Children from the ages of birth-6 have the unique ability to take in everything in their environment, both consciously and unconsciously. The child uses this information to construct themselves as they develop into independent, thoughtful beings. Maria Montessori described this as the “absorbent mind.” Norbeck Montessori has prepared our classroom environments with Montessori materials and lessons that enhance the child’s ability to absorb knowledge and develop a love for learning.
At Norbeck Montessori, children are constantly learning from one another and learning because of one another. Our multi-age classrooms enhance learning, with preschool children ages 3 to 6 working together and building skills together. Younger students get a chance to look ahead and see what is coming next by watching and aspiring to do their older classmate's work. Older students have the opportunity to be the leaders or the class and help reinforce their knowledge by sharing it with their younger classmates.
The multi-aged setting also provides the Norbeck Montessori children with opportunities for broad social development. Interaction with each other teaches students how to get along with children of different ages and abilities, respect for other’s work and workspace, and courtesy. By taking an active role in maintaining their classroom students form a thriving community where everyone is treated with respect and dignity.
The Role of the Montessori Teacher
The role of the teacher in the Montessori classroom is to guide and observe the individual interests and needs of each child. Through observation, the teacher is able to design an individualized learning plan specific to each child's needs. Each Montessori classroom is set up specifically for the children in that classroom and as their needs change, so does the classroom. Our Montessori teachers are trained to recognize periods of readiness. Sometimes it is necessary to divert a child who chooses materials beyond their ability, at other times the teacher must encourage a child who may be hesitant to explore some new lessons. Each child relates to their work and previous experiences. His/her progress is not compared to the achievements of the other children. Through this non-competitive environment the child gains confidence in him or herself and experiences an intrinsic feeling of success.
Consistency and order are musts in the life of a child. However, flexibility is a must in the life of a parent. Norbeck Montessori recognizes this by offering a five day a week program for the children with a variety of schedules to meet the needs of the diverse work and life schedules of our families. Our Primary Preschool program is offered as either a half day or full day program.
As soon as the child enters the classroom in the morning, the children are immersed in the carefully prepared, multi-aged classrooms. Our mornings include an uninterrupted work cycle, snack, a group gathering and an indoor or outdoor movement/social time. Our half-day children prepare to head home just before lunch, as the others get themselves ready for lunch. The afternoon program offers a variety of options depending on your child's age, and individual needs.
- Our youngest children will travel to our Nappers room. Here they will be able to sleep in a dark, quiet room on their own cot and nap mat.
- Those who have outgrown their nap will join the Afternoon Activities Group. This is a structured environment with themes including art, music, movement and much more.
- Our four-year-olds (four by Sept. 1) will take part in our Jr.K Class. This is a continuation of Montessori lesson time, extending the skills taught in the morning. The Jr.K program will focus primarily on math, reading and writing skills helping to further prepare the children for Kindergarten.
- The Big K Class is for all of the five-year-olds (five by Sept. 1). This is a time for all of our Kindergarteners to have class together while continuing to use the Montessori lessons. An emphasis is placed on math and language skills, taking our Big K kids to new heights. Although every child is different, our kindergarteners typically read and practice math on a first or second-grade level.