FASM TODDLER PROGRAM: LE TOUT PETIT PROGRAMME
The Tout Petit Programme is for children 16 to 33 months.
The primary goal of the Tout Petit Programme is to provide a bilingual French/English experience in a nurturing and loving environment that allows children to flourish and gain lifelong skills that will prepare them for the journey to Maternelle and beyond. The lead teacher is always a French speaker and the assistant teacher the English speaker.
Our program boasts a very carefully designed environment that promotes comfort, safety and is conducive to learning.
Our curriculum balances exploration and hands on learning, with an emphasis in nurturing and continuity of care. The classroom has a daily schedule built around the children’s needs and desire for predictability.
The weekly schedule provides lessons and activities tailored to the children interests and encompass all areas of development, from language to large motor skills.
The classroom is rich in language because learning the language is not limited to the language area. All the materials placed in the class are encouraging conversation skills. Not only are those materials used to gain knowledge but also to learn basic language components like opposites and build their vocabulary. The schedule is also promoting language at distinct social times, like morning routines, diapering and eating, as well as thorough the day. The children are read to very often during their work time.
Simple and basic materials are provided to experience with the senses, olfactory, touch, hearing… These activities also reinforce mathematical concepts such as shapes, sorting, counting. Basic Math skills such as counting, numeral and quantity recognition are introduced through counting activities, which uses concrete objects to match with the numbers.
By means of the Practical Life and Sensory activities, children experience the concepts of order, sequence, measurement, calculations, and exactness. The activities heighten the child’s awareness of the mathematical relationships found in the natural world. These activities not only help the child gain independence, but also provide the indirect preparation for higher level math skills.
We send out a daily newsletter to let parents take a pic inside our fun filled journeys!
A BILINGUAL CLASSROOM
Fred Genesee, professor of psychology at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, an expert in bilingual research, tells us that:
“All children are capable of learning two languages in childhood”
“Bilingual acquisition is a common and normal childhood experience”
“Bilingual acquisition is facilitated if children have sustained, rich, and varied experiences in both languages”
In our Toddler’s classroom, English and French language are spoken in complement of each other. We do not “translate”, we scaffold on building vocabulary. For example, the child can be playing with cars and the interaction with the teachers will go:
– “Are you playing with the car?” (tu joues a la voiture?)
– “tu fais rouler la voiture…” (you are rolling your car…)
– “it’s rolling on the shelf…” (elle roule sur l’étagère…)
– “la voiture est rouge…” (the car is red…)
The goal is to provide as much vocabulary in both languages around the same concept, so that fluency and understanding is built at the same time.
For the same reason, nursery rhymes and poetries are selected based on their cultural relevance and a common subject. They echo each other’s while retaining their specificity.
THE NEED FOR SENSORY EXPERIENCES
Because children learn best by having “hands on” experiences with materials, sensory experiences are vital to young children’s learning. Learning and retention improve depending upon how many of our senses are engaged. Here are some different types of learning that occurs during sensory experiences.
Cognitive Development: as children manipulate the materials, they learn to understand concepts such as more/less full/empty and sink/float. They work on problem solving and different math skills.
Language Development: children use and learn new vocabulary when the experiences are interesting. Grasping and manipulating develops their pre-writing fine motor skills.
Social and Emotional Development: children need an opportunity to try out their emerging concepts about their world in a safe environment as well as have appropriate outlets for relieving tension. Pounding, squishing, feeling water through their hands are all ways of staying in contact with feelings while learning to control what he does about them.
Creative Development: sensory experiences provide open-ended opportunities; how children use the materials is much more important than what he makes with them. Using creative thinking skills and expressing one’s creativity are important self-esteem builders.
Sticky, slippery, gooey, heavy, bumpy…that’s what sensory experiences are made of.