Older toddlers (24 months to enroll)
Classroom hours 9:00 am — 1:00 pm
Two days a week attendance for core hours required.
- Arrival and Classroom Exploration
- Welcome Song/Circle Time
- Sensory Activities/Centers
- Small group activities
- Playground or indoor gross motor play
- Dismissal and/or transition to rest time
Zebrot is an Older Toddler room, offering the second step in toddler development at the ELC, until the children are 3 years or older and transition to our Kofim Preschool classroom. We ensure that each child will find a way to feel joy in learning, even as they continue to find the words and emotions that form their emerging awareness of school and self. Our goals are guided by this vision.
Goals for the Children in Zebrot
- Build a caring community in the classroom (help each other, use kind words and gentle hands, respect personal space, share, take turns, check on each other when sad or hurt)
- Provide opportunities for skill development in all areas of learning by creating a variety of activities and learning experiences based on the children’s interests
- Make modifications to activities as needed to encourage participation of children at different levels of skill and comfort
- Communicate wants and needs with teachers and peers (use words and body language modeled by teachers)
- Language development (names, animals, colors, letters, yes, no, please, thank you, more, help, my turn, etc.)
- Learn safety rules (use walking feet indoors, sit while eating/chewing, feet on the floor, teachers open doors, germs are not for sharing, hands are not for hurting, etc.)
- Learn the routine of the classroom with the help of a sand timer as a visual aide during transitions from one activity to the next (play time, clean up time, circle time, snack time, outside time, project time, lunch time, and rest time)
- Try new things, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!
Sample Themes in Zebrot
We explore ways to stay healthy, such as healthy eating, washing our hands, brushing our teeth and going to the doctor. We encourage children to participate in activities, and use songs and books to practice these skills. A favorite activity is using toothbrushes, shaving cream and an upside down egg carton to pretend to brush teeth, as we sing some “Brush Your Teeth” songs.
I Can Do It!
Helping children to build self-confidence and develop positive feelings about their individual capabilities is an important theme in our classroom. As teachers, we provide many opportunities every day for children to accomplish self-help tasks independently or with less and less help from an adult over time. We respect the fact that children show different levels of interest in doing things on their own. We teach the children that it is okay to ask for help, and we model both verbal language and signs that the children can use to ask for help. When children accomplish tasks, or steps of a task on their own, we give them lots of verbal praise, hugs, high-fives, and stickers to reward their hard work, effort, and patience. Even if a child cannot complete a task on their own, we are proud of them for trying! Examples of self-help tasks include:
- Washing hands
- Opening and closing lunch box and food containers
- Dressing tasks like putting on/taking off jacket
- Using the toilet
- Brushing teeth
- Setting up/packing up rest time items
Building Community in Zebrot
Building a caring community is a very important theme in the toddler classroom. We encourage the children to learn each other’s names and say or wave hello to their friends as they arrive at school and during circle time. We have a family board in the classroom with photos of each child’s family. The children love looking at these photos and telling their teachers and friends the names of each of their family members, pets included! We offer many opportunities every day for the children to help take care of one another and the classroom. The children love to help wash the tables, sweep sand from the floor, water the plants, and put the toys away at clean up time. We love to see the children holding hands, checking on friends when they are hurt or sad, and comforting others with hugs, gentle touches, and concerned expressions. We often hear children ask, “Are you okay?” or offer to help each other with tasks like washing hands, handing out water bottles, and packing up rest items. We give a lot of praise, hugs, and high fives for caring behaviors and helpful gestures like these.