Garden Gate Montessori School

Curriculum, the Experiences We Offer


     Music: "Woods"  by George Winston 

    Photos: Thank  you to our Garden Gate parent, Caroline Somary, for the many lovely photos (all the really great ones) of our Garden Gate environment.

        Use Internet Explorer as your Browser to view and listen to this site

Contact: Mimi Glass at Garden Gate Montessori School
 Phone: 925-943-7484


Our Whole Child Environment   


      Our children's environment and its continually changing learning materials are designed for development of the child's intellectual, social, emotional, and physical wholeness. We offer children the experience of choosing meaningful activities that inspire a delight in learning, independence, self-esteem, a sense of beauty and order, and problem-solving. Garden Gate's program is designed to continually meet the changing developmental needs of its students


"Thus the human personality forms itself by itself, like the embryo, and the child becomes the creator of the man, the father of the man" - Maria Montessori commenting on the phenomenon of the child's "unceasing labor of spirutal incarnation." - The Secret of Childhood

  Practical Life  







  Our teachers carefully and creatively prepare  the exercizes of

“practical life” or “daily living” based on the development of the children in their class.  Examples include pouring, spooning, eyedropper, tweezing, and sewing exercises, and carpentry.


The act of taking care of one's self and the environment also develops a sense of community.  The children take care of their classroom and its surrounding gardens and it becomes their own shared space. 


The children prepare and serve their own snack, dust the shelves which display their materials, arrange flowers, sweep and mop their own spills, and polish mirrors and windows. Innately fulfilling to the child, this is the work through which the child develops concentration, coordination and a sense of beauty and order.



Sensorial Experiences

Musical Enjoyment and Appreciation

   Our music area includes a variety of musical instruments for exploration and musical improvisation. Children learn how to play simple tunes using the pentatonic scale. Older children may learn how to read and write musical notes. The joyful singing of songs reflecting the beauty of nature and the changing seasons, aspects of culture, everyday living, and humor are a regular part of community life at

Garden Gate.



Visual and Tactile Arts   The children learn how to handle and express themselves through a wide variety of art media. A collection of art prints is available for the children's enjoyment and for matching and learning the names and styles of famous artists.


Other Sensorial Experiences 

 The Montessori Sensorial activities challenge the child’s perceptual and cognitive skills. They are specially designed to coincide with the child’s developing ability to observe, classify, and order his or her experiences in the world. Artistic and mathematical awareness, perception, and understanding are developed through manipulating these materials. 



















The first phenomenon that awoke my attention was that of a little girl of about three who was practicing slipping our series of solid cylinders in and out of the block…. I was surprised to see so small a child repeating an exercise over and over again with the keenest interest.”  Maria Montessori - commenting on the phenomenon of repetition in the developing child - The Secret of Childhood


"I'm Thankful For..."



The best in children's fiction and factual literature is available for the children's enjoyment. We read many of these books in our circle times. Later, we often overhear children "reading" these stories to each other in our book corner.

                    Writing and Reading


The coordination for manipulating a pencil has been developing through the many Daily Living and Sensorial activities involving fine motor coordination.  Use of colored pencils for tracing the shape frames and insets provides further preparation for writing.



Tactile tracing of sandpaper letters and introduction of their sounds are the first steps in writing letters and learning about their use in the written word.  Next, moveable letters are matched with objects whose names begin with their sounds.  Soon the child builds words using those letters. 



A child who is ready begins to blend sounds into words to read them.  Many experiences with print and early phonetic training prepare the child for this big step.  Children progress into the labeling exercises and the early phonics readers. Every child progresses at his or her own pace in a way that is natural and comfortable for the child.



Our children love their books, enjoying them both alone and with others in quiet little corners of their classroom. The making of little individual books to read to others encourages the beginnings of their creative writing and the development of their reading and writing skills.


A Sensorial Introduction to Geometry



The child's natural emerging ability to think mathematically and to

delight in the process is both the means and the goal

of the math experiences provided. Children begin with the

matching sets of objects to numerals, and proceed with other inviting

concrete materials that reveal the concepts involved in the mathematical



All materials are designed to appeal to the child's logical thinking and to

make sense of mathematics.






Science and Geography


 Our students develop a sense of fellowship, understanding, and responsibility for the world they live in through respectful interactions with nature, which inspires a sense of wonder at the beauty and logic of our world.


Opportunities are available for exploring nature, through habitat study, gardening, and a library rich in science material. Simple science experiments reveal the properties of matter and other phenomena.


   Our children experience aspects of various cultures through stories, factual literature,music, and cultural holiday celebrations. 

Geography with Maps


  Month upon month life brings us new birth…..”


    "Green is our garden and fair is  the Earth"

Diarama by the Stream - Planted by Tina Risse, Garden Gate parent, and her mom