Classrooms are organized into three levels and students attend school with different age groups:
- Early childhood classrooms have pre-school (4 year-olds) and kindergarten.
- Elementary 1 classrooms have grades 1,2, and 3.
- Elementary 2 classrooms have grades 4 and 5.
Students stay with the same teacher and peers for two to three years. The Montessori teaching style and classroom organization also has a positive effect on the school learning environment and student behavior.
The Children's House (CH) classroom has 4 and 5-year-olds. There are six areas in the classroom: practical life, sensorial, mathematics, language arts, geography and art. Each area has materials carefully prepared for children. The work area has works for the children to explore and feel. The teacher helps guide the children to choose a material or work. The teacher gives individual lessons or presentations. Montessori Education, for the young child, is a method of education that hopes to instill a love of learning. The process of learning is more important than the product. We nurture independence, concentration, order and coordination. We believe touching, feeling and using all the senses are important. Maria Montessori once said, the hand is the instrument of the mind.
We offer full-day prekindergarten and kindergarten.
One look at the Elementary 1 (E1) Classroom will tell the observer this is not a traditional setting. It is a learning environment. Sections of each room are lined with shelf upon shelf of beautiful Montessori materials housed in color-coded baskets and natural wood boxes. The work is inviting to the student and necessary for the development of skills, beginning with hands-on learning.
Cultural studies form the core of the Elementary 2 (E2) Classroom literacy work. The three-year history and geography cycles covers early Humans, Great Civilizations, American and Minnesota studies. The cultural studies are integrated with reading, writing and speech activities. Novel studies may relate to the period of history being explored. The children are frequently involved in independent and small group research that culminates in reports, displays, projects and presentations.
Students in the Montessori E2 classroom are required to handle a more labor-intensive assignment load. E2 students make the transition from working with concrete manipulatives in both the EC and E1 classrooms to more abstract concepts and assignments. Assignments generally center on paper and pencil tasks that are abstract and require problem-solving and reasoning skills. Assignments are given in a steady stream and typically will take one to three days to complete.
Students in the Montessori E2 classroom put energy and effort into developing solid work habits. Handling a labor-intensive workload requires organization, planning, and self-direction. Students use a planner and document all assignments and due dates. This helps with the planning and completion of assignments. It is also an indirect preparation for middle school, where students are required to document assignments from a variety of teachers and classes.