GTMS Life > Blog May 29, 2021

Toddler ADM: May 2021

Goodbye May! Hello everyone. I am always so perplexed when the end of the month arrives. How is it already June? June! We are coming up to our 1-year mark of the ADM program returning to Greene Towne during the Covid pandemic. How incredible. I am suddenly overcome with the thoughts of how we worked […]

Goodbye May!

Hello everyone. I am always so perplexed when the end of the month arrives. How is it already June? June! We are coming up to our 1-year mark of the ADM program returning to Greene Towne during the Covid pandemic. How incredible. I am suddenly overcome with the thoughts of how we worked and researched diligently and tirelessly to ensure everyone’s safety for that summer and for those joining us later for the school year; of course, adapting and changing when necessary throughout the year. Thinking back on all of the emotions, considerations, and ambiguity there were at that time to see where we are now is so illuminating. While we still have a while to go, it is still nice to see how far we have come. Through all of the runny noses, sniffles, coughs, fevers, virtual learning, Covid tests, morning check-ins, and changes- thank you! Thank you for trusting us and partnering with us, especially this year. 

Follow The Child: Changes in recess

This year our morning recess was from 10:40 am – 11:20 am. Last month we noticed the children had more of a desire to move their bodies during the morning and appeared more restless during lunch. Dominique and I spoke with the other Toddler Leads as well as Primary ADM, and decided that we would start going into the movement room before going outside, weather permitting. Now our recess resembles a typical school year, and we head over to the movement room around 10:10 am, and then outside at 10:40 am. We have noticed the children have been more focused during the work cycle, calmer and hungrier at lunch, and have an easier time going to rest. 

Toddler Development Review

During the Staff In-Service on Friday, May 28th, Dominique and I reviewed toddler development and adult approaches to toddler behavior with the T-ADM Team. Three resources that we provided to our team are listed below, with the link for their webpage along with their Instagram page. If you are on Instagram, each account provides almost daily tips and quotes. These are short and helpful reminders. Sometimes I feel as though they are quoting Dominique and myself. 

Transforming Toddlerhood by Devon Kuntzman. She is an educator and coach for parents and caregivers of toddlers. She has a lot of great information and I appreciate her Instagram reminders and toddler tips. Her website also contains more in-depth strategies to consider. 

Instagram: Transforming Toddlerhood

Website: Transforming Toddlerhood

The Montessori Notebook by Simone Davies (love her!!!) She is a Montessori expert, parent educator, and author. She has really wonderful workshops and courses for parents and educators. 

Instagram: The Montessori Notebook 

Webpage: The Montessori Notebook

Institute of Child Psychology: the latest research and strategies to help children heal, develop resiliency, regulate emotion, and achieve other positive mental health outcomes.

Instagram: Institute of Child Psychology

Webpage: Institute of Child Psychology

 

Bye Bye Butterflies

The children were excited to have caterpillars in our environment. They were able to observe them grow from tiny little caterpillars to bigger ones. They watched as they each formed their chrysalis, and then two weeks later pop out as butterflies!! The children were so excited to free them and even more excited to hold them… until it was their turn. Many of the children were too nervous, and that is ok. The butterflies were extra jumpy!

 

The Evolution of Scissor Work In The Toddler Environment 

The scissors are a fascinating tool that every toddler is excited to use. Each manipulation leads to a different outcome, and each outcome is a success.

Exploration

When a toddler is first introduced to scissors they are excited. Scissors! A tool that only adults are allowed to use. Finally! Usually, children pick up the scissors by the two-finger rings, each ring in a hand. They pull and push the rings together, exploring the motions. They may switch to holding each of the blades in their hands, repeating the push together and pull apart motion.

 

First Steps: Small Cuts

When a toddler begins to hold scissors with one hand notice how they may hold it differently than the typical scissor holding grasp, and that is ok. They continue to explore different approaches to holding the scissors in one hand while holding their paper in the other. This can be challenging. As they are still becoming familiar with the tool, they may only achieve a small cut in the paper. They made a cut! They did it. Toddlers may leave their paper intact with incisions along the perimeter, or they might finish by tearing off the pieces.

Cutting Paper

The child is now able to hold the scissors in their hand with a confident grasp, while maybe still navigating how to hold the paper in the other hand. Regardless, the child is able to cut through a strip of paper. These pieces are contained in a bowl and placed into a bag or envelope to be taken home, or they may use their cuttings to make a collage. This is the time when you might catch a toddler slowly raising the scissors to their head… This is probably a good time to talk about who cuts hair (hint: only parents and hairstylists). 

Cutting On The Line 

The child is ready for a challenge once they have mastered cutting paper. Two simple lines are drawn on a strip of paper. At first, the child may snip next to the line using it as a guide, and with more practice will snip closer to it and eventually on the line. Once the child is able to cut along the line, new and more challenging lines will be presented to them. 

Cutting Out Shapes

The child is confident in their control and manipulation of scissors. They are able to cut on a line with ease, while also being confident with their hand mobility and hand stability. At first, the toddler may cut around the shape, close to the line. They want to cut the shape out but are cautious as to not cut through the shape. Their feelings are on the line too, so we start out simple with a triangle. Once they begin to cut out the triangle, they may ask for alternative shapes. 

* If a child becomes upset if they cut through a line, talk about it. This is a great teaching moment. Mistakes are avenues to learn: “What can you do next time?” or “How can you fix it?”

How did they get here?!

Fortunately, toddlers love repetition. They enjoy using a work over and over again, working towards mastery; and even once they master a work, they will revisit it. It is comforting. There are many pieces of work in the environment that help to build, strengthen, and reinforce specific skills necessary for cutting out shapes. Being able to manipulate scissors in one hand while manipulating the paper in the other is no small feat, nor is being able to cut on the line while moving both hands. Here are five of the works that have aided in the scissor cutting evolution: 

  • Transfer Work
    • Sponge: transferring water with a sponge requires a squeezing motion of the hands (fine motor)
    • Tongs/Tweezers: transferring objects with tongs/tweezers requires a squeezing motion of the hands (fine motor)
  • Pin Punching: using a pushpin to punch holes along a line (eye-hand coordination)
  • Song Work: many of the songs sung during Circle require using both hands to make similar or different motions, i.e. the hammer song (hand mobility and stability)
  • Bead Stringing/Making a Bracelet: placing objects with a hole onto a string/pipe cleaner requires one hand to hold the string/pipe cleaner and the other to hold the bead (hand mobility and stability, and eye-hand coordination)

Enjoy Photos of the children working below: 

Upcoming Dates:

  • Ice Cream Social: Tuesday, June 8th
    • Our Ice cream social has been moved to our recess time. Due to Covid protocols, we will be hosting our Ice Cream social during our Recess time in the Courtyard. Ms. Sweeney-Denham and Ms. Coulter will be serving only our children during that time. We will have the children spaced apart so they can enjoy their celebration safely. Reminder for your child: dress for the mess! 
  • Adult Breaks
    • Ms. Jena will be on vacation: June 7-18
    • Ms. Elizabeth will be on vacation: June 14-28
    • Ms. Jackie will be on vacation: June 21-25
    • Ms. Maddie will be on vacation: June 21-July 2
    • Ms. Michelle will be on vacation: June 28-July 16

Thank you so much!!

Michelle and Dominique 

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