Our Classroom

The Montessori Classroom

Natural lighting, soft colours, uncluttered spaces and a happy buzz of children are hallmarks of the Montessori classroom.  Learning materials are displayed around the room on low shelves just waiting for children to find and explore.  The classroom is set up with spaces for group activity, as well as quiet spaces for children to be alone.  Open spaces allow for a kindergartner to spread out a long chain of beads for counting, or for a team to build a block tower.  The easel is always always available for young artists who are inspired to paint, and the peace corner is a cozy spot to curl up and read or just be alone. The newest additions to our classroom are two state of the art digital pianos.  Through a partnership with the College of Music at BGSU we now offer weekly piano lessons to our kindergarten age children, and the chance for daily practice. There are no additional fees for the piano program.

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Our classroom is set up to be comforting and inspiring for the children.  Everything in the classroom is child-centered – low sinks and drinking fountains, chairs and tables, low shelves, baskets of books scattered around the room just waiting to be looked at, even child-sized cleaning tools just right for cleaning up big messes.

Pip and Petey

Pip and Petey

Montessori emphasizes learning through the five senses.  Children learn at their own, individualized pace as they explore the activities in the classroom.  Rather than a focus on “teaching” the child, we hope to inspire children to find joy in learning and discovery.  The children choose their activities from low open shelves and then work either at child-sized tables or on the floor with small rugs to define their space.  The choice of activities varies throughout the year, based on the developing skills and interests of the children.  Rather than a teacher in front of a group of children, the teachers in our classroom are sitting on the floor working one-on-one or in small groups with children when they need it.

Each area of the classroom is a defined space, filled with fun and engaging activities for the children to choose.

Practical Life

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Learning how to use a hand drill in the Practical Life Area

The practical life area of the classroom is designed to help children master practical skills and develop independence.  Children get practice in skills like pouring water, using tongs, scooping, folding, cutting and cleaning.  The “dressing frames” help our children to learn how to button, zip and tie.

Peace Corner

The peace corner is a quiet space with a cozy beanbag chair, a fish tank and quiet activities and books.  Children can go to the peace corner if they are tired, need time to think or if they are upset and need some time alone.

Another important part of our classroom is the “Peace Rose”.  The peace rose is a silk rose in a vase on a low shelf.  If two children have a problem that they need to work out, one child can invite the other child to the peace table to talk about their concerns.  The child holding the rose gets to speak while the other listens, and then they switch.  With guidance from the teacher the children learn to talk to about their feelings and to listen respectfully to one another.  As time goes on, the children need the teacher less and less to work out their issues.

The Peace Rose

The Peace Rose

Language Area

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Using the moveable alphabet to write a story

The language materials are designed to introduce children to pre-reading and reading skills in a fun and engaging way.  Sandpaper letters help children to experience letters through touch, sound as well as sight.  Children practice the different strokes of letters (curves, lines etc…) by working with metal inset materials.  Cut-out letters, called the moveable alphabet, allow children to begin spelling words, crafting sentences and sharing their ideas even before they have the ability to write legibly.

Using the moveable alphabet to work on language skills.

Math Area

Having fun learning numbers and counting

At NWO Montessori we try to help give children a strong foundation in math and numbers, to help them to develop a comfort and familiarity with math that will serve them well in the future.  The math materials are designed to be fun and engaging – working with beads, rods, blocks and puzzles.  Without even realizing it, children are adding and multiplying as they engage with the different materials.  Rather than worksheets, the children are using their senses to experience and understand math.

Working with numbers

Art Area

The art area is always popular with the children.  The easel is always set up with paints for young artists.  Art materials rotate on a regular basis, including cutting, gluing and coloring.

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Three and four year olds exploring science

Three and four year olds exploring science

Science Area

The science area of the classroom also has activities for children to explore.  Science materials change on a regular basis, but might include exploring sound, light, gravity, plants, animals, weather and other topics.  We are fortunate to have scientists from BGSU regularly visit our classroom to engage the children in additional science activities.

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Learning about germs with Dr. Vipa

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Studying mealworms, larvae and beetles with Dr. Rick

Music

Music is an important part of our classroom.  Singing, dancing and exploring instruments are all part of our weekly activities.

 

Music Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our kindergarten age children have the opportunity to take weekly piano lessons through a partnership with the College of Music at BGSU.  Our state of the art digital pianos include headphones so students can practice daily without distraction.  There are no additional fees for the piano program.

Practicing piano in the classroom

Practicing piano in the classroom

Spanish

Learning Spanish at NWO Montessori is always a lot of fun.  With an emphasis on songs, movement and art projects in addition to vocabulary, the students begin to learn the language by engaging all of their senses.

Playing a game in Spanish

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Playgrounds

With two outdoor playgrounds the children always have lots of fun outside climbing, sliding, running and playing.  In the winter the children enjoy sledding down the hill, and in the warmer weather they love the trikes.

Enjoying the warm weather with a picnic

Enjoying the warm weather with a picnic

 

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Celebrating International Peace Day

 

Tricycle Riding

Tricycle Riding

 

Indoor Playground

The indoor playground is a favorite for many of the children!  With slides, forts, tricycles, scooters and other fun activities, the indoor playground makes rainy days a treat.

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