Development of Self-Reliance These students work on becoming self-reliant. Commonly, students learn to walk by them selves and carry their items - sweater, lunch box and water bottle. They learn to say goodbye to their mom and dad in the morning. Students learn to take their shoes off and put on their slippers. This helps with the development of eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. At this age a child may have difficulty with separation from their parent at drop off. However we notice with perseverance and repetition the child normalizes quickly and learns to wave good-bye happily. These students are explorative and like to use their imagination in class and outside.
Development of Socials Skills Social and emotional development occurs throughout the day including individual and group work time. We offer daily practice with following directions, sharing and practicing grace and courtesy in areas of practical life and snack time. Other skills routinely exercised include; pour water, use a sponge, carry a tray, roll a carpet, paint, sit at circle, walk, sleep during nap time, sing, create, sounds, count and go on adventures. These students begin to work on changing their clothes, using the toilet, flushing and hand washing. Social skills develop naturally as the teacher role models, showing the students different ways to share, listen and give. Sharing and learning to communicate are part of this age’s development and therefore, we view difficulties with relationships as opportunities to help guide the child to use better and more effective choices with their friends.
Classroom and Circle Circle time includes calendar, weather, songs, Suzy sound, updates on the day and special events or visitors. Other circles include a book, story time, puppets, flannel board or visual props, singing and Spanish. Math and language are part of the curriculum every day, along with work in the cultural area of the classroom. Students are encouraged to play soccer with coach Luis. Art, music, and drama are incorporated into the themes of study and are an integral part of early childhood development. Sea Lily students are exposed to culinary practices as well as encouraged to try new foods to eat with friends and serve others.
“To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely.” Maria Montessori
2 years 3 months – 3 years 11 months
Development of Self-Reliance Children at this age are adventurous and social. Students like to talk with each other and find joy in group activities. These students work on learning to use the toilet regularly and find joy in completing the process on their own, including flushing the toilet, changing their clothes and hand washing. They find joy in feeding themselves and using utensils to eat. Students learn to keep their water bottle filled and to hydrate when necessary. It is common for this age child to learn the ability to self-regulate their emotions and practice soothability skills learned from home. If this is difficult for a child to practice, often other students role model skills that are quickly adapted by the new student. Teachers also help the child by suggesting tools to help the child feel comfortable and safe.
Development of Socials Skills This age group is social and finds joy in working on projects together with friends. Communication includes words as well as body language. Students develop language skills at different times, therefore children are in different places developmentally. Children have the ability to create their own language and so when students begin school, the home language is not understood and may cause initial frustration. Also, when a child begins school who has not yet mastered the English language, we often notice similar frustration. However, quickly students find a common language and begin communicating seamlessly. The language barrier does not stop this age group from socializing, playing and telling stories. Skills that include problem solving and decision making are encouraged by teachers and we notice these skills are easy to grasp and that this age group finds purpose in leadership.
Classroom and Circle These students use a lesson plan and are encouraged to find math or language work first, at the beginning of their day. They are introduced to sounds and learn to love books and are invited to read daily. At the completion of sounds, students stamp their sounds on the paper, and this goes in their cubby. Parents can help practice the sounds on the paper to help the child master their current sounds. Practical life, sensorial and cultural work is also part of the morning work time. Students are invited to demonstrations where they learn details and how to complete new work. Students are drawn to practical life and sensorial, and this is where eye-hand coordination and refining fine motor development occurs. This classroom has a warm-up tray area where, at arrival, students can set their lunch down, open their box and find the warm up. Once they locate their warm up, they remove it from their lunch and place it on the warm up tray. Parents label warm up lids before arriving at school. Students are guided to learn how to blow their nose, cover their mouth when coughing, carry their lunch box and water bottle, take shoes off/put slippers on, follow directions, create, go on adventures and problem solve. This age group is energetic and excited about friends, sharing, and circle. Teachers role model social skills and this gives the students tools to rely on for creating successful relationships.
“Only through freedom and environmental experience is it practically possible for human development to occur.” Maria Montessori
4 years through Kindergarten
Development of Self-Reliance The Trilobites are students who have mastered using the toilet; self-care and are able to practice self-reliance. These students have mastered changing their clothes and using sweaters and coats with ease. Shoes are taken off and slippers put on at the beginning of each inside work time. Students are encouraged to carry their lunch box and water bottle upon arrival at school and when departing at the end of the day. This responsibility helps prepare them to carry their items throughout the day and work on self-reliance. In the morning students find their warm up and place on the warm up tray. These students are often the exemplary role models to all other students by way of practicing self-reliant skills through out the day.
Development of Socials Skills During lunch, they know to keep an eye out for their warm up and it is delivered hot for eating. These students work on self-care, toileting, blowing nose, hand washing, walking feet, kind hands and gentle words. Problem-solving and decision-making are an integral part of the student’s time at school. With the use of the peace shelf, Black Elk and lovelights, students can practice peace, resolve conflict and work on developing healthy and strong relationships. Teachers role-model communication and peace through their interactions with each other, students and parents on a daily basis. Students naturally observe and learn by watching. They also learn from each other, which is part of the Montessori theory that younger students learn from older students. Once an older student has mastered a skill, it is then that this skill is demonstrated and observed by a younger student.
Classroom and Circle Our multi-age classrooms foster this phenomenon and allow children to develop naturally. The classroom is designed to be warm, friendly and inviting yet simple and natural. Typically Montessori classrooms are void of plastic and bright colors. Rather, they are wood, neutral, lit with natural light with an open floor plan including living plants and textiles from around the world. These students work on completing all six areas of study daily. The use of a lesson plan helps teachers know where children are working and jobs that have become mastered. Parents are also able to view the lesson plan daily to see the work of their child. Math and language journals are used for students who are working on Albanesi cards. Journals help keep all the work contained to one place. Frequently the student's work will be in the child’s cubby. If they are working on sounds, the sound paper will be found with their name and two sounds. This is something to practice daily to help the child master the sounds they are working on. This age student is drawn to different areas of the classroom and it is the teacher's job to notice where the child is and bridge the student to the work in a way that students feel comfortable and find success with the work. Teachers are trained to observe, be intuitive and guide when necessary. Kindergarteners can assist younger students and are often held accountable for more work that takes more time to complete. Reading is a daily practice that we offer with the help of parent volunteers. We also encourage students to read at home often. Circle time includes date, weather, Suzy sound, introduction and demonstrations. Other circles may include, books, song, puppets, flannel board or other literature related props. Students are encouraged to engage at circle and participate by raising their hand. Other times of the day, students freely move about the room, selecting work and socializing. Trilobites are adventurous and outgoing and like to be outside, discovering flowers and crawling creatures. Swinging and digging help the development of proprioception and balance. During an average school day, we strive to create a balance of indoor and outdoor time.
“Peace is what every human being is craving for, and it can be brought about by humanity through the child.”