A Typical Day
Children arrive in the morning and have the morning to choose work independently or in small groups. In a classroom of 20 children, 20 different activities can be going on at one time. This leaves every child with the opportunity to choose an activity they are interested in and work with that activity for as long as they want to. Children are given the opportunity to develop concentration, order, cooperation, independence and a love of exploration. During this time the teacher in the classroom (called a Guide) is giving individual or small group lessons and observing what children are choosing.
Generally, at the end of the morning the class comes together in a gathering. During gathering the class will sing songs, talk about the weather and calendar and do/talk about projects important to the entire group.
After a gathering children get ready to go outside for recess prior to the noon dismissal time.
At noon, the children who have a half day schedule go home and the children who stay for a full day schedule get ready for lunch.
Children who stay for lunch set their tables and enjoy a lunch with their classmates before cleaning up and getting ready for the afternoon. Younger children may sleep or rest after lunch and the older children choose materials to work with in the afternoon. At times, there are group projects going on that the children will work with through the afternoon.
At 3pm the full day children go home and the children that need extended care will stay for the aftercare program.
This schedule may change according to program and/or classroom. Ideally the Primary and Elementary programs receive a three hour uninterrupted work cycle each day followed by group gatherings, lunch and recess.
Toddler Community Day Schedule
Primary Classroom Daily Schedule
Elementary Classroom Daily Schedule
The school holds a number of community events that provide opportunities for parents to work, socialize, or play together. This will be updated frequently as seasonal events approach!
Exercises of Practical Life bring the day-to-day activities of our culture into the classroom as specific exercises, i.e., pouring from a pitcher, setting a table, interrupting gracefully. The Exercises of Practical Life cover 4 main content areas: elemental movements, care for self, care for other (both animate and inanimate) and social relations.
Students develop personal independence, the coordination of movement (thought, will and action), environmental awareness & responsibility, and a work habit of seeing things through to completion.
These activities address language considerations with verbal sequences related to hands-on activities. The children experience language as expressive, receptive and meaningful. The concrete materials and the increasingly complex activities associated with them help the children gather a rich store of images in developmental correspondence to an emerging tendency toward writing. They address mathematics through visual/tactile presentation of patterns. This practical ordering of the environmental and environmental components lays a cognitive basis for later mathematical abstraction. The Exercises of Practical Life provide experiential social studies by highlighting cultural formalities and bringing them to the consciousness of the children. This lays a basis for the study of all human endeavors across distant lands and through time.
The exercises provide tangible science experiences in physical and life sciences including but not limited to; temperature, states of matter, needs of plants/animals and weather. The EPL provides physical education in both small and large motor movements. Numerous activities, e.g., flower arranging, require dexterity of the hands and an attentive eye. Large movements required by activities like moving chairs or mopping a floor highlight and enhance a tendency toward maximum effort. Children learn the relationship between physical stillness and personal silence. Children utilize a walking line to develop poise and grace. Activities related to health include specific presentations in personal hygiene including: hand washing, teeth brushing, nose blowing etc. Daily snack routine highlights nutritional information in an accessible manner. The sequencing and predicting skills needed to fulfill EPL directly prepare children to progress spontaneously in their parallel emergence into literature through reading. Finally, the extraordinary Exercises of Practical Life stimulate a tendency toward beauty, so core to appreciation and expression in the fine arts, indirectly through the attention given to the aesthetic quality of all classroom characteristics and directly through presentation of the skills needed to make art.
Sensorial Activities highlight physical traits as they exist in matter, such as size, weight, color, texture, and aroma. The children develop language skills by learning precise, descriptive words including the comparative and superlative. These activities address mathematics by stimulating the capacity to discriminate between essential and accidental characteristics and by highlighting precise relationships between things.
These abilities serve as a basis for problem solving and arithmetic operations. Many of the sensorial materials are based upon the metric system. They provide hands- on metrics experiences which relate them also to science as the universal system of measurement. These activities address physical education mostly through the small motor refinement. The sequencing and predicting activities associated with these activities also stimulate receptivity to literature with the emerging capacity to read. The beauty and precise form embodied in the materials themselves provide direct and indirect models for development through fine arts.
Cultural Activities introduce human culture. They are the bridge into academic expression. Students learn: the symbols and associated sounds for all letters in the English language leading to both writing and reading; in mathematics they learn numeration from 1-10, the dynamic characteristics of the decimal system, tradition names for numbers up to 100 and are introduced to the four arithmetic operations; in social studies students are introduced to different cultures of people worldwide through maps, pictures, stories and artifacts; in science the students explore common characteristics of the 5 classes of vertebrates, the parts of plants and the geophysical make-up of our earth; in physical education the students learn to play group games, children encounter literature in the carefully selected library section of the classroom where levels of books from beautiful picture books to early readers are available to them and through stories read to them, and fine arts are addressed through painting/drawing activities and music presentations.
Children begin science exploration in the Primary environment and cultural studies. The Elementary age child will begin to focus on scientific methods, investigation through hands-on experimentation, applications, connections, generalizations, matter, motion, forces, energy, organisms, evolution and theories.
Montessori materials focus first on the concrete representation of abstract mathematical concepts through the use of materials in the Primary classroom. The abstract expression of 4 arithmetic operations and basic facts associated with each operation, abstract expression of the dynamic nature of the decimal system, measurement skills, names and characteristics of geometric figures, arithmetic patterns represented in word problems and the concept of fractions are many of the concepts introduced in the Elementary program.
Children begin preparing the hand for writing at a very early age in the Primary classroom through the use of various Sensorial and Practical life activities. Exposure to reading and writing is always present in the multi-age classroom. Skills including phonograms, penmanship skills, function of words, parts of speech, and language mechanics are introduced through various materials and exercises.