We invite you to attend an Elementary Open House that will be held on Saturday, April 1st from 11:00am – 12:30 pm.
This is a casual opportunity for you or your friends and colleagues to find out more about the benefits of a Montessori education for children ages 6 – 9. Everyone is welcome!
Our rigorous elementary program is designed to meet and exceed state grade level curriculum standards providing students with an individualized education in a beautiful, nurturing environment. Students are stretched to achieve their academic and social potential, not limited to grade level.
We are able to provide a dynamic academic curriculum where children’s progress is closely monitored with a low ratio of students to teachers. A fundamental tenet of the elementary program is that children will learn to manage their own time and think for themselves both logically and creatively under the guidance of our Montessori certified and experienced teachers.
Children who will be 6 by August 31, 2017 are eligible to enroll in this class for the 2017 – 2018 school year.
Why Practical Life activities?
Amit has just started school and his parents watch their little boy endearingly as he attacks real-life chores with serious determination. They are so proud to see him carefully spooning dried beans from one dish to another and concentrating hard to pick up the beans he has spilled. However, Emma’s parents watching their five year old following the steps to sew on a button are impatient to see some “real work” being carried out like reading, math or spelling. Even the best-informed Montessori parent may wonder whether the practical life activities may be using up time better spent on academic pursuits. Of course, Emma’s day is not spent solely on practical life activities but this is the area of focus to her parents.
We need to understand why these practical life exercises are so important in the primary Montessori classroom (ages 3-6) and how they relate to the child’s overall development. We should realize that mastery of the task itself is not the primary goal of these exercises.
Practical life activities may well be the most important work in the 3 – 6 classroom.
These activities lead a child to make intelligent choices and become physically and then mentally independent and responsible. The child learns to concentrate, control muscles, move and act with care, focus, analyze logical steps and complete a cycle of activity. This is the foundation for mental and physical work in all other areas, not just in early childhood but also throughout life.
Children follow a sequence of prescribed directions, which include choosing the work on the shelf, finding a space at a table, following steps to complete the task, cleaning up and replacing the work exactly where it belongs on the shelf so it is ready for the next person. It is the small muscle coordination, motor sequencing, inner discipline leading to good social skills and work habits and ultimately self-esteem, which are so important and directly prepare for and support development in math, reading and writing.
Every child instinctively strives to grow and develop skills to the limit of his/her ability. A child’s love of the routines found in practical life activities, stems from a strong biological need to gain coordination. That need is especially strong between the ages of three and six years. At this age, the mind still runs faster than the abilities of the body. An older child may remember the steps needed to thread the needle, knot the thread, choose the button and piece of fabric and sew the button from front to back and then back to front without going around the edge of the button, but this knowledge may not yet match his/her developing physical ability. In this carefully prepared and stimulating environment children can respond to their inner need to work on a wide variety of skills until their physical abilities can keep up with their hands. Children are developing eye-hand coordination, upper body strength, balance and spatial perception. It is no coincidence that these are the basic prerequisites to successfully learn to read and write.
The practical life exercises have precise and orderly movements and are divided into steps, which are completed in a certain sequence that follow a logical progression (essential skills for understanding mathematical concepts). The concentration and inner discipline required to carry out multi-step procedures on their own help to prepare children for all of the complex academic materials they will encounter as they progress through the Montessori curriculum.
One of the greatest driving forces in the maturation of young children is the overwhelming desire to be independent. “I can do it by myself” is a phrase we hear over and over again. These practical life exercises reinforce this sense of self-sufficiency. Children discover they can exert control over their environment and such control carries with it certain responsibilities. What a thrill they feel when they have mastered a useful activity. They feel privileged as they gain the skills to progress to more and more complex tasks as they feel it implies respect for their skill and good judgment.
We can be sure that children of all ages, having experienced a continuous flow of small successes as they accomplish the exercises of practical life, will not only have the skills in place to continue with even more complex tasks, but will be happier, more confident and well-rounded individuals. They will be ready to progress through their school life with pride and the self-esteem to accept challenges, both practical and academic, with optimism and self-confidence.
