The morning begins with children working with the Montessori materials. The two Montessori teachers in the classroom are busy with demonstrations and lessons, keeping a watchful eye on the children as they are working. As circle time approaches, one teacher quietly moves to the audio player to turn on a song that signals it is time for the children to clean up. She then quietly moves to the group area to await the children. The other teacher helps the children put away their materials. When the children who are coming to circle are gathered, the teacher leading circle begins a welcome song to welcome the children to circle.
Activities for Toddler Circle Time in the Montessori ClassroomTo the tune of "Frere Jacques"
Hello Friends. Hello friends.
How are you? How are you?
We're glad you came to school today.
We're going to learn and laugh and play.
Yes we are. Yes we are.
(Can be sung substituting each child’s name)
It is also important to remember that during this sensitive period of toddlerhood, books should be based on real objects, not fantasy, because at this stage of development children want and need to learn about the real world. The time for fairy tales and fantasy comes at a later stage of development, after they have absorbed and experienced what they can about the real world.
Just as books should be kept “real”, so should the objects that are presented. If you read a book about autumn, be sure to have specimens of real leaves for the children to see, smell, and touch. If you read a book about oranges, have some real oranges available for the children to touch, smell, cut up and taste. In the Montessori classroom, the experience of real, tangible objects should always come before pictures or disassociated names.
- Welcome Song – Toddlers really enjoy singing songs with hand motions, clapping, etc.
- Weather and Season - We learn/review what season we are in and what is happening with our weather lately, how it's changing and what season will come next.
- Calendar – Time for more songs about Months of the Year and Days of the Week. Ask if someone can tell you what month it is. Then ask if someone can tell you what day of the week it is. Have a daily calendar helper to help you find the date and put it on the calendar. Then, count together up to that number.
- Theme Activity – This might include a story from a book or using a puppet or flannel board. It could include finger plays, creative movement, and sharing of new objects.
- Closing – We sing a closing song together, usually holding hands. This helps the children transition to our next activity.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, April 15, 2009.