18 Months to 3 Years Half Day: 8:30 to 12:20 noon Full Day: 8:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Our Infant Community provides activities that stimulate the natural curiosity of children from 18 months to three years of age by following the original concepts of Dr. Maria Montessori’s pioneering educational innovations. In the Infant Community, parents and students are introduced to a community designed to support the formative years of young children’s development. We offer a stimulating learning environment which promotes cognitive and gross motor development, encourages the development of the senses, cultivates language skills, nurtures eye-hand coordination, and fosters self-esteem with opportunities for self-expression through music, arts, and crafts.
Our first priority is always to create a safe, secure, and stimulating environment to foster your child’s seminal years. The Infant Community program is conducted by two Toddler Level certified Montessori Guides (teacher). The environment emulates a home with sinks, toilets, shelves and activities which are all at the appropriate height to foster young children’s independence and self-reliance. Specialized activities are designed to stimulate your toddler’s physical, social and mental development.
Movement and Knowledge
The Toddler classroom offers early Practical Life activities which form the cornerstone of Montessori philosophy and prepare children for the future stages of their development. Practical Life activities include daily chores, group play, and individual activities. Toddlers explore with their senses; their exploration, which yields information about the world, is facilitated by their ability to concentrate and control their movements. Through the daily repetition of Practical Life activities, children develop basic skills that will serve them all in all aspect of their lives. Tactically assessing the identity of objects in the Fishing Bags develops the ability to identify familiar objects by using only the sense of touch and visual memory. Among other stimulating activities, students learn to do basic chores, sew different textiles, manipulate scissors, and glue papers for art projects. These activities expedite the development of fine motor control, hand-eye coordination, a sense of order, mental concentration, physical balance, and independence. Outdoor activities on the Toddler playground aid the development of equilibrium.
Language at Mountain West Montessori is a salient component of our curriculum and it is a prominent part or our school’s mission. Because El Paso has a rich bilanguage heritage, we immerse children in both Spanish and English throughout their linguistic development. Toddlers are eager to learn the names of things and to understand which terms are situationally appropriate. They work tirelessly to increase their vocabularies and to expand their repertoire of sentence structures. Listening to stories, learning the names of plants, animals, and objects in their environment, and singing with their peers develops rich language skills.
Around the age of two, children’s vocabularies explodes and their ability to structure sentences develops at a rapid pace. The Language materials in the Toddler classroom encourage the refinement of oral language as the initial stages of literacy to prepare students to learn to read and write. The Infant Community is led by a Guide (teacher) that speaks only Spanish to the children and an assistant that speaks only English. This division of language mimics a family model where parents have different first languages and develops children’s ability to learn and to manipulate both languages. Learning to code switch between two languages is an especially effective method to teach students who are new to one or both of the languages.
As Infant Community students mature, Spanish Immersion or English Children’s House offer opportunities for students to continue develop their language skills in English and Spanish. The Elementary Dual Language program builds on the students’ speaking abilities and extends to reading and writing in both languages.
The Children’s House and the Elementary level programs are Montessori programs and deviate from traditional public schools’ methodologies. Please attend one of our monthly parent introduction sessions for further information.
Activities of a regular day in the Infant Community
8:30-10:00 Individual working time
10:00-11:00 Indoor reading, gross motor skills development & outdoor playtime.
11:30-11:45 Circle time / Group activities with music & language.
11:50-12:30 Dismissal of half-day students.
2:00-2:20 Children prepare to go home
2:30 Dismissal of full-day students