Our youngest children, as young as 6 weeks old, learn about the world through their senses. The skilled teachers in the room provide an environment that supports children’s earliest attempts to gain understanding of their world and build strong relationships with others. The teachers provide warmth and caring; nurturing each child as the individual he or she is.
In the Otter room we see physical capability, language and communication, a developing sense of identity, and the need for independence emerging. Children are encouraged in this quest for self-awareness and are provided with ample opportunities for exploration and self-expression. Teachers pay close attention to children’s ideas in order to support them as they construct their knowledge.
In our older toddler room we see the children continue to expand their capacity for self-awareness and begin to develop relationships with each other. As language becomes more skilled, children learn to negotiate, plan, and share theories about the how and why of things. Teachers gently guide negotiations and provide opportunities for exploration and expression of ideas. Toilet learning often happens at this time and teachers work together with parents to facilitate successful passage of this developmental phase.
Children can spend one or two years in the Eagle room where they continue to build on skills begun in the Tiger room. They are learning to work as part of a group and developing prerequisite skills for literacy and math. Children at this age begin to use representation in their art work as a tool for communication. Drawings become elaborate and full of details as they reflect their knowledge and imagination. Teachers provide children with opportunities to use this skill as a way to find their own answers to questions through interactions, communication, and collaboration with each other. These children are creative problem solvers and astound us with their immense capability and enormous potential.