1-2 years old
For many of our littlest students, entering the Pandas class is their first school experience. As a school we work hard to establish a strong rapport with each of our students, to help the children develop trust for known and caring adults. Within the Pandas class, the students are working on responding to simple verbal directions, engaging in play with peers, beginning to self-advocate and showing awareness that the people around them have feelings too.
To encourage communication among our Panda class students we utilize a plethora of techniques including simple sign language, picture cues, gestures and verbal communication. This allows even our littlest ones to communicate as effectively as possible, therefor reducing frustration. Children are encouraged to look at books and participate in story time, immersing themselves in a language rich environment. Students are frequently asked simple questions or given simple directions to work on receptive language development.
Within the Pandas class you will find our students beginning to engage in pretend play either cooking their teachers a yummy meal or dressing up in the wildest outfits. Our students are working on exploring cause and effect with the ever favorite build a tower – knock it down, and matching objects with similarities. They are learning to persist despite challenges they may face and are always encouraged to explore the world around them through their senses.
The Pandas class works heavily on motor development as frequently children enter the class not yet walking or being unstable on their feet. Children are encouraged to get up and move about through silly movement activities, gross motor play outdoors, and music and dance. Through these activities children work on walking, running, two footed jumping, crawling and squatting. The Panda class also works on our students fine motor skills, many of which are early self help skills, such as self-feeding using utensils, drinking from an open cup, and helping to pull up and down clothing during changes. Children are also encouraged to point at objects and exposed to simple writing tools.