About the Article’s Author: Joan Starling, Founder, Sammamish Montessori School serving preschool, kindergarten and elementary students in Redmond WA.Joan established The Sammamish Montessori School in 1977. She began her long career in Montessori education more than 37 years ago training under two Montessori trainers who were themselves trained directly by Dr. Maria Montessori. One of them, a wise and practical woman, Margaret Homfray, when young in the late 1930s, accompanied Dr. Montessori on trips to translate her lectures on her speaking tours. Joan has been a pioneer of Montessori education in the greater Seattle area, establishing what is now one of the oldest Montessori schools on Seattle’s Eastside and one of the largest Montessori schools in the state. Joan’s two daughters (Janet Villella Director and Hilary Prentice, Business Manager) now share the running of the school and are supported by a wonderful group of teachers, assistants and supporting staff from all over the world. Related articles/information: The Importance Of The Hand In Language Development Montessori Scope and Sequence: Practical Life
With Spring Break coming up you may be thinking of arranging some fun family outings or play-dates to enjoy some quality time together exploring what our community has to offer. Here are a variety of options for every kind of weather spring break may bring.
We’ve compiled the following list of day trip ideas we hope you will find helpful. Some of these ideas are geared toward younger family members, some older, while others hold interest for the whole family. Enjoy!
The Arboretum and Japanese Garden: www.seattle.gov/parks/parkspaces/japanesegarden.htm
Aviation Center & Boeing Tour (Everett): www.futureofflight.org
Bellevue Art Museum: www.bellevuearts.org
The Burke Museum (Seattle): www.burkemuseum.org
Chihuly Garden & Glass (Seattle): www.chihulygardenandglass.com
Experience Music Project (Seattle): www.empmuseum.org
Farrel McWhirter Park & Farm (Redmond): http://www.redmond.gov/ParksRecreation/Farrel-McWhirterFarmPark
Flower World (Maltby nursery with a small petting zoo area): www.flowerworldusa.com/aboutus.html
Fox Hollow Farm (Issaquah): www.foxhollowfamilyfarm.com
Kelsey Creek Farm (Bellevue): www.farmerjayne.com
KidsQuest Childrens Museum (Factoria): www.kidsquestmuseum.org
Museum of Flight (Seattle): www.museumofflight.org
Museum of History & Industry (Seattle): www.mohai.org
Northwest Railway Museum (Snoqualmie) www.trainmuseum.org
Northwest Trek (Eatonville): http://www.nwtrek.org
King County Parks (link to list of area parks): www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/inventory.aspx
The Pacific Science Center (Seattle): www.pacificsciencecenter.org
Outback Kangaroo Farm (Artlington): www.outbackkangaroofarm.com
Padilla Bay Beach and Estuarine Research Reserve (Mount Vernon): www.padillabay.gov
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (Tacoma): http://www.pdza.org
Ride the Ducks Seattle Tour: www.ridetheducksofseattle.com
The Seattle Aquarium: http://www.seattleaquarium.org
Seattle Art Museum: www.seattleartmuseum.org
Seattle Bug Safari: www.seattlebugsafari.com
Seattle Children’s Museum: www.thechildrensmuseum.org
Seattle Waterfront & Ye Olde Curiosity Shop: www.ye-olde-curiosity-shop.myshopify.com
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival: www.tulipfestival.org
Snoqualmie Falls: http://www.snoqualmiefalls.com
The Space Needle (Seattle): http://www.spaceneedle.com/home
Tillicum Village/Blake Island Tour: www.argosycruises.com
Washington State Ferries: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries
Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle): http://www.zoo.org
Museum of Glass (Tacoma): http://museumofglass.org
Please let us know if you have suggestions for other types of outings we have not listed here. We are always looking for new and exciting ideas to share. Thank you!
Practical Life and Sensorial Activities in a Montessori 3-6 Classroom Develop Math Readiness.
