“The elementary child has reached a new level of development. Before he was interested in things: working with his hands, learning their names. Now he is interested mainly in the how and why… the problem of cause and effect”
Our program is based on the importance of a consistent environment where the children can receive individual as well as small group instruction. Each child receives instruction relative to their current skill level.
- Small class size, with a two to three year age span
- Commitment to two-year attendance preferred
- Prior Montessori experience preferred
- Regularly scheduled parent-teacher conferences
- Individual and group instruction
- Special focuses include:
- Individual attention
- Strong focus on basic reading, language arts, and math skills
- Hands-on math
- Emphasis on problem solving and social skills
- Word toward independent work skills
- Field trips
- Cooperative learning
- Community involvement
Maria Montessori was a forward looking, medical doctor who lived in Italy and the turn of the century. She developed a very thorough and practical approach to teaching children based upon the accumulated research to date and her own extensive observations of the way children learn. We follow and continually expand upon her ideas. Montessori Education does not end with the pre-school experience. The Montessori Elementary environment balances each child’s developing imagination and powers of abstraction with the down to earth, concrete, hands-on materials. Each material and its structures sequence is designed to lead to discovery and then understanding. The elementary aged child is moving from an understanding of the physical world to an understanding of abstract concepts. Montessori provides diverse and creative passages to abstraction. Montessori education is also based on genuine respect for each child as an individual. Teachers work with each child then give them the time and exquisite materials to develop skills and understanding in each area of the classroom.
- A diverse set of Montessori materials, activities and experiences
- A schedule that allows large blocks of uninterrupted learning time
- A classroom atmosphere that encourages social interaction
- Integrated curriculum including areas of exploration
- Available library and computer access
- Identifiable ground rules
- Aesthetically pleasing environment
- Outdoor space to accommodate vigorous physical activity
Growth of a Child
- Toward greater independence and problem solving
- Toward the enjoyment of learning
- Toward a mature sense of justice and fairness
- Toward respect for oneself, other people and the planet
- Toward greater skills in oral and written communication
- To encourage personal responsibility, intrinsic motivation, spontaneous activity and self-education
- To encourage cooperative learning though peer teaching and social interaction
- To encourage social awareness both locally and globally
- To encourage growth in cultural experiences and knowledge
- To encourage competence through repetitive experiences
- To foster movement from sensorial learning to abstract ideas
- To foster the development of imagination and creativity
- Montessori and State of Washington Teaching Credential
- Continuing professional development
- Observational skills to match student’s development needs with activities
- A partnership developed with the family
- Team approach
Children’s Garden is equipped with a full range of Montessori materials to enhance you child’s development. These are arranged for the children’s manipulation as they are ready for them, thus guiding the children though sequential stages of sensorial and cognitive development. Our Program meets Washington State Essential Learning Requirements.
Reading and Literature
Our program has a strong emphasis on the importance of reading skills. Having strong basic skills and a deep love of reading is our desired outcome. Our reading program takes the children through a series of steps that builds competency.
The children are immersed in the fun of reading as they start reading chapter books and participate in discussion groups and literary circles. Comprehension question, book reviews, discussion of various authors, and development of various literary genres are all part of the curriculum.
Grammar and Writing Skills
The children are introduced to grammar and the parts of speech though a series of entertaining activities. They begin to learn punctuation and experience some of the fun they can have with words, multiple meaning, alphabetizing and dictionary use.
We also have a strong emphasis on the importance of the children learning to write. Writing activities are mixed throughout each day and include journal and story writing, communicating with pen pals and research projects. We study the elements of writing stories, and construction of various types of books. Writing and enjoying poetry is also a joy.
Montessori math material present math concepts in a concrete, step-by-step way. This process and Montessori’s wonderful learning materials help insure that each child really understands the mathematics concepts that are presented. Place value is the base 10 system, and addition, subtraction and, multiplication facts are important areas for your child during the next few years. With this we introduce other practical math concepts that allow for a smooth transition into any type of middle elementary classroom situation.
A continuing focus on writing and letter formation is very important at this age. The children are given many opportunities to practice this important skill.
Our emphasis is on basic computer skills. The ability to enter and use several different programs, keyboard skills, basic word processing, and accessing research materials is our focus.
Montessori curriculum immerses children in the importance of science from an early age. The elementary materials continue with this tradition. Exploring basic scientific methodology and developing observation skills is a part of the program. Physical science, zoology, botany, and geology all help the children to learn new information and begin to develop their own interests. The school has a Science Fair each spring. This event gives each child an opportunity to chose, develop, and explain an experiment.
Social Development and Social Understanding
Social development and social understanding are very important for young children. Through teachers’ example, a sense of caring and respect for self, others, our Earth, our environment, animals, plants, and things is encouraged. Teachers model caring, respectful social interactions. They also take the time to help the child learn through daily interactions how to work through different situations. The children learn to a) Ask “What is the problem?” b) Brainstorm possible solutions, c) Choose the best solution and d) Do, or follow through the needed action.
This focus on social skills is one of the program’s brightest and most important elements. Children that can express their needs and concerns, and actually enjoy the day to day social interactions that a classroom provide tend to enjoy life and do very well academically.
To start off the year, the children direct their attention to learning more about their home continent of North America. This study starts with the local area, Washington State, and then moves on to regions of the United State of America, and then the continent as a whole. In addition the school year includes an in-depth-study of one or two other continents. This investigation of different cultures includes customs, traditions, foods, family activities, housing, and needs.
Our art program is designed to increase the student’s skills, understanding and appreciation of the visual arts and to enhance their creativity through art.
The Children’s Garden follows the Richland Public School calendar from September through May, with exceptions as we deem necessary. In the event of inclement weather resulting in bad roads, use your judgment about bringing you child to school. Please listen to your radio on bad-weather mornings for information about school closures.
A calendar will be posted on the parents’ bulletin board to remind you of special events and of scheduled school closures. Our Moving-Up Picnic is held at lunch time, near the end of the year. This is a potluck even, all families are invited. Yearbooks are given to the children as a gift from their teachers. A brief graduation ceremony for the second graders is a highlight.
The Elementary class takes a variety of field trips to expand their environment and to reinforce the conceptual/cultural lessons we offer. Most trips are taken on Benton-Franklin busses. Our bus stop is almost directly across from the school. For the second grade field trip, parent drive and help supervise the children. This will be announced in the newsletter, and sign-up sheets for drivers will be posted on the parents’ bulletin boards.
The teachers are available to talk to parents before and after school each day. Feel free to share information with them about your child. This time is almost the teacher’s preparation time, so please keep your conversations brief. If you would like to have a longer conversation with one of the teachers, please make an appointment with that teacher.
A newsletter is available at the beginning of each month. Please be sure to pick up your copy from you child’s file. This newsletter informs parents of classroom activities, unit topics, field trips, and parties or special events. The newsletter is our way of keeping each family informed. In addition, Mrs. Ornstein is available by e-mail.
Twice yearly individual parent-teacher conferences are scheduled. This time gives parents a good opportunity to visit with the teacher about their child’s progress. Report cars are also given at this time. For your convenience you may choose from a variety of possible conference times. Several weeks ahead, a sign-up sheet is posted, outside the classroom, so you may choose a time that works best for you.