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Freedom as the First Period in the Toddler 3-Period Lesson

Presenter: Rebecca Thompson-Stewart
For: Toddler
CPD Hours: 1.5
Available: On Demand

Individual Rental Group Rental


On-Demand Webinar

The presentation is available for a 30-day rental via Vimeo On Demand, allowing you to view the webinar at any time, as often as you would like, within your rental period.

$55/individual (Certificate of Continuing Professional Development for 1 person)
$200/group (CPD certificates for up to 20 persons)


Independent, exploratory behavior is the primary means of skill, concept, and language acquisition in the Montessori Toddler environment. Whereas in the Early Childhood environment free extension of the material comes after the “lesson,” for the toddler, independent exploration of materials must come first, that is, before directed guidance is offered. This, in turn will lead to discovery.

In this webinar, presenter Rebecca Thompson-Stewart will present her perspective—drawn from Dr. Montessori’s writings, knowledge of child development, and classroom experience—that the toddler’s exploratory behavior is the first period of the 3-period lesson for Toddlers. Owing to the properties of the unconscious absorbent mind, toddlers require stimulus of a wide variety and the opportunity to make connections across curriculum areas.

Your responsibilities as the teacher and guide are to prepare these vibrant experiences; support the student with a gentle hand; and observe and redirect learning so as to promote concentration and thorough exploration.

In this webinar, we’ll discuss the value of placing exploration and free movement at the top of your class’s day. You’ll be presented with a philosophical and developmental defense of the appropriateness and importance of this structure. Discussion will center on why, when, and how to move the toddler beyond First Period exploration to the introduction of language, proper utilization of materials, and refinement of skills. You’ll come away knowing how to properly observe toddler exploration with minimal interference and gently guide the child to completing her cycle of activity.

Learner Outcomes

  • Understand the philosophical and developmental imperative to allow and encourage free exploration,
  • Ability to identify and reference Maria Montessori’s writings on the topic of toddler exploration
  • Gain strategies and tips to support exploration with good pedagogy and a prepared environment
  • Through comparing methods in your current toddler environment and the ideas presented, you’ll come away with a rationale for creating desired changes

Rebecca Thompson-Stewart, MEd (Early Childhood education), is a lead teacher at Versailles Montessori School in Versailles, KY. AMS-credentialed (Infant & Toddler, Early Childhood).

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