Math is an abstract concept. The ability to count, compute and use numerical relationships are hugely significant human achievements. The number system is an abstract invention that has been created over thousands of years. In primitive societies, the counting went “one, two, many”. It is exciting to witness the young child’s readiness to understand this same concept.
Children are naturally attracted to the science of number. They are trying to understand their world and make sense of their environment. They have an inborn ability to see differences and similarities, patterns and sequences. The child learns to notice and adapt to changes in the environment and as the child’s knowledge of the environment grows, he/she is able to make a mental map and feel comfortable in his/her space. The Montessori materials that are designed for categorizing and sorting help build this internal order.
The mathematical concepts covered in the primary Montessori classroom are numeration, the decimal system, computation, the arithmetic tables, whole numbers, fractions and positive numbers. Arithmetic is the process of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Geometry and algebra are introduced in the sensorial area of the classroom.
The sensorial and practical life areas of the classroom prepare the child for math and language. The foundation for geometry is developed through the sensorial materials. For instance, some of the materials are graded by size. Children experience spatial relations by manipulating these materials (the pink tower, the brown stair, red rods, constructive triangles, two main types of graded cylinders, plane shapes and geometric solids.) The plane shapes and geometric solids are the basis for computing volume and surface area. The monomial, binomial and trinomial cubes are all geometric representations of algebraic equations, used in higher math. Squares and cubes pave the way for the golden beads where the child experiences the concept of one hundred beads joined to make a square and a thousand beads joined to make a cube. Sensorial activities also indirectly prepare for base ten counting. The pink tower has ten graded cubes, increasing in size by 1 cm.; the brown stair has ten graded square prisms, each 1 cm. larger than the last; the ten red rods are graded from 10 cm. to 100 cm. in length.
The numerical rods in the math area are similar rods but are divided into ten consecutive red and blue sections of 10cm. The child can set the rods out from numbers one to ten so it shows that the longer the rod, the higher the number. Simple math calculations can be performed with the red and blue rods. It is easy to see how the “two” rod and the “three” rod combine to make the “five” rod. In mathematics, objects are classified and have a definite order. All parts of the sensorial curriculum have classification activities. Practical life activities are done in a definite order, which is internalized. Pre-reading activities include matching, sorting and sequencing activities.
The practical life activities are the foundation of the entire Montessori curriculum. Its direct aims are coordination, confidence, independence, concentration and order. These five attributes are internalized and benefit the child throughout life. Manipulation of the materials requires coordination. Finally, the child must have the confidence to work independently.
The Montessori math program addresses three separate concepts: number, quantity, and the relationship of the two together. The child uses concrete materials that isolate each concept. Then the child is shown how to label a quantity with the appropriate numerical symbol. The child then advances to a progression of sequential materials that combine number and quantity. In the same way that a child can learn the “Alphabet Song” without having any idea of the sounds of the letters, similarly a child can learn to count without actually understanding what it all means, but the concrete Montessori materials make sense of it all.
After children have become familiar with the numbers one through ten, they progress to the teens, and then focus on numbers to one hundred. After that, he child is ready for the golden beads which are used for large number recognition over one hundred. Golden beads are also used for the basic arithmetic functions of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Children enjoy working with large numbers and compute easily with hundreds and thousands using golden beads and numeral cards.
Golden beads are all the same size. A single bead comprises one unit; ten beads strung on a wire make a ten bar; one hundred is a square made up of ten ten-bars side by side and one thousand is ten one hundred squares stacked on top of each other to form a cube.
Additional work is introduced with the number chains–which are separate chains of beads one through ten–that demonstrate squares and cubes of numbers. Children love to skip count using these chains, which forms the concrete basis of the multiplication tables.
