Mixed Age Groupings
A hallmark of the Montessori method is the mixed-age grouping. At GLM our primary communities include three, four and five year olds. Younger children learn from the older children; older children reinforce what they already know by teaching concepts they have previously mastered and at the same time advancing through the later curriculum. Mixed age classrooms are a micro-society offering a slice of real life. All children have the opportunity to be the youngest, middle and oldest child and can practice learning, playing and socializing with other children of different ages and temperaments.
Beautifully Crafted Environments
Our classroom environments are peaceful, happy places with lots of attention to detail, that feel like home. They are especially designed to meet the developmental needs of the children and are filled with plants, animals and cozy places to learn and play. All of the tools, dishware and furniture are real and scaled to the child’s size giving the children ownership over their environment and encouraging autonomy during their school day. The classroom environments include the outdoors. GLM has almost two acres of beautiful outdoor space in which the children spend much of their work and play time.
A Scientifically Designed Curriculum
The Montessori primary curriculum is tried and true, scientifically tested to meet the social, emotional and academic needs of the child over a period of three years. Our classroom environments include the full range of Montessori learning materials for the development of sensory perception, literacy and mathematical understanding. Outcomes of the curriculum include hard skills such as reading, writing and math as well as soft skills such as functional independence, self-regulation and task persistence. The curriculum also offers opportunities for imaginative exploration leading to confident self-expression.
Uninterrupted Activity Time
GLM is an authentic Montessori school offering uninterrupted activity time in all of our primary classrooms. The children are not tightly scheduled by the adults and are free to choose activities that interest them. They are guided by their teachers, who are always carefully tracking where the child is in the curriculum, using a digital record keeping system. Montessori philosophy is now strongly supported by current research showing that people perform better when they have control over their physical environment and are free from interruptions.
Highly Qualified Teachers
At GLM all of our lead teachers and many of our support staff have post-graduate level Montessori training. They are warm, caring, and committed to the well being of each individual in their care. Their role is to connect the children to their environment, showing them how to use the material, as well as being a source of interesting, actionable information. They work with the children individually and in groups, and facilitate freedom in the classroom, by helping set guidelines and limits. GLM offers many opportunities to our teachers for ongoing professional development. We are a strongly connected community of life-long learners.
The origin of kindergarten is that of a “preschool” year, one that readies a child for beginning their school-age experience. Following the planes of development, our kindergarten program is embedded in the three year Montessori primary program as the “third year”. Many of our students graduate from the primary program to move into first grade or will do another kindergarten year at their new elementary school, depending on their readiness and age at the time they start school.