Glenwood Springs Montessori is founded on the principles of Maria Montessori's educational philosophies. Her basic principle was to "follow the child" thus our classrooms are carefully prepared to allow the child to work independently and allow for the joy of self-discovery. These methods allow children to learn, grow, and play all while becoming independent and learning important life skills.
The youngest child is drawn to this area of Daily Living exercises where independence, a sense of order, concentration, and coordination are developed. The foundation to all learning is formed here. Children are introduced to the work cycle with each activity, defined within a basket or tray, consisting of a beginning, middle and end. The cycle "begins" with the work choice which is taken from the shelf to a table or rug. The "middle" includes working with the material. Every activity "ends" with placing the material back on the shelf where it was found.
Materials are simple, concrete and beautiful which invite their use. Activities include self-care such as buttoning, zipping and hand washing. Care of the environment activities include table scrubbing, polishing and dish washing. Children help prepare their snack and wash the dishes afterwards which helps develop independence, a respect for others, and the environment. Once discovering their capabilities at school, the words, "I can do it myself" are often heard at home.
Language surrounds the child in a Montessori environment. Montessori classrooms are rarely silent and often contain a hum of busy activity and conversation. The sequence of the language area begins with hearing and segmenting sounds in words, visually identifying letter sounds using the Sandpaper Letters, and continues on to word building using the Movable Alphabet, then to reading and creative writing. Using such concrete materials at a pace that suits each individual, children come to reading naturally.
The concrete materials in math make a lasting impression. Numbers, size and counting begin long before formal instruction in this area. Other materials in the classroom, for example, help develop 1 to 1 correspondence necessary for accurate counting.
With the math materials, children learn numeral recognition using the Sandpaper Numbers, develop quantity sense, go on to learn higher numeral recognition,develop place value, and move through the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, all using concrete materials and at a pace appropriate for each child.
Science includes the exploration of the qualities of Living things including plants, animals, as well as physical science. Children love learning about the world around them and the subject matter is endless.
The study of different cultures and lands are part of the geography area and includes maps of the continents and countries of the world, flags and land forms.
Learning is not confined to the indoor environment. Children go outside daily to play, go on walks and explore all that nature has to offer. The outdoor environment includes gardening, movement, art, and the exploration of our natural world.