The Tortuguitas Class is for children ages 24-36 months who are:
- Beginning to work on toileting skills
- Starting to put on shoes/pants/coats independently
- Using words to communicate
- Building relationships, social skills and larger group (community) skills.
The Tortuguitas class has a maximum of 10 children with 2 teachers and the assistance of auxiliary staff as needed. As such it is imperative that children be developmentally ready for the higher child/teacher ratios. All children develop at a different pace and this pace must be honored.
A Day in the Tortuguitas Class
In our toddler classroom, we are very intentional about creating a classroom environment that promotes the children’s sense of inquiry, comfort, competence, and wonder. Each day begins with a Morning Message about the coming day, written in Spanish and English, for you to read with your child. While remaining flexible and open to impromptu family visitors, etc., we have a consistent daily routine which includes material and sensory exploration, early literacy opportunities, music, art, yoga and breath-work, cooking/baking projects, community meal times, outdoor play and nature walks, and a daily rest time. As the children build their bathrooming, problem-solving, and independent skills, the teachers encourage the children always to take a moment to breathe, pay attention to their bodies, and try to find their own solutions first. Their inquisitive minds fuel our project-based learning and inspire our curriculum, while working daily toward nurturing prosocial skills, empathy, confidence, creativity, and enthusiasm for the Spanish language.
Food is a critical part of your child’s experience in the Tortuguitas class. Children are encouraged to try all foods as they learn to develop a palate for various tastes. We also know how important proper nutrition is for your child’s educational experiences. As your child is getting acclimated to the foods offered at Escuela Viva, we ask that you pack a small snack to supplement the 2 snacks and lunch we serve daily. Additionally, we encourage children to “listen to their bodies” and eat when they are hungry. We offer snacks and lunch at a particular time; yet children are always encouraged to seek their snacks when they feel hunger. As we learn to trust children, while offering only healthy food options, children can and do make very healthy choices for their bodies.
Guidelines for Foods To Be Brought As Supplemental Snacks
- Ensure that the snack bag is labeled with your child’s name (sharpies work best)
- Ensure that the snack bag is insulated and properly cooled if packing perishable foods
- Please be conscientious of packaged foods as packaged foods have many additives, sugars and preservatives. Additionally, packing adds to waste and we promote sustainability whenever possible.
- Please avoid high sugar snacks. Such snacks will be saved by a teacher until pick-up time
- No candy or gum
A classroom rhythm is established each year and often varies depending on the children and their developmental needs and personalities. The following are aspects of the classroom that children and parents can expect:
- Morning provocations–material exploration, books and early literacy experiences, fine, gross and sensory motor activities, etc.
- Circle time–music and story-telling, guest speakers, opportunities to share with the group, etc.
- A.M. Snack–provided by school
- Project time–small group work, based on children’s interests, may include cooking, baking, painting, gardening, constructing forts, etc.
- Outside time–gross motor activities, group games, gardening, etc.
- Lunch–main course, fruit or vegetable, and rice milk, provided by school
- Quiet rest time
- P.M. Snack–provided by school
- Additional outside time
Parent involvement is at the crux of our classroom environment. Our most successful classrooms always include strong partnerships between parents and teachers. As always communicate directly with your child’s teachers via the blog or email address. If you do not have access to the blog with a sign in contact the director: email@example.com or the directors assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org.