The Preprimary program is for children ages 18 months to 3 years as the children begin to develop their learning patterns. The Preprimary program allows children the opportunity to explore and develop their language skills by expanding their growing vocabulary and improving social interaction. This is also the starting point where many children begin to develop their learning habits. During this time it is crucial to establish effective learning skills and instill in children the joy of learning independently. This program is a specially balanced environment for children that are not quite ready for the Primary Environment and are too mature to stay in the Toddler class. It is also for children that are not yet totally toilet trained.
This is the age of independence. The teacher’s main objective with this age is to encourage gross and fine motor skills and independence. Children in this classroom are very capable of doing things themselves and we encourage them to do so.
We provide a constant routine which is very important for children of this age including the teachers.
The teacher directs the children to have self-control by giving instructions which they follow. This is done with songs, marked off areas with colorful tape, and significant amount of practice. This is established before the children are allowed to remove items from the shelf. The teachers are diligent in the proper way to remove and return items from shelves as well as how to work with the materials. It is very important at this age for the children to learn not to touch works without instruction given first.
Children are also taught how to walk properly in the classroom as well as outside of the classroom. Walking exercises are done daily. The children are also taught the proper noise level in the classroom as well as throughout the building.
All About Me!
Our teachers understand that the children’s developmental level at this age is very “me” oriented. The concept of sharing and appropriate spacing is difficult for them but this is encouraged at all times. The Montessori works are set up exactly in the manner the Primary room has but in a smaller scale. We make sure that appropriate amount of materials are presented. If the teacher has too much or too little, then discipline issues will arise. All materials are left to right starting with Practical Life, Sensorial, Math & Language.
There is plenty and appropriate materials on the shelves in the classroom. Some items are changed out throughout the year so the children are excited about new tasks. The children at all times are encouraged to verbalize their needs. A two year old uses 75% more brain power than an adult. The children at this age absorb their surroundings at enormous rate, but may not have the developmental skills to verbalize what they observe. This can be very frustrating to a child and our teachers understand that and nurture during this development.
Each day children have an art lesson in class. Also present is dramatic play such as dress up and a doll house with a mirror so they see themselves as well as a quiet place to look at books. The teacher has lessons regarding verbalizing feelings and discusses items such as weather to show the children there is an environment outside of their own.
They are taught how to properly clean up afterwards as well as how to clean up after works are done and meals. The teacher goes behind them to finish the task, but is mindful not do the clean-up for them.
This is the time of potty training. The teacher has all children go to the restroom every 45 minutes. The children learn how to wait their turn and are encouraged, as they get older, to go to potty on their own. As the potty training progresses, the teachers is in close contact with the parents so they can continue the forward progression at home. A daily sheet goes home every day similar to the infant sheet for parents to be aware of behavior, eating habits, potty training, and sleeping habits.
The teacher is well aware at all times that a child will find a way to get their needs met whether it be grabbing, crying or biting. Our teachers learn each child’s personality and help them to learn the proper way of getting their specific needs met. The children learn where their personal items are in their own cubby and how to take and put their items up themselves. This is done by placing personal pictures and names on each cubby. The children also learn how to lay down for their nap time on their own and sooth themselves to sleep. Our teachers help children very gingerly in trying to go to sleep and do this in a loving and nurturing manner.
Please visit the school and talk to the Director and Pre-Primary Teacher for more information.