Toddler Classrooms at Kendalwood Montessori

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Toddler A Environment

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Toddler B Environment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Toddler Community is designed for children ages 18 months to 2.5 years.  This setting provides a place where children are allowed to explore their own movements and culture by being active participants in those activities that mirror what the child sees in the world around him/her.   The Toddler Classroom is meticulously prepared to provide a home-like, loving environment where children’s abilities and needs are respected and met. “Help me to help myself” is the mantra of children at this stage of development. Toddler children enrolled at Kendalwood will find that it is an extension of their home environment. The comfortability of their environment provides consistency, familiarity and order during a time of great transition and development. Here at Kendalwood we have two Toddler environments.

For example, during lunch time the children share responsibility for setting the table and for cleaning up after eating. They are provided with placemats which outline the placement of a plate or bowl, a cup and the utensils. Each Toddler classroom is also stocked with child sized brooms, mops, dustpans and spray bottles to make the cleaning ritual fun.

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Washing Station with mirror

A big part of being a Toddler involves learning to care for oneself.  We place a lot of emphasis on independence, assisting the children in learning to dress themselves, wipe their own noses, wash their hands and faces, use the toilet and to keep track of their personal belongings.  This takes up quite a bit of time during the child’s day and it is definitely a very important part of our curriculum.

Kendalwood’s classrooms are prepared with low shelves and a modest number of clearly displayed materials to create an attractive atmosphere where children will be enticed to choose materials and make decisions based on their own interests and strengths. The ability to make independent choices fosters confidence and independence.

Everything in this specially prepared environment is designed to meet the specific needs of very young children in terms of the development of receptive and expressive language and communication skills, gross and fine motor skills, toileting and independence.  The children have the freedom to make choices for themselves regarding their activity within this enriching environment.

The children are free to learn at their own pace, processing information through their senses and their actions while developing a sense of trust and autonomy. This is an environment that supports the child’s need for exploration and large motor activities; a place that fosters their internal sense of order as well as their growing linguistic skills.  This is also an environment that nurtures the beginnings of social interaction through parallel play with an emphasis on mutual respect.

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Practical Life Materials

 

Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

Montessori Accreditation- A Measure of Quality

Montessori Accreditation – A Measure of Quality

Maria Montessori’s methodology has been widely used by her followers since she opened the first Casa dei Bambini over a century ago. Her innovative approach to education was never trademarked, a conscious decision made by Montessori before her passing. Over time, many of those who followed her philosophies adapted and modified Montessori’s methods. As a result, the approach found in Montessori ‘inspired’ schools can vary greatly.

In Ontario, the Ministry of Education does not oversee or ensure the quality of education in private schools.  As the term Montessori is in the public domain, any organization is free to declare themselves a “Montessori School”, regardless of their regard for genuine Montessori philosophy. The well respected Montessori name, together with the lack of regulation for its use, presents a challenge for parents seeking the best education for their child. Choosing a private school requires careful consideration. How can parents’ best assess and weigh the options?

A Measure of Quality 

As a Montessori parent, or as a parent considering Montessori for your child, you may be familiar with the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA).  This organization promotes standards of excellence in Montessori education through accreditation. By achieving CCMA accreditation, authentic Montessori schools are able to identify themselves and demonstrate their commitment to the original Montessori principles and the strict standards set by CCMA.

“The primary objective of an accreditation is to make good schools better. “

-  Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators

Durham Region’s First Fully Accredited Montessori School

Kendalwood Montessori and Elementary School is very proud to be the first fully Accredited Montessori School in Durham Region, having achieved accreditation in 2011. It was important to us to complete the CCMA accreditation for several reasons:

Accreditation reflects our deep commitment to authentic Montessori education.

Accreditation attracts the best Montessori  teachers – those who have received Montessori Teacher training from a MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) certified institution and who want to practice their craft in a school of the highest standards.

Accreditation supports ideal learning environments and outcomes for students.

We encourage parents considering a Montessori education for their child to ensure the selection process includes accreditation. Ask the right questions to gain insight into this key criterion. It’s the only existing safeguard parents have to secure a true Montessori provider.

Our Promise to Our Students

We will teach you according to the Montessori ideals created and developed by Maria Montessori. We will be your aid to life. We will help to ignite the fire for a lifelong love of learning.

 Discover the Kendalwood difference. Book your personal tour or check our school calendar for our next open house.

