This program is available for children ages 3 through 6 years; students must be 3 by September 1 in order to be eligible for the program. There are four morning classes that meet from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m, one 3-day afternoon class that meets from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, one 2-day science afternoon class that meets from 12:00 to 3:00 pm on Tuesday and Thursday (student must be enrolled in at least one other program to attend this cultural program), and one bilingual class (Spanish) that meets from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The morning session can be 5-days or 3-days. The Montessori classroom is geared to the pace and interests of children, giving them freedom in an environment prepared with attractive materials. Children are free to choose their own activities, to work alone or in small groups with the Montessori materials for most of the session. These materials can be divided into seven main groups.
- Practical Life includes activities of daily living such as learning to button and tie, cleaning up after oneself, caring for pets and plants, using a computer, and courteous and respectful behaviors. These develop concentration, fine motor skills, social competence, and self-esteem.
- Sensorial materials, such as the Tower of Ten, Color Tablets, and Mystery Bag, spotlight the use of the senses to discriminate differences and similarities in the environment. They learn to observe, make comparisons, form judgments, and make decisions.
- Math materials such as the Cards & Counters, Golden Beads, and The Banker's Game help the children develop an awareness of numbers, counting, and basic math operations. All areas of the classroom involve the development of language. However, there is a special Language area with materials such as Sandpaper Letters, Sound Boxes, Movable Alphabet, and Metal Insets to develop the skills for writing and reading.
- Science -- biology, geography, and history -- is explored through observing and caring for animals and plants, conducting simple experiments, using the Puzzle Maps, exploring the Seasons, and making Time Lines.
- Creative Arts and Crafts allow for self-expression and fine motor development.
- Music highlights listening skills, ear training, movement, and singing.
- Perceptual Motor Development emphasizes physical activity which leads to coordinated movement.
Children and adults also gather for Community Time. This allows for the children to experience being a part of large group activity. Songs, discussion, short group presentations, and Show & Tell happen under the teacher's direction. Special programs may be presented by parents or individuals from the community who share special talents or knowledge with the children. We invite parents to share the cultural, ethnic, or professional interests, hobbies, and talents. A half-hour of supervised gross-motor play time is scheduled for each session. This is usually outside in the fenced playground. A ratio of 12 students to one teacher is maintained.
It is expected that children remain at MSGL through their kindergarten year. The curriculum in a Preprimary class, when taught by a Montessori credentialed teacher, is individualized for each child and would include curriculum materials and instruction considered kindergarten level. Thus, a child who meets the entrance age for MSGL and has attended the Preprimary Program at least one year prior to the "kindergarten year," will be considered "in kindergarten" and will receive a Kindergarten Progress Report. New (to MSGL) 5-year-old students should be five prior to September 1 to be considered in their kindergarten year.
Apply for Preprimary