"We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Montessori Classroom
MontessoriMesPetits classrooms are indeed a child’s world, specially made to the size, the pace and the interests of boys and girls between two and half and five.
We have divided the classrooms by age: the Lower Class hosts children from 3 to 4 years of age, while the Upper Class hosts children from 4 to school age; Mes Petits children leave our center ready to enter grade 1.
By remaining in the same center for three years children experience a strong relationship with their classmates and their teachers.
There is always a busy hum of activity in a Montessori classroom because of so much carrying, walking, moving, pouring, etc. Children do respect the work the other children are doing and also feel respect for the materials themselves. If a child misbehaves in the classroom the teacher will help him to select a work that will absorb his full attention. Because children work individually with the materials, there is no competition in the Montessori classroom.
The expressly prepared environment is bright, warm and inviting filled with intriguing learning material, art and books. Children learn at their own speed under the supervision of a trained adult. Within this framework the children progress at their own pace and rhythm; independence, responsibility, social and intellectual development spontaneously flourish. Tables, chairs and shelf are movable what allows for a flexible arrangement according to the type of activity. Besides, children also like to work on a mat on the floor where they feel naturally comfortable
All the needs of the children are met in such an environment and as a result the children get involved in activities selected by them, what contributes to their self satisfaction instead of passively participating in lessons selected by teachers. As a result the whole child in within, becomes emotionally, socially, physically and intellectually developed.
In the Montessori classroom there is not a front desk for the teacher, in fact, the teacher has no desk at all. She doesn’t seat on “her” chair, she is everywhere in the room observing the individual work children or a group of children are doing. She demonstrates the children the proper use of the material as they are chosen and assists them in choosing activities appropriate to their stage of development. Each time a child makes a mistake she lets him, whenever possible, correct his own mistake through the manipulation of the control of error of each material. It was Dr. Montessori’s principle that the child learns through experience.
The Montessori materials in each classroom can be divided in three groups: The Practical Life Exercises, which are the beginning activities for three and four years old children; the Sensorial Materials which can be used by all ages in the classrooms; and The Academic Materials, which await each child’s moments of interest in reading, arithmetic and geography.
These being said, we do also approach the standard method of teaching in the Upper Class and prepare children for their initiation into Grade 1 to elementary schools, publics and privates.
Even though we changed the license from preschool to Group Day Care 3 to school age, we continue with the same style of preschool teaching as we used to, however, now, with the new license, we can take care of the same preschoolers all day. We pride in calling ourselves “all day Preschool”.