Our goal at Meadowlane is to provide children with a safe, structured environment while bringing out their independence. Through choosing their own work, interacting and helping their peers, and taking care of themselves, they gain confidence in their actions. We harness this independence by guiding them to do even the littlest things on their own - wiping up their spills, putting on their shoes, hanging up their own coat and backpack, or unpacking their lunch every day. Once it becomes routine to perform these daily tasks - and they are excited about completing things on their own - the child will seek out more challenging tasks to accomplish. This mentality also transfers to the academics, where the work shelves have activities for all different skill sets. For example, a child starting out in Pre-Primary may begin with the spindle boxes, which focuses on counting 1-10. However a child that's already mastered most of the concepts in the Math area might move on to the hundred board, which focuses on counting 1-100. By having different activities in each area, each child gets to build upon what they already know and advance their skills by working at their own pace.
Each classroom has specific work shelves dedicated to one subject, such as Art, Sensorial, Math, Practical Life, Language, Geography and Culture, and Science. While the children are free to choose what they want to work on, the teachers observe throughout the day and will redirect a child to any areas they seem to neglect.
In the Art area, tracing, stamping, coloring, collaging, gluing and cutting are all ways for a child to build their fine motor skills and practice pencil control while expressing their creativity.
Practical Life is also great for developing fine motor skills by disguising it in everyday activities. When scooping, pouring, slicing, crumb dusting, table setting and tonging, children are excited to do the same things they see adults do!
The Sensorial area is designed to help children differentiate objects through the use of their senses. Sorting biggest to smallest, feeling weights, shape sorting, geometry and fractions, matching like sounds, opening and closing a variety of objects (lock and key, small jars, coin purses), and feeling the difference between rough and smooth are just a few activities used to help sharpen these skills.
Math ranges from the simplest of counting to addition and subtraction problems. Younger classes will have activities to start recognizing numbers and counting correctly in rote, but as they progress, they will learn about different coins and their denomination, addition and subtraction, telling time, and using scales to determine weight.
Language encompasses more than reading skills. Starting with the Toddler program, work is created to promote conversation and identification of common objects. It's easy to segue from matching pictures and identifying letters to forming simple words with the moveable alphabet and reading books. These work activities are designed to develop visual perception, build comprehension skills, and develop the left to right movement in reading and writing.
Geography & Culture
Geography goes hand-in-hand with our Cultural area. The classes are exposed to books, maps, pictures and objects from around the world to learn about different countries and the people that live there. In addition, they discuss different holidays celebrated around the world that might differ from the traditional U.S. holidays. Puzzle maps are also on hand to differentiate the different continents as well as each of the states in the U.S.
Science focuses on observation and experimentation, so don't be surprised if you see an animal or insect in the Montessori environment! Every classroom discusses the life cycle of a butterfly, frog and chick through visual aids. When seasonally appropriate, each class has a butterfly habitat to watch the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly, an aquarium to observe the change from tadpole to frog, and an incubator to see chicks hatch out of their eggs. These stay in the classroom until the release, so children get an opportunity all day to look for changes.