While Erwin Road Montessori School is primarily a Montessori preschool, we have a strong interest in the Reggio Emilia approach. Along with the traditional Montessori curriculum, we carefully observe the children’s work in order to guide the curriculum and look for opportunities for individual and collaborative projects. These projects offer the opportunity to investigate questions about the world around them and are documented through writing, photography, art and movement. Our program fosters creative thinking, concentration, exploration, and independence in an environment of freedom and respect.
A typical day at Erwin Road Montessori School begins with greetings from 8:15 – 8:45 a.m. By 9:00 the children are settled and begin to choose work in the classroom. During this time, children are free to choose work from the prepared classroom environment. We believe strongly in giving children long periods of unstructured play, especially in nature! During the work cycle, children are encouraged to bring their work outside and work under the trees on the deck, or choose “outside work” like gardening, building, “cooking,” digging, and exploring. Children are free to choose snack at any time during the work cycle.
We end our work cycle with a short group meeting where we reflect and discuss our work as well as enjoy music, Spanish, movement, and stories together. We don’t begin the day with group time, because many children need time to settle in to the classroom at their own pace, and are not ready to sit successfully with a group when they first arrive.
After our meeting, we enjoy outside work and play. Then we set the table for a lunch together, followed by a nap. As children wake, they may choose work in the classroom or look quietly at books. Once all children are awake, they are offered another snack and then we head outside for more playground time or a walk in the field or forest. We spend the last 15 minutes of the day completing jobs for our classroom community and preparing for home.