Classroom Environment

We follow the American Montessori Society practices and code of ethics.  Our Montessori environment is developmentally appropriate for children ages 2 1/2 to 6 years old.  Having the freedom to explore and learn in a well prepared classroom allows for the development of independence, confidence and respect.

The children begin their day enjoying outdoor time and then transition to the morning work cycle with everyone meeting as a group. We have a story, calendar and a work presentation. The class will be dismissed from group time and will choose learning activities/works. During this time they will work individually, as well as in small groups. Some lessons will be in small groups and others will be one-on-one instruction on a particular work. The areas of Montessori curriculum that the children choose from are snack, practical life, sensorial, math, writing, language, reading area, geography/cultural studies, science, dramatic play, and art. Throughout the work cycle the children make choices that involve long periods of concentration helping to develop the child’s self-discipline.  Montessori works invite the child to discover and develop their ability to be problems solvers.

Practical life –  Works from the Practical life area develop both fine and motor coordination and enable each child to experience satisfaction over mastery of the exercise and completion of a task.  These works develop the child’s concentration, coordination, confidence, independence and sense of order.

Sensorial – A child learns through his or her senses. By providing interrelated sensorial material, children are guided through a series of exercises involving discrimination of size, length, color, sound, smell, and touch.

Math – The child begins with 1-10 work, learning the quantity and symbol – each in isolation – then together.  Progression to the decimal system occurs easily because of the child’s enthusiasm for large numbers like 9999.

Language and Reading – Reading opens up new worlds and ideas.  Our Language area helps develop pre-reading skills such as patterning, sequencing, and classifying as well as sound recognition and awareness. Children also learn the phonetic sound each letter makes. We have a variety of books in our library and throughout the classroom to meet different interests and reading levels. Reading is based on phonetics and memorization of non-phonetic words.  The children progress in these skills to reading simple to more difficult books both at school with a teacher and at home with their families.

Writing – Handwriting skills are supported throughout the entire classroom via hand strengthening works, but also in the Language area through works such as pin pushing, writing letters in the salt tray, and journal writing.

Science and Geography – Montessori’s main science objective is to develop an appreciation of the natural and physical world, development of a scientific attitude, and helping the child acquire a scientific method of problem solving. The geography works help children learn to distinguish land and water areas, progressing to the continents and lands that make up our world. Studies of land forms provide an understanding of the geographic features that distinguish each country.

Art – A variety of media is available to encourage self-expression. Beginning with primary colors, the child explores secondary and tertiary colors and then hues.  Individual and group projects are encouraged.

Dramatic Play – Dramatic play provides young children opportunities to combine spoken language with imagination, to imitate, and to pretend to be someone or something else. Dramatic play also allows children to differentiate between real and pretend and encourages children to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Such role-playing helps them to improve their ability to do this in real life. They learn important social skills, such as empathy.