Overview – Preprimary (ages 3-6)

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We believe that children are naturally eager to learn. Place that eagerness in a beautiful environment -- one that allows for freedom and choice and promotes a sense of harmony and order -- and they will thrive. What sets the Montessori approach apart is the child-classroom-teacher learning triangle. Interacting with engaging materials in a thoughtfully prepared environment and with the guidance of skilled, observant teachers, children construct their own learning. This approach celebrates the human spirit and values the development of the whole child -- cognitive, emotional, social and physical. Given opportunities to move freely, make choices and control elements of their learning environment, children flourish. They grow to see themselves as initiators, problem-solvers and leaders as they work with self-correcting materials and experience the daily give-and-take of a lively, interactive learning community. A structure of important principles governs the classroom environment. We use the word work to dignify the child's activities. We offer the freedom to choose one's work and the right to uninterrupted concentration along with the choice of working with others or alone. To assist the child in building her own internal structures, we maintain harmony and order in the environment. We focus on teaching processes for a lifetime of learning and courtesies for relating to others. We expect respect for the materials and for each other’s work. Children are motivated by their own internal desires to learn. We offer no external awards so as not to diminish the child’s own satisfaction in a job well done. Ancona’s experienced teachers prepare inviting and challenging classrooms, creating a hands-on curriculum that can be accessed through all the senses. This curriculum includes traditional Montessori materials as well as teacher-crafted activities based on current research into best practices for the education of young children. In the multi-age classroom, the children help, learn from and lead each other. Teachers circulate through the classroom, carefully observing and listening to the children, assessing their growth and adapting activities to their unique needs and interests. They facilitate the children’s choices as well as their social interactions, and they give lessons to individuals and small groups throughout the Montessori day. To assist the children in constructing themselves and their learning, the preprimary classroom is organized into areas of curricular focus.
  • The real-life activities of the Practical Life area lay the critical foundation for a lifetime of learning. Whether cleaning a mirror, separating compost from trash or spooning beads into a bowl, children learn to care for themselves and their environment in the Practical Life area. Working with the various practical life materials, children gain control over their movements, develop focus and concentration and feel a sense of pride in their growing competence and independence.
  • With the materials of the Sensorial area, children sharpen all of their senses to observe, broaden and refine the information coming to them from the environment. They develop their powers of discrimination and their intellects, learning concepts and vocabulary for comparing, contrasting, ordering and classifying.
  • The Language and Math areas contain rich, multi-sensory materials and a multiplicity of activities and explorations for developing reading, writing and math literacies. While many materials are designed to build literacy and math skills, our focus is always on developing thinking and insuring understanding.
  • In the Science and Social Studies areas, teachers place intriguing materials for exploring our human and natural worlds. Units of study rotate throughout the child’s three years in the preprimary, exposing children to cultures and environments, geography and experimentation.
  • The Art area offers materials for creative exploration and expression, as well as opportunities for developing skills that facilitate the production of art.
Every day in Ancona’s preprimary is a joyful one that includes large group meetings, individual work time and small group lessons. Because play is critical to children’s development, every day includes outdoor excitement and challenges in Ancona’s new Outdoor Learning Space. In the course of every week, each class will have a visit from the Art Specialist plus music classes and a trip to the Library for storytelling and read-alouds. There may be cooking projects, work with older students or special celebrations and assemblies. Kindergartners have regular physical education and Spanish classes as well.

Montessori classrooms empower our youngest children to develop themselves as individuals while learning to be kind and thoughtful members of a community.

Ancona’s diverse and inclusive classrooms are places of profound respect for each child; learning from the rich variety of backgrounds, abilities and beliefs prepares students for life in our increasingly global world.