The Primary Classrooms
Our primary Montessori classrooms are designed for children three through six years of age. The classroom provides a place where children have freedom to choose their activities within a carefully prepared and enriching environment. The children may independently explore the use of the materials, may move freely throughout the classroom and socialize with their friends, and yet feel the safety of the limits of the classroom guidelines, and the support and encouragement that the adults provide. The classroom is both a very peaceful place and a dynamic learning environment.
The children attend the school five days a week, as the consistency of going to school each day increases the children’s security with the classroom and aids the child in developing a self-directed learning style. Parents are asked to consider that this is a three-year commitment to their child’s education, as one year’s work builds on the next in the classroom. The three year program and age span encourages beneficial social interaction, and allows children to develop their skills year by year in the same environment.
Typically, our school day goes something like this
8:15 – 8:30 The children arrive. The school day begins at 8:30.
8:30 – 11:30 The children choose activities from a wide variety available to them. Much of the time is spent in individual work, but the children may choose to join a small group game, sharing or story time. The teacher gives lessons to the children and supports their work. Large motor activity is included in the schedule, as well as Spanish, music, rhythm and creative expression. The children gather together for sharing, stories, singing and games.
11:30 – 12:00 Children Play/Recess. In inclement weather, indoor play equipment is set-up for large motor exercise.
11:45 – 12:00 Half-day children depart or move into After School Care.
12:15 – 12:45 Extended day children’s lunch, this is a social time and also a time to learn the gracious and courteous way to take meals together.
12:30 – 2:30 “Extended day” The five and six year-old children gather to share, sing or create, and have individual work time. This very important time together allows the child to bring to fruition the efforts made and skills learned in the first two years in the classroom. It is equivalent to a child’s kindergarten year.
Our Teaching Staff
All of our teachers are trained professionals with at least a Bachelor’s degree and a year’s graduate study in Montessori theory and practice. They are mature adults who come from a wide variety of backgrounds. They are professionals who are truly dedicated to the growth and development of each individual child, and work hard to offer the children a rich and supportive environment of learning. Also see Faculty and Staff.
The Parent’s Role
Parents are a very important part of the school community. Each year we offer several Parent Education nights, covering a wide variety of topics. Parent and Child Teas are held so that your child can show you what he or she is doing in the classroom. Parent and Teacher Conferences occur twice during the year, and teachers are available at other times to discuss your child’s progress and development.
To keep our school running smoothly, each family also chooses from a list of “School Operational Support” (SOS) jobs. These range from fundraising to yard work to doing the weekly class laundry. Parents are welcome to observe the classroom and may be asked to share a special skill, profession, or artifacts from the cultural or natural world. Parents may fill out a Parent Resources form so that our staff knows what you are willing to share.
Our community is supportive and friendly, and families find being a part of McMinnville Montessori School to be an enriching experience for everyone.