New Student Transition
Transitioning into the Toddler Community
- The parent observes the class in session to begin to envision their child as part of the group.
- Then set up a date and time for a “Home Visit”. The purpose of the Home Visit is to establish the parent/guide relationship, sharing of information about the IC environment and a time to learn more about your child’s history and behavior patterns. Just as important is a chance for the child to meet his/her new guide (teacher) in familiar surroundings and sees acceptance from parents of this new adult.
- Finally, we invite the child and parents to a “School Visit” for about half an hour prior to their first day of school, giving the child time to explore his/her new environment. Over a period of (about) one week, the transition is complete with the child staying from just a short time in the morning to a full day by the end of the week.
To ease the transition it is suggested that the child have experienced some separating from parents with either family or friends before entering the IC.
Transitioning into the Early Childhood Community
When at all possible, we suggest the following schedule, especially for children who have never been away from home in a school or childcare setting.
- Child/Teacher meeting (about 30 minutes with the child entering the classroom without parent(s).
- First day is a half day; leaving at noon. Second day is extended day; leaving at 2:30. Third day is regular schedule.
Moving from one Community to the Next
Transition from the Toddler (IC) to Early Childhood (EC)
When the child’s lead teacher brings a recommendation to the Director to move the child to the next community, we will follow the following procedure:
- Toddler teacher will schedule the EC teacher to observe the child for at least 30 minutes.
- We recommend that the parents observe the EC classroom for about an hour prior to the child’s move.
After this observation, parents can bring questions to the EC teacher or Director.
- Toddler teacher will bring the child to visit the EC class and point out similar materials and familiar children. Several more visits may take place depending on the child’s readiness, before the “real” move.
- A meeting between the EC teacher and the child’s parent will take place to share information and discuss the changes:
- The “real move” can be celebrated by formally moving the child’s belongings from one room to another. Also, the child’s records and information regarding previous lessons and mastery of such lessons can be given to the child’s new teacher.
- By taking time to visit, observe and share information about the progression of the child through the developmental stages that are built into the Montessori community, the child looks forward to changes and new situations with a healthy anticipation.
Transitions during School Holidays/Breaks and the Summer Sessions are discouraged due to absences of the Lead Teachers or regular assistants.
Moving from Early Childhood into Lower Elementary
The transition from Early Childhood into Lower Elementary marks the end of the first plane of development and the onset of the second plane. The ideal age for entry into the Lower Elementary is ~six years by the start of school.
In determining a child’s readiness for moving up, faculty first considers social and emotional maturity. We also look very closely at the child’s academic skills. The child needs to be reading and writing with fluency to prosper at the Elementary level. There also needs to be a strong sense of self-direction and independence, and the ability to work with concentration – alone or in cooperation with a group.
Readiness Guidelines for Primary Children Moving to Lower Elementary
Each child should be six by Sept. 1st in order to be eligible for Lower Elementary at MHFC. Children who are advanced or particularly mature can continue to be challenged in their primary environments and we will not be offering mid-year move ups for children moving from Primary to Elementary
- Understanding and experience with the process of conflict resolution
- The child has a general capacity to display a love of learning
- Social awareness – the child respects others, self, and the materials in the room
- Child exhibits a fair amount of self -control and self- discipline
- The child has the desire and ability to be a leader among younger children
- The child has the ability to work independently, without the constant direction or involvement from the
teacher and has some idea regarding time management
- Works cooperatively and effectively in small groups.
- Has some skill with time management and choosing independent work
- The child exhibits a strong understanding of the decimal system and place value
- Understands the concept of zero
- Lots of experience with the changing game
- Has experience and understanding of the four mathematical operations
- Has a clear understanding and experience with linear counting
- Has received upper level sensorial experiences with the geometry materials
- Has committed to memory many of the phonogram words and puzzle words
- Can read simple and/or complex sentences that include short vowels, long vowels and sight words
- Can express thoughts through simple written sentences and phrases
- Holds a pencil correctly
- Writes legibly in cursive and is able to form all lower case letters
- Knows how to write first and last name as well as the date
Received lessons and maintains an intellectual curiosity about cultural subjects
Gross motor skills are adequately developed so that the child displays bodily control and coordination.
This is a guide and it expresses an ideal for readiness on paper. In order for children to fully embrace and enjoy the elementary curriculum as it is designed, the children really need to have the skills necessary to engage in extensive research.
We all also agree that holding children back can be problematic (children maturing after two years of elementary and needing to move up). If the child’s social and emotional readiness is there, we agree that the child should move up.
Elementary teachers should begin observing candidates in January. After placement in the spring, candidates should be invited to visit the class for a morning.