Montessori Education Week

Students and staff members were busier than ever during Montessori Week as they put final touches on a series of special events planned for the week long observance and celebration of Montessori Education Week. Kendalwood Montessori will be joining more than 5000 Montessori schools around the world participating in Montessori Education Week.

A special highlight and treat for the Casa age students, is the opportunity to listen and experience one of the Great Lessons, presented by Mrs. Lohasz, the Lower Elementary Directress. The Five Great Lessons is a group of impressionistic stories that are meant to provide Montessori students with a “big picture” of the world and life. These lessons are bold, exciting and are designed to awaken a child’s imagination and curiosity. The students in Lower Elementary are presented the Five Great Lessons every year so that children see them more than one time, unlike in the Casa environment, where the child is traditionally introduced first to “small” ideas that gradually widen into larger concepts. This rare opportunity will leave Kendalwood’s 3-6 years old struck with the wonder of creation, thrilled with new ideas and awed by the inventiveness and innovation that is part of the human spirit.

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The Great Lesson

Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

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Kendalwood Montessori Offers Top Notch Campus in Whitby

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Our New Gymnasium

As part of our continued commitment to enhance the educational experience of your child(ren), Kendalwood has undergone extensive renovations to enhance our property. In July 2016, Kendalwood acquired additional property which was previously used by Live Act Dinner Theatre. The additional 3700 square feet, has provided a unique opportunity to create a gymnasium, a dedicated music room and a larger French classroom.

Brand New Gymnasium

When students returned from the Winter Break, they were excited to see Kendalwood’s brand-new gymnasium.  Equipped with basketball nets, new flooring and freshly painted walls, this space brings new programming opportunities to students who participate in physical education. The original stage from Live Act Dinner Theatre, was also preserved for students to use for future choir performances and French plays.

Brand New Music Room

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Mr. Linderman’s Music Room

Kendalwood’s resident Music teacher, Mr. Linderman moved into a state-of-the-art room, which is fully stocked with musical instruments (including a piano) and a twelve foot chalkboard staff to record notes and music on. Mr. Linderman continues to offer before and afterschool music lessons, and he continues to direct the Junior and Inspire Choir in his new space.

 Brand New French Room

Madame Borges’ new classroom offers students more room to learn from the AIM French Programme. With direct access to the stage and gymnasium, students can practice their play to prepare for the annual French Night. Her interactive lessons are enjoyed by all ages and the additional classroom space, allows students to become fully immersed in the body movements associated with AIM’s approach to learning a second language.

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New French Classroom

 The newly acquired space has allowed Kendalwood Montessori to open an additional Casa classroom, in the old Music room. This classroom is currently capped with one teacher, to provide a small ratio for newly graduated students of our PreCasa classes. Casa C works closely with our other two Casa classes, to ensure the students are receiving a consistent education.

 The faculty, owners, parents and students are thrilled with all of the renovations. The entire building has been taken over by Kendalwood! A separate hallway has been added to connect the previously built classrooms from 2015 and the original portion of the school to the new areas. When you come to tour the improved facility, please follow the posted signs to help you get around or ask any one of our smiling staff to show you around!


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

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Back to School with Montessori – 5 Helpful Tips for Parents

Heading back to the classroom in September is an exciting time of year. Children, parents and teachers are all full of anticipation as the new school year begins. With only a couple of weeks before summer break draws to a close, it’s a good time to begin thinking about the September transition.

1. Build Confidence – Helping kids help themselves, do for themselves and make their own mistakes is truly the best way to build self-esteem and confidence. Before mornings become rushed in September, give children some space and time to practice the skills they’ll need to get ready for school. Can little one pour their own cereal and milk? Do older children know how to pack their own backpacks and lunches?

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” – Maria Montessori

2. Slow Down – Summer is full of action playing with friends, travelling and going on adventures as a family. During these last weeks of the summer break, slow things down and try to reduce distractions in order to mentally and emotionally prepare for a Montessori setting where children will be working on their concentration skills through uninterrupted work periods.

3. Get Organized – Sit down together as a family and talk about upcoming changes and set new routines that need to fall into place. Let everyone share the things they are excited about, as well as anything that might be causing underlying anxiety. Talking about it ahead of time will ease the transition for the whole family.

