Toddler Twos Room - Philosophy

Welcome to the Toddler II Program

We are happy to welcome your toddler to our classroom.

The Toddler II Montessori Program is designed to facilitate your child's developing needs. Our classroom is designed with equiipment which encourages your child's coordination and development of fine and gross motor skills, language development and independence in your toddler. The Montessori Program assists your child in his/hers natural desire to gain mastery of their environment by offering opportunities which encourage the child to learn in a methodical way that helps to asborb learning. A light breakfast, morning snack and lunch are provided, followed by a supervised naptime and an afternoon snack. Routine parent teacher conferences are held to discuss your child's individual progress. The Toddler II room can accommodate up to 19 children and has a staff of one lead teacher, a co-lead teacher and two assistant teachers to ensure a teacher to student ratio of 1:4.

We teach children in a methodical, step by step way to facilitate cognition and learning. Our classroom offers several interest areas including: reading area, manipulative, art, housekeeping, blocks, a water/rice/sand table and a nature table.

Daily Activities

ART

Every day the children have an opportunity to experience various forms of free art projects, easel painting, finger painting, water colors, crayon, markers, on blank paper. In addition, we offer thematic-based art projects which assist in the development of fine motor skills.

MONTESSORI

Small Savers offers a modified Montessori curriculum once children enter the Preschool classroom. In the Toddler II Room introductory Montessori lessons are offered every day.

During Montessori time, your toddler will experience Practical Life lessons such as spooning, pouring, pinching and twisting as well as Care of the Environment lessons such as folding, dusting, washing and setting the table.

Throughout each day we teach toddlers Social Grace Lessons such as greeting, saying please and thank you, shaking hands, and how to excuse themselves. Personal Care lessons on blowing their nose, using the toilet, putting on and taking off their hats and shoes as well as many other lessons are integrated into the daily routine.

CIRCLE TIME

We have several group gathering times each day. During these circle times we talk about the weather, sing songs, learn poems, read books, count and role play. These times are designed to lengthen your toddler's attention span and teach new concepts.

FREE PLAY

Children are allowed to choose their "work" (a Montessori term). We use free play to introduce the equipment to new children in our classroom. They are taught how to use the material and return it to the shelf.

Getting Started

Every effort is made to make transition as smooth and comfortable as possible. As your child's transition date approaches, you can assist by planning extra time together to visit and get acquainted with the environment.

Arriving and Departing

Please be sure to sign your child in and out of the classroom each time. The clipboard is located on the ledge as you enter and exit the Toddler II Room. We used our sign-in sheet to account for children in the event of an emergency or fire drill, so please be sure your child is represented appropriately.

If your child is expected to be absent or late, please indicate this on the sign-in sheet or telephone us by 9:00 am so we can plan accordingly.

Please remember to have your child walk into our classroom in the mornings. They should be encouraged to hang up their own coats and sweaters on the hooks located in their cubbies. You may want to bring a snapshot of your child to tape in their cubby as a helpful way for them to identify where it is located.

Snacks/Lunch Time

In order to develop independence, children in the Toddler II Room are encouraged to use forks, spoons and open cups for drinking. We also use napkins instead of bibs, again to encourage their self help skills. Lunch time may seem quiet compared to other classrooms because the children are extremely interested in gaining mastery of these new tools. Please let us know if there are any changes in your child’s diet.

Show and Tell

We have show and tell every Monday or the first day back after a holiday. Show and tell encourages children to use language skills and take pride in their belongings.

Caregiver Primary

Life in the Toddler II Room is organized differently from other classrooms; each teacher is considered a primary caregiver to your child. A teacher will be assigned to prepare a written report of your child daily activities and track their development on the Portage Guide. Please feel free to talk to any teacher or ask questions any time. In addition, to these individual reports our daily activities are posted on the classroom bulletin board at the end of each day. This should make conversations with your child a little easier during your ride home.

It's Potty Time!

CHILDREN IN DIAPERS

Children in the Toddler II Room are introduced to the potty on a step by step basis. During their transition into the Toddler II Room, children are introduced to the potty room during diaper changes where they are encouraged to sit on the potty if they feel comfortable. During these times we teach bathroom words such as: potty, flush, poop, pee, toilet paper and urinate. We also teach gender specific words such as girl, boy, penis, etc. to assist them in learning about their bodies.

STEP I: CALLED TO THE POTTY

Daily, at potty time children are called by name to the potty room. They are encouraged to pull pants down by themselves and undo their diaper tabs. Diaper changing occurs with children in a standing position to encourage self-help skills. (Your child will appreciate clothes with elasticized waists free of zippers and buttons during this time to make things easier).

STEP II: SIT ON POTTY

Children are encouraged to sit on the potty if they feel comfortable.

STEP III: POTTYING DIAPERING COMPLETED

Children are checked to assure cleanliness and the diapering process is completed.

STEP IV: STICKERS

Children receive stickers for dry diapers, urinating and completing a bowel movement (BM) in the toilet.

