A day in the Toddler classroom

from 2 to 3 years old
Morning rituals
At Hopscotch, our youngest students are welcomed with warmth and kindness from when they arrive at school. Teachers and staff support children as they say goodbye to parents and step into their school, ready for an exciting day ahead.

Our toddler's first task is to change their shoes and put their belongings away. This can take time as children build confidence and coordination, learning to remove their shoes, hanging their coats, and preparing themselves for school. Teachers are standing by to offer guidance and support as children grow more independent every day!
After the morning greeting, students head into the classroom to join their friends and explore the many wonders that await them. Every shelf is carefully curated for the children based on their age, interests, physical and social-emotional needs. Toddlers learn by doing, touching, seeing, listening, and our classrooms are designed for this exact purpose. Beautiful materials are displayed throughout the classroom, inviting little hands to explore; to open, touch, take apart, and then put back together. The enriching environment is as much a teacher as are the adults in the classroom.
The work cycle
The feeling of belonging is a fundamental part of every student's success and wellbeing. Every lesson encourages the connection between children, peers, and teachers. While laying the foundation for learning, students master their environment, work independently, collaborate in small groups, and work together as a classroom. At times, the process can be very hands-on, requiring communication and movement, and other times the work requires staying quiet, being fully focused, and attentive.
Every moment invites new language experiences as children learn to interact with one another as they freely make their way through the classroom. Teachers are gently guiding children's social and academic experiences, building a foundation of trust, getting to know each child's interests, strengths, and how to guide their learning.
The curriculum for toddlers is designed to support children's independence giving them the tools to be successful. Children build their coordination and focus on carrying out daily living tasks. Students have individualized curriculums that are tracked by teachers as they are presented with new materials or concepts. As students work with these activities, teachers use their observations and data to plan each student individually or within small paired groups.
Community meeting
Circle time or community meetings provide opportunities for the class to come together as a community. Teachers begin these gatherings by leading children through songs, finger-play activities, and stories. Songs and stories will often lead to conversations about various themes, such as changes in the season or different social-emotional experiences that support the overall development of children's communication and expression.
Teachers use these group meetings to introduce and enrich thematic units, emergent curriculums, and peace education. Community meetings are great times for grace and courtesy lessons and peacebuilding activities. Students participate in practicing social skills children need to manage their feelings, develop empathy, and make and keep friends. These moments can provide a nurturing environment that reduces children's distress and hurt by enabling them to share it with others and receive support. Additionally, as teachers, we can plan activities observed and develop a process to address them with the whole group. i.e., role playing.
Health and wellness
Health and wellness are essential elements in the everyday routine of Hopscotch Montessori. Our toddler students set the table to make every meal feel like one at home with family and friends, allowing for bonding and forming connections. Children bring food from home or choose to receive fresh and healthy food delivered to school daily. The menu incorporates a wide variety of meals combining many international cuisines. Each meal includes a balance of nutrients, vegetables, healthy grains, and also tastes delicious!

It is no secret that children learn best when given plenty of time to have fun outside. Nearby parks provide our students with spaces for outdoor activity. Students will use local playgrounds to play, run, jump, climb, and enjoy themselves with their friends! A variety of structured activities targeted toward physical health and team building are also part of our schedule.
The end of the day
At the end of the day, students begin to wind down. They prepare the classroom for the next day, talk with friends, make plans for the evening, or finish any last-minute tasks. Teachers lead a short community gathering to say goodbye or to dismiss students to their enrichment classes.
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