There are many more math materials to challenge students since the Montessori math curriculum in a 3-6 classroom actually extends to 3rd grade. They are varied and enticing and children are never bored and can work at their own level with joy and confidence. It is amazing how far these students can progress with the foundation of confidence, curiosity, and order they learned in the practical life and sensorial areas of the classroom.About the Article’s Author: Joan Starling, Founder, Sammamish Montessori School serving preschool, kindergarten and elementary students in Redmond WA. Joan established The Sammamish Montessori School in 1977. She began her long career in Montessori education nearly 4 decades ago training under two Montessori trainers who were themselves trained directly by Dr. Maria Montessori. One of them, a wise and practical woman, Margaret Homfray, when young in the late 1930s, accompanied Dr. Montessori on trips to translate her lectures on her speaking tours. Joan has been a pioneer of Montessori education in the greater Seattle area, establishing one of the oldest Montessori schools on Seattle’s Eastside and now one of the largest Montessori schools in the state. Joan’s two daughters share the running of the school (Janet Villella is now the school’s director) and are supported by a wonderful group of exceptionally talented, well-educated and experienced teachers, assistants and supporting staff from all over the world.
In her analysis of Montessori education, University of Virginia Professor, Angeline S. Lillard, Ph.D. notes eight fundamental ideas central to Montessori education that in her words, help provide students with superior educational outcomes:
- Movement and cognition are closely intertwined; physical movement can enhance thinking and learning.
- Choice and perceived-control promote children’s concentration and contentment in the learning process.
- Personal interest enhances learning in a context where interests build on prior knowledge and the children’s own questions.
- Extrinsic rewards negatively impact long- term motivation and learning.
- Collaborative (child–child) arrangements are conducive to learning.
- Learning situated in and connected to meaningful contexts is more effective than learning in abstracted contexts.
- Sensitive and responsive (nurturing) teaching is associated with more optimal outcomes. (Multi-age classrooms where children stay with the same teacher and many of the same peers promote continuity and close relationships.)
- Order in the environment promotes and establishes mental order and is beneficial to the child.
More information about Montessori education:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQl-7Lmm4hE (Superworman was already here)
Use the Right Kind of Car Seat or Booster Seat and Use it Correctly
Be sure you have the correct size and type of car seat for your child and that it is secured firmly in your car using a seatbelt or latch system. Also be sure that the straps in your child’s car seat are set so that when loaded into it they are always securely strapped in with all parts clicked in and fastened snugly. (For instance, you shouldn’t be able to fit more than one finger under the strap of a five-point harness.) Remember to set a good example by always wearing your own seatbelt and requiring everyone in your vehicle to be properly strapped in. Be sure to remove bulky coats before strapping a child into a carseat that uses a 5-point harness.
Please be aware that our teachers and supporting staff need your help and support to ensure your child is safely strapped in. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we help you and your child to be safely on your way at pickup time. Please review this flyer, which details the current laws about carseats: The-Right-Seat-English-2010
- Restraints must be installed correctly (according to car seat and vehicle instructions).
- Kids 8-12 years up to 4 feet 9 inches tall must ride in appropriate child restraints (eg. car seat, booster seat).
- Infants and toddlers under age 2 should ride in rear-facing car seats.
- When children use the seat belt they must wear it correctly (never under the arm or behind the back) or continue to use a child restraint or booster seat.
- Children under 13 should always ride in the back seat.
- Cars with lap belts only are exempt from booster seat requirements.
For more information on carseat safety you may wish to visit:
- Redmond Fire Department Car Seat Safety Clinics
Make sure anyone picking up your child has an appropriate car seat and knows how to secure it properly. Parents may leave a seat at the school (please label with your child’s name as many seats look alike).
The school may also have some loaner car seats available. The driver must park and come into the school to select a carseat him/herself. (Per state law the vehicle’s driver accepts full responsibility for the selection of an appropriate car seat and for ensuring all children under the age of 16 are properly secured.) Please return any loaner seats the next day. Notify the school if a school loaner car seat has been involved in any type of collision so that it can be disposed of. Thank you.
Young children are young scientists at play. While they’re baking mud pies or building worm playgrounds, you may catch them conducting playful experiments. If you listen, in addition to giggling you may hear an exchange of observations or well thought-out theories. In their early encounters with nature, children develop ideas about our world based on experiences with real things. Young children love to stick their noses into nature. You can support their explorative play by giving your children the time, space and equipment needed for investigating the world around them. Science doesn’t require direct instruction, but it does take practice.