STEP V: HAND WASHING

We teach each child to use the soap and towel dispensers and how to properly wash their hands. This is supervised well to eliminate the spread of germs in our classrooms. In addition, the potty room is sprayed with a disinfectant at the end of each potty session.

Toilet Training

Official toilet training is begun as agreed upon in a formal conference between the parent and the Head Teacher as determined by your child’s developmental readiness.

Most children are ready to be toilet-trained sometimes after their second birthday. (Boys often slightly later than girls.) We look for the following indicators as signs of readiness:

Once toilet training has begun, you will need to provide “underwear�? for your child. You would need to bring extra underwear and clothing.

Cooperative Opportunities in the Toddler II Room

Small Savers, a Parent Cooperative, offers different opportunities in each classroom through out-of-pocket purchases for snacks or wipes.

In addition to assisting monthly with snacks, the classroom is designed to function using parent support for birthdays, field trips, team meetings (parents baby-sit while teachers meet with Director) and special activities where parents may share their talents or read stories to the group.

We encourage daily visits and a family-like classroom environment in a team approach to support the growth and development of each child in the Toddler II Room. We especially enjoy visits from relatives and grandparents. Please let us know when special visitors are expected so we may make arrangements with security.

Signing Up to Help

Once a month, you will be assigned to either snacks or wipes equivalent to $15 - $25 per month. The lead teacher will give parents a list of suggested snack items. You can also offer assistants by volunteering to sign up to watch the classroom while we have teachers’ team meetings and general staff meetings each month. Volunteer hours are earned when you sign up to watch the classroom

Snack Amounts - One to two families are assign snack weekly. A list of approved snacks and recommended amounts can be found in your Child’s cubby and at the end of this brochure as well. We appreciate your support of low-sugar, low-salt, highly nutritive snacks as required by DC child care licensing.

Wipes - Six (6) refills of baby-fresh wipes.

Please check your child’s cubby on Fridays for assign list

Birthdays

We encourage birthday celebrations. They are very important to everyone. On or near your child’s birthday you may choose to bring a treat to share for afternoon snack (4:00 pm). Please be sure it is relatively nutritious. We appreciate efforts to keep the celebration simple, yet fun for the children and usually sing the birthdays song or tell a story. Please consult with the Lead Teacher regarding guidelines for classroom birthday parties.

NO PEANUTS, NUTS OR CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS ARE ALLOWED.

PLEASE BRING ITEMS IN THAT HAVE A CLEAR AND READABLE INGREDIENTS LABEL

Field Trips

We take a least two (2) field trips per year which require parent help with transportation and supervision of children. Detailed information will be provided to parents regarding plans and responsibilities of parents for each trip. These annual trips normally occur in the summer (zoo trip) and fall (pumpkin patch trip).

We also enjoy weekly walking trips to nearby museums, exhibits, parks, concerts and the duck pond. We feel fortunate to have an array of rich cultural experiences available in our neighborhood and appreciate any information you might have regarding special activities in our area.

Parent Meetings

Parent meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month from 1:00 – 2:00 pm in the third floor L-2 Conference Room. These meetings provide an opportunity for parents to gather informally and discuss their child’s development. The Head Teacher will provide information about upcoming events and occasional workshops such as: toilet training, promoting self-help skills and discipline.

If your child has been in the room for over six months, the teacher will schedule a parent/teacher conference with you.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher conferences are held in the spring and fall of the year. At conference time you can expect to receive an updates copy of your child’s Portage Guide and an opportunity to discuss your child’s developmental progress. A sign-up sheet will be posted for these half-hour appointments. However, if you have any concerns regarding your child’s development a meeting can be at any time throughout the year. We are here to support you and your family in any way that we can.

Center Closing

The center closes at 6:15 PM each day. In order to help the Center take necessary steps to ensure that we remain in compliance with the legally required teacher/child ratio at the end of the day, we strongly encourage parents to call immediately if they know that they are going to be late.

Late Pick-Up Policy

The center closes at 6:15 PM. If you remain in the Center past 6:15 PM with your child, you will be given a late fee slip. Please pay within 48 hours.

Transitions to the Preschool Room

Children in the Toddler II Room are transitioned into the Preschool Room at a developmental age of 33 – 36 months. We use their progress on the Portage guide, pace of development and monthly team meetings as a method of gauging a transition date. You can expect notice of an approximate transition date and an appointment with your Toddler II and Preschool Head Teachers within 30 – 60 days before it occurs.

We normally take a couple of days to totally transition children in the Preschool Classroom and closely monitor their emotional indicators offering added support and nurturance as needed or lengthening the number of days of transition if necessary. We do our best to assure smooth transitions for all children recognizing that every change in a child’s life is an adjustment for the entire family. Please feel free to ask questions or express your concerns whenever necessary.

Transitional Objects: We welcome transitional objects (stuffed animals or blankets) as a way for children to meet their emotional needs for security and reassurance in their lives. During naptime and occasional moments of distress we know that these items bring reassurance and encourage sleep. We appreciate parents’ help in washing these on a routine basis and assuring that they are available especially during transition time.