Although some aspects of a Montessori education emphasize independent and small group work, LMI students also enjoy all the benefits of socialization that takes place in traditional programs. Friendships naturally form and teachers will encourage parents to set up play dates between budding friends.
Circle time: Children begin each session greeting peers and teachers, sharing important thoughts, building (blocks, Legos) and imaginative play (restaurant, astronaut, physician).
Snack room: Group cooking, snack preparation and tables for eating together give children many opportunities to share.
Indoor recess: Children enjoy a multitude of cooperative activities including parachute games, group building activities, book making, Playdough, giant floor puzzles, balance beam, blocks, Legos, and imaginative play.
Outdoor recess: Begins with holding a partner’s hand and walking to the playground or courtyard. Teachers promote budding friendships by pairing children together as partners. Once at the playground, children are carefully supervised and have the freedom to play safely with whomever and whatever they choose on the Center School playscape and the courtyard. Running games, obstacle courses, fitness activities are organized for the children’s ultimate fun.
Story groups: Children enjoy story time with peers close to their age. Award winning children’s literature with a focus on Windows & Mirrors (both the familiar and eyes to the world) are where children take turns talking, listening, and being aware of those around them.
Through the “Character Counts” program (www.charactercounts.org), we teach the 6 Pillars/foundations of positive and appropriate social behavior.
Art room: Children explore the lesson of the week at a table set for seven students to create, converse, and learn together. There is also group drawing at the chalk and marker boards. In addition, painting at the easel is often available as friends can paint together and talk about their creations.
Science and geography: Children often work in small groups while exploring cultures, maps, and partaking in science experiments.
Work time: Provides the children experiences with a mixed age group where children work at their own level of readiness. Older children help younger children working together as a community of learners.
Gardening: The garden at LMI is cared for in large part by the students who weed, plant, water, rake and explore the garden together with a teacher’s guidance.
Porch at dismissal: While children sit on the porch awaiting pick-up, teachers sing songs, tell stories, and engage the children in French and sign language activities.
Lunchroom: Long, rectangular tables give children the opportunity to laugh, giggle and share while enjoying a healthy lunch.
OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL
Throughout the school year LMI encourages parents to use the school directory to set up continued social experiences for your child. We are happy to provide additional copies of the school directory and your child’s story group(s) to be used for your personal use only. The staff is available to help if you are looking for suggestions regarding friendships your child is developing or might pursue. You simply need to contact your child’s mentoring teacher.
We feel it is important to give LMI parents and students a chance to socialize outside of school. To facilitate this, the Social Committee plans a variety of social activities each month that provides LMI families an opportunity to build relationships while developing a stronger sense of community.
Longmeadow Montessori provides an environment that encourages a love of learning as well as development of friendships and cooperative behavior. Most classrooms include children of mixed ages, encouraging children to work at their own level of readiness. Older or more experienced children like to help younger students. These interactions help all ages learn how to work together, help each other, take turns, share and listen to one another.