they say). The environment is full of materials designed to stimulate conversation, build vocabulary, and encourage literacy and pre-writing skills. While the Language area is a vital part of the Toddler 2 curriculum, the most effective language "materials" for a Toddler are their teachers and peers. Modeling clear and correct speech and encouraging conversation in the classroom are the most important ways to help children to fully develop their language skills.

“Five Little Monkeys”

The Toddler 2 class photo album and the telephones are both materials designed to encourage the development of expressive language. The "Five Little Monkeys" activity allows the children to act out one of their favorite rhymes, build memory skills and discover creative ways to expand upon a beloved story.

Matching Animals

The Toddler 2 students have had the opportunity to explore both sea and farm animals so far this year. Many of the children can now confidently name everything from a lamb to a sea lion. This week, they built upon their identification skills by matching the farm animals to their photographs and learning the names of several baby farm animals, such as piglet and calf. As with all Montessori subject areas, the Language materials progress from the concrete to the abstract. The students had the opportunity to explore, name, and manipulate the objects before they were asked to associate them with the pictures.

Words that Begin with ‘C’

The Toddler 2 children have been very interested to explore many familiar objects that all begin with 'c,' like 'cookie,' 'camera,' cup' and 'crab.' By seeing the objects paired with the appropriate letter, the students begin to associate the letter with its corresponding phonetic sound. This lesson also encourages them to listen carefully to the phonetic components of words. While many Toddlers can sing their ABCs, this activity expands their knowledge of letters by introducing the idea that each letter has a sound as well as a name. Books and reading are also an integral part of the Toddlers' journey toward literacy. The library is always available for independent use by the children and the teachers spend a great deal of time reading one-on-one or in small groups with the Toddler students.

Practical Life and Motor Skills

The Montessori classroom prepares children for writing in countless indirect ways. Working with play-dough builds the hand strength necessary for writing, while the Knobbed Cylinders help to develop the pincer grip a child needs to hold a pencil correctly. Practical Life materials encourage eye-hand coordination and activities like drawing with markers provide feedback for the child to refine their motor skills.

Toddler 2 - September 28, 2018

In a Montessori environment, the Practical Life curriculum extends beyond the classroom shelves: it includes everything from the way teachers greet the children in the morning to how the students care for their own needs throughout the day. Some goals of Toddler 2 Practical Life activities include developing the ability to care for oneself and one's environment, learning skills that promote independence, encouraging courtesy, respect and good manners, promoting concentration, manual dexterity and patience, and learning to follow a sequence of steps. Practical Life work helps the children learn to behave respectfully toward themselves, their peers, their classroom and their community.

The Lock Board

The lock board, a challenging piece of Practical Life work, has been very popular with the Toddler 2 students this week. It requires concentration, patience, persistence and fine motor skills to successfully open all of the locks on the board. Some other examples of Practical Life activities include using a spoon to transfer small objects between two bowls, opening and closing small containers and placing tiny straws into the holes of a cheese shaker.

Practical Life Activities

Many Practical Life activities are not found on the Toddler 2 classroom shelves, but arise naturally out of the daily life of the classroom. One student uses a towel to dry up a bit of spilled water, while another uses a duster to clean the furniture. All of the children are learning to complete daily tasks such as changing their shoes, serving snack and pouring water. As Toddler parents know, this is the age of "I can do it myself!" and allowing children to contribute to caring for their environment helps them feel like valuable members of their community- both at school and at home.

Toddler 2 - September 21, 2018

Music Class

The Toddler 2 students were delighted to welcome Ms. Cristina for Music class this week. Ms. Cristina will visit their classroom every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to sing, share instruments, dance and explore musical concepts and styles with the children. A new favorite song from Music class is "The Old Gray Cat," which many of the children have begun to request as soon as Ms. Cristina arrives.


The Toddler 2 children also enjoyed their first visits from Ms. Rose, our Spanish teacher, this week. On Tuesdays, Ms. Rose will lead a Spanish circle with the children, focusing on songs and basic vocabulary. On Thursdays, she will join their class during their regular morning work period to work one-on-one or in small groups with the children to enrich their understanding of the Spanish language.

Toddler 2 - September 14, 2018

Welcome Back!

The Toddler 2 students had a wonderful start to the school year! The children are beginning to explore the classroom environment, meet new friends and connect with their teachers. The teachers are delighted to welcome such a delightful group of students (and parents!) to our school community and look forward to a happy Fall semester together.

Toddler 2 - June 12, 2018

End of the Year

The Toddler 2 students have grown and developed in every way over the course of a wonderful year!  It has been a joy to see them grow into such happy, confident and curious members of the school community.  We are full of pride at their accomplishments and wish them the very best as they take the next steps along their journeys.

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