Your most important role is to encourage, rather than direct your children’s explorations. For young children, too much direction can dampen your children’s budding interest in science and nature. Activities with lots of choices will allow them to follow their own paths of inquiry. When you give your children choices you’ll be treated to a kaleidoscope of unique and meaningful explorations. Tools are important too. If you give your children a wide array of equipment, they can pursue many different investigations. Watch your young scientists exploring, and you may observe them pausing to search for the right tool, such as a magnifying glass or a stethoscope. By itself, each tool helps a child focus on a particular avenue of exploration. A child with a magnifying lens is bound to look closely at things, while a child with a mirror may end up playing with light. Another valuable way to encourage your children’s interest in science is seizing the moment. On rainy days, children can investigate earthworms and puddles. During a snowstorm, bundle them up to explore the crystals in snowflakes. A walk in the park may reveal hidden caterpillars or sparkling rocks.
Beaches, woods, parks, backyards and even vacant lots are paradise for a child explorer. When you supply young children with a variety of materials and tools, when you help them grow gardens or take in small critters as visitors, you are sowing adventures. It doesn’t cost much money. It doesn’t need to be dangerous or messy. You just need the time and place.
One of the best things about science for young children – and about childhood as a whole – is the joy of wondering. Why? How? Where? When? As an adult, you may want to jump in and give the right answers, but if you let go of that impulse, you too may be immersed in the wonder. By sharing your thoughts as a partner, not the source of all knowledge, you can participate in your children’s ponderings. Join in the wonder and go where it takes you!
A Montessori elementary classroom is profoundly different from traditional elementary school rooms. These fundamental differences provide an ideal learning environment that is in tune with children’s developmental growth and are exactly why the Montessori elementary program helps children thrive.
1) Truly Individualized Instruction
In a Montessori classroom, teachers guide, not lecture. Rather than a teacher preparing a single lesson plan and lecture to give all at once to a classroom of students, instruction is individualized and customized for every student. A Montessori elementary teacher keeps each child optimally challenged. In traditional elementary education, so much of the day’s instruction happens at an all-class level; students must move through the same curriculum at the same pace, regardless of whether they grasp it quickly and are ready to move on, or if they need additional guidance and practice to learn a new concept or practice a skill. Mandatory standardized testing has made this situation even more pronounced as public school teachers are held accountable to ensure that all students are able to pass specific high stakes tests. This approach cannot be expected to work effectively for all students. A child who is advanced in a subject will be bored (and possibly more apt to exhibit attention-seeking behavior); while the one who is behind will soon becomes anxious and worried about his shortcomings.
In contrast, in a Montessori elementary classroom nearly all instruction happens in small groups where teachers are able to observe students up close (not across the room while sitting a desk checking email; in fact there is no teacher’s desk at all). Given their keen observation and knowledge of every student’s current level, Montessori teachers bring together the specific children who are ready for a particular lesson. Once the lesson has been given (individually or in a small group), each child has time to practice a skill or further explore an area. They may do this alone or with freely chosen partners. Or they may ask another child for assistance if they are having trouble.
2) Choice and Flexibility in the Curriculum
While the Montessori curriculum is very specific, intentionally-designed and tested, and sequential in many respects, it is not a one-size-fits all curriculum. Montessori teachers continually adapt and modify the materials and launch subjects in the classroom based on the particular needs and interests of the group of students in the class and the individuals within it.
Furthermore Montessori students are encouraged to be curious; to look beyond the immediate lesson and to delve in to find out more. They are often given choices about how they want to approach an assignment. Such autonomy can be incredibly motivating, which is why Montessori elementary gives children a say in their learning. That’s not to say Montessori students are free to do whatever they want, whenever they want to. Instead it is quite structured with clear guidelines of what is expected academically and behaviorally. However, within that clear framework, each Montessori elementary student can acquire skills and knowledge in the way that makes the most of his/her particular learning style.