4. Expect the Unexpected – Changing expectations, new routines and potential social pressures may lead to some challenging moments in the weeks ahead. Stay connected to one another and be prepared for a few bumps in the road. With a flexible mindset, these things won’t derail parents, leaving you better equipped to get through anything unexpected.

5. Have Fun – The most important thing to keep top of mind during any transition phase is to keep the fun going! Laughter is the best stress reliever, no matter what your age. Remember to have some fun as a family as you get back into your school year routines.

See all you back at Kendalwood Montessori soon!


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

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A Montessori Summer

Authentic Montessori education fosters curiosity and independence year round, but the summer months provide a unique opportunity to grow. Children seem to grow a foot taller or master a substantial new skill in just a couple of months over the summer break. Why is that? At Kendalwood, we have a theory on why these big growth spurts happen during the dog days of summer.

Spontaneity

Summertime is a natural companion to our Montessori ideals, which honour individual interests and prioritize each child’s needs. Our summer camp program provides extra time for students to explore and follow their instincts and interests. We can stay outside, share impromptu picnics and host carnival dance parties at a moment’s notice.

Creativity

Imagination abounds during summer camp! Each week means a new theme with corresponding games, art and music. Together with our students, we delve into new ideas and take cues from the children to go deeper or move onto new subjects. So many opportunities to make and create inspire new ways of thinking and looking at the world around us.

Capability

Stepping just outside of the routines of the academic school year empower children to stretch themselves with confidence. In a Montessori environment where exploration is encouraged and flexibility is available, they can see themselves in new ways and try out new skills in safety, knowing that a familiar friend or teacher will be by their side.

Summer experiences come together in a special way to springboard children from their current place of readiness to their next personal milestone. Thank you for sharing your children with us this summer as they continue to discover their world and learn how much they are capable of – it’s magical to observe and a true privilege to be part of their development.

 


Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

Kendalwood Whitby Campus – Bigger and Better than Ever!

We have really exciting news to share! This summer, we are expanding the Kendalwood campus through additional square footage on the existing property.

Our campus has always been a priority for us, both inside and out. Previous renovations were done in order to increase the amount of natural light and add new flooring, making our classrooms bright and airy. Outside, our facilities offer multiple age appropriate play structures with rubberized surfaces and a wide-open soccer field.

The campus addition will provide three new classrooms, enabling Kendalwood to accommodate the growing demand for our infant, toddler and pre-casa spaces. And it’s only the beginning – this is phase one of a four year expansion program that will see us take over the entire building! With our convenient location and expanded campus, combined with our status as Durham Region’s first fully CCMA accredited Montessori school, we are proud to offer the best in quality Montessori education to Whitby families.

We are thrilled to be able to grow our Montessori community and invite new students to join us. We are certain that our expansion and improvements will enhance the Kendalwood experience and new families and students who join us as new will contribute to the close knit, inclusive culture that Kendalwood has become known for.

Updates will be provided as we progress on the renovations. If you have questions regarding additional spaces, please feel free to contact our principal Janis Koenders through the office.

Lower Elementary Classroom

Lower Elementary Classroom

 Playground

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Casa Classroom

Casa Classroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

Teaching Life Skills

Building a Better World through Montessori Peace Education

Maria Montessori was a passionate advocate of world peace. She believed that children are the key to achieving peace and she endeavoured to instill a sense of humanity in her students.

“Establishing a lasting peace is the work of education; all politicians can do is keep us out of war.”

- Maria Montessori

Many Montessori classrooms have incorporated the use of a Peace Table as a means to manage conflict within the classroom, where students can express their feelings to one another or seek solitude in an effort to prevent conflict from escalating.

Montessori Peace Table

The Kendalwood Peace Table

Upon discovery of a disagreement, students in dispute are encouraged to visit the Peace Table. This area of the classroom might be an actual table, or simply a quiet place within the classroom environment which is dedicated for children to use when they need to work out their differences. A symbolic item will be found at the peace table, such as a small rock garden, lantern or flower. The item can be to passed back and forth, signalling when it is a child’s turn to speak. Students are encouraged to take the lead in conversations, with a teacher merely facilitating as necessary to support a positive and peaceful solution.

The ultimate goal of this process is to help children independently recognize when they need to seek conflict resolution, without the intervention of a teacher or other adult. They are able to practice the skills necessary for effective communication, including listening, taking turns and not interrupting. Participants learn how to take responsibility for their actions and offer solutions on how to help the other child to feel better.

