Our Early Program classrooms are mixed-age classrooms that provide an authentic Montessori experience for children three and four years-old.
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In order to provide individual attention, Early Program classes are small by design with a 7.5:1 student-teacher ratio.
During the two-year program, children of different ages are mixed together and remain in the same classroom for both years. Three-year-old children benefit from having older classmates to model, and the following year they are empowered and cement their learning by assisting their younger classmates. This instills in the children a sense of responsibility for each other, as well as for themselves and the classroom.
Traditional Montessori materials, which address cognitive and sensory-motor development, are enhanced by more play-based activities to encourage the social, creative, and emotional growth of the child. The classroom itself is a prepared environment designed to provide children with positive experiences through exploration and connections. Everything in the room is arranged in predictable fashion, so that the children are able to take charge of their own learning, and to discover on their own. With its sensible structure, the classroom itself is the center of focus. The teacher acts as a facilitator in helping the children utilize their space and materials to learn independently, and students navigate the classroom and their Montessori “works,” with encouragement and guidance.
A foundation is carefully laid for effective and sensitive communication with peers and adults. Children are consistently encouraged to use their words when expressing their needs or feelings. Every effort is made to teach them compassion and empathy, in order to develop their awareness and appreciation of others. The progress of each child is monitored by continuous observation and record keeping on the part of the teachers. They look to see if the child is functioning independently in the classroom, verbally communicating his or her thoughts and actions, and progressing through the different areas of the classroom at his or her own pace.
Combining Montessori methodology with activities in art, music, movement, peace circle, science, outdoor play, and dramatic, open-ended play, the curriculum promotes social and emotional growth, as well as cognitive and sensory development. Specialist classes, and guest readers and speakers round out this immersive learning experience.
416 E. 80th Street,
New York, NY 10075