Of course, each child has to attain certain skills; learning arithmetic isn’t optional. However, instead of forcing every child to complete the same worksheet, repetition of a concept is accomplished using a variety of specially designed, intriguing Montessori materials which ensure plenty of practice of any given skill. For instance, multiplication practice includes work with the Bead Chains, Stamp Game, Checkerboard, Large Bead Frame, and Flat Bead Frame. When we take our students on field trips, the people we encounter regularly comment that our students are the most curious and engaged group of children they have seen. This is a common refrain for Montessori elementary schools: the children love learning, because they have a chance to be actively engaged in the process.
3) Montessori Classrooms are Filled with Hands-on Materials, not Textbooks
Children learn to solve problems and really think, much more than repeat the same thing endlessly on worksheets in class and assigned as homework. Traditional elementary school work is unfortunately focused almost exclusively on work with textbooks and worksheets, created by a handful of publishing companies and changed every few years, promising a “new approach to learning” so that those publishing companies have new textbooks to sell. Make no mistake, this is big business. In contrast, a Montessori classroom is filled with time-tested materials that take abstract concepts and present them in a way that a child can pick up, handle, and put together again to make sense of the abstract concept they are learning.
While there is nothing wrong with books (we love reading), you will not find traditional textbooks and endless worksheets in the Montessori elementary class. Through her observations Dr. Montessori regarded the early elementary years as a critical stage in the mind’s development: a time when the concrete thinking matures further into abstract thinking. In the age 3 to 6 classrooms, children explore many materials, such as the Trinomial Cube or the Golden Beads, primarily for the sensorial interest. As elementary students they now use materials to understand how the world works, figuring out the why and the how of things. With the Montessori materials, learning is focused on the world; children acquire a mindset of thinking about things and figuring them out, rather than memorizing words or processes as dictated by an adult.
4) Long Uninterupted Work Periods
Rather than children learning certain subjects at set times each day and moving on as the schedule dictates (not as they are ready), Montessori students have the benefit of long uninterrupted work times, allowing them to engage fully with what they are learning. Much like you may block out time in your workday to actually work (instead of attending endless meetings) protecting children from interruptions when productively engaged is key to their development of concentration and interest in their work. Traditional schools have broken up the day in many short time periods leaving many children mentally fatigued despite the alleged benefit of variety, some unable to complete their work in the given time and some left twiddling their thumbs waiting for everyone else to catch up. In contrast, Montessori schools allow children to follow the natural cycle of work for which they are mentally prepared. Children have time to think, to reflect, to truly digest. And they also have time to have a snack, get a drink of water, or use the bathroom when they need to and happily can get back to their work without shame or embarrassment.
5) Mixed-Age Classrooms Support Developmental Needs and Embrace Peer-to-Peer Learning
Rather than competing with each other, students in a Montessori classroom grow into a community, and practice all-important social skills every day. Developmentally younger children (particularly in the preschool years) are more inclined to want to work individually while elementary aged students are hitting the age of needing to develop socially (and are therefore more inclined and able to work in groups or with partners).
Traditional schools are structured just the opposite: preschool aged children are taught primarily in groups and in traditional elementary schools class time is largely focused on individual work, in strictly same-age classrooms, and social interactions is typically limited to recess and lunch. Students are often discouraged to help one another with the fear being that the child being helped is “cheating.”
In a Montessori classroom students are encouraged to help one another and learn from one another. In Montessori elementary, children interact with each other, across age groups, all day. You’ll often see 2-4 children working together on projects, negotiating roles and learning social skills in a safe, supervised setting as they choose co-workers and figure out that they can work with a range of companions, not just with their closest friends.
A Montessori elementary classroom is very different from traditional schooling. These five highlights are just a start to understanding this unique learning environment. Please contact our director, Janet Villella (email@example.com) or 425-883-3271 if you are interested in learning more and would like to schedule an observation to see our elementary students and teachers in action.