The spirit of compromise and compassion is fostered in an environment utilizing the concept of the Peace Table and students discover that they are capable of solving problems independently.  This sentiment is reinforced throughout the Montessori philosophy, as children are prepared to make conscious decisions that develop strong relationships and communities.

Through peace education, Montessori works to build a more tolerant and harmonious world, one in which we all have the skills to become effective peacemakers. At Kendalwood, we work to cultivate Maria Montessori’s vision of the future at all levels. This investment in our children will have a lasting impact on them as individuals and as a community, through a strong internal compass pointing towards peace and compassion.

 

Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

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Understanding Montessori Materials – The Knobbed Cylinders

Montessori materials can be a bit mystifying for anyone who has not seen them at work. On the surface they may appear simplistic, yet there is a great deal of thought behind these unique classroom tools.

The knobbed cylinders are part of the original set of Montessori materials. With an excellent hands-on introduction to size, the knobbed cylinders give young Montessori students indirect preparation for mathematics while learning about dimensions and developing fine motor skills.

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Tyler Working with Knobbed Cylinders

This set of four blocks, each with a series of cylinder insets which vary in size, help to develop the child’s visual discrimination of size as cylinder sets vary in height and/or diameter. In addition, the knobbed cylinders indirectly prepare children for writing, through the physical handling of the cylinders by their knobs. These fingers are also used in the manipulation of many simple tools such as a spoon, scissors etc. The hand is being trained for manipulation skills in a methodical way.

A graduated sequence of exercises are offered through the material, as students learn to judge size by height, and in time, reach an understanding of the more abstract concept of dimension. Once proficient in one knobbed cylinder set, the child can take out multiple cylinder sets at a time to add further challenge with more variety of height and diameter.

Not only do students learn about size and dimension through the knobbed cylinders, but they gain vocabulary related to these topics, practice left to right progression and learn beginning problem solving skills. This knowledge enables them to observe and interact with their environment with greater awareness and insight.

Like all Montessori materials, the knobbed cylinders are self-correcting. When a piece does not fit, or is left over, the student will know he or she is not yet finished. Children are able to determine that a problem exists and take steps to address the problem without any intervention from a teacher. This produces a deep sense of accomplishment!

The knobbed cylinders are just one of many sensorial materials which support abstract concepts. Is there a Montessori material you would like to know more about? Leave us a comment and we’ll feature it in an upcoming blog. If you would like to learn more about Montessori materials, please give us a call or drop in to our Whitby campus for a tour.

 

Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

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Montessori in the Digital Age

In the Montessori teaching community, the word ‘technology’ can incite some pretty spirited conversation. Opinions on the role of technology in a Montessori classroom vary drastically – some schools are embracing digital tools and incorporating them into their classrooms with an evolutionary attitude, while extremists feel that there is no place for technology in a traditional Montessori program. Each school decides their own unique approach to technology within their curriculum based on their philosophy.

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Elementary Students

As an innovator in her field, Maria Montessori was known for her scientific approach to education. Her materials were considered unconventional by many at the time, but she persisted in her research and science now vigorously supports her body of work. At Kendalwood, we feel that digital literacy should be approached with the same innovative mind set   which Dr. Montessori applied to her educational philosophy. We are living in the digital age and we cannot disregard the importance of e-literacy in our world.

Integrating technology into the classroom is a well thought-out process at Kendalwood and we will always consider authentic Montessori principles and practices when we employ digital teaching and learning.  At the Pre-Casa and Casa level we favour hands-on and personal interactions combined with authentic Montessori materials, opting to wait until the Elementary program to introduce any digital components into the curriculum. Once a foundation for learning is well established and students are ready, computers or other digital tools are presented to complement their studies.

“I see digital technology as a way of bringing the world closer for the digital native child analogous to the way books must have done for a child in the Middle Ages.”

Mark Powell, Elementary Teacher, American International Montessori School, Via Montessori Madmen Blog

At Kendalwood, we value the power of technology to transform learning experiences and create learning opportunities beyond our Whitby Montessori campus. Our students are provided with the best of both worlds – expanded classroom experiences, strong e-literacy and hands on computing skills combined with an authentic Montessori approach to learning and development of the whole child. We think Dr. Montessori would agree wholeheartedly!