A large number of accomplished individuals known for their self-confidence, leadership, creativity, poise, work ethic and their ability to innovate and problem solve are reported to have been Montessori students. We thought this list would be interesting to share with you as we all strive, as parents and educators together, to provide the environment and support to help bring out and hone these traits in our students.
- Larry Page and Sergy Brin, founders of Google.
- Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.
- Jaqueline Kennedy Onasis, former First Lady.
- T. Berry Brazelton, pediatrician, child psychiatrist, author and Harvard Medical School Professor Emeritus.
- Will Wright, original designer of SimCity game.
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Peace-prize winning novelist.
- Anne Frank, famous child diarist from World War II.
- Melissa and Sarah Gilbert, actresses, Melissa former SAG President.
- Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, famous rapper.
- Julia Child, first television chef.
- Katharine Graham, Pulitzer prize-winning author and former owner/editor of the Washington Post.
- Taylor Swift, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter.
- Peter Drucker, author, “Father of modern management.”
- George Clooney, Academy Award-winning actor.
- Helen Hunt, Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe winning actress.
- Dakota Fanning, youngest Screen Actors Award nominee.
- Devi Shridhar, youngest American Rhodes Scholar.
- Joshua Bell, Grammy Award-winning violinist.
- Anthony Doerr, noted author.
- David Blaine, illusionist and magician, coined the “modern day Houdini.”
- Craig and Marc Kielburger, child rights advocates and best-selling authors.
- Beyonce Knowles, singer, performer.
- Yo Yo Ma, Peace Ambassador and winner of 15 Grammy Awards, Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of the Arts.
- John and Joan Cusack, actors.
- Queen Noor of Jordan.
- Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia.
- Anne Hathaway, actress.
- Alan Rickman, award-winning actor.
Links to other articles…
The Importance of the 3-Year Montessori Cycle & the Montessori Kindergarten Year:
The primary Montessori program is designed as a three-year cycle. Ideally children from 3 – 6 years old stay with the same teacher right through their kindergarten year.
The third year, or Montessori kindergarten year, is when all the learning that has taken place in the previous two years reaches fruition and a child’s knowledge begins to fall into place. Your child will be challenged to reach his/her potential by his/her Montessori teacher who knows your child incredibly well and so can provide precisely what is needed next. Children build upon what they have learned, experience rapid academic and social growth and their skill level dramatically increases when they are given the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge within the Montessori classroom. Third year students are ready to explode into more complex learning and discovery and they delve into a wealth of new and interesting materials. They are guided to take on more and more complex work, begin to learn time management skills and have an increased set of expectations and privileges in the classroom. These older children also reinforce their academic skills by helping another child, a well-documented way to consolidate knowledge.
Your child has been unconsciously looking forward to being one of the “big kids” in the classroom so when he/she is put into a school where the kindergartners are looked down upon as being in the “baby class” his/her cycle of maturing is interrupted. It is especially unfortunate for a child who is a younger sibling at home to miss this opportunity to shine. This year of leadership gives a child immeasurable self-esteem and intellectual confidence.
A key advantage of staying at our school is that your child’s teacher already knows your child very well so no time is lost at the beginning of the year trying to assess him/her. Be sure to speak to your child’s teacher about kindergarten during conferences. The gift of this third year can never be taken away and it sets up a child for future academic and social success.
As you plan for your child’s future schooling we encourage you to view a video from American Montessori Society. We hope this video will provide more information about the benefits of having your child stay in a Montessori classroom for his or her pivotal kindergarten year.
An SMS Montessori Kindergarten Information Meeting for parents is held and hosted by a panel of Montessori teachers who will be talking about how to make the most of your child’s Montessori education and why completing the three-year-cycle with a kindergarten year at Sammamish Montessori School will prepare your child with the academic and social skills that will set him or her up for future school success.
Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 425-883-3271 to reserve your space. Childcare is available during the meeting time.
Children may be enrolled for kindergarten if they are 5 years old by August 31 (prior to the upcoming school year). Kindergarten students may attend five full days or five half days at Sammamish Montessori School.