Garden Gate Montessori School

The Beauty of Montessori


Music: "Thanksgiving" by George Winston 

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

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Contact: Mimi Glass at Garden Gate Montessori School   925-943-7484
What Sets Montessori Apart? 
When you step inside an authentic Montessori environment you will sense that something very different is going on. And something very different is, indeed, happening there. That something is reflected in the beauty and order of the environment, the respectful way teachers approach and talk to children, the way the children work with concentration and enthusiasm, and the respectful way in which our students treat one another. But those are all mere reflections, the tangible evidence of a unique goal on which all of Montessori education is based.
 In authentic Montessori schools our goal is to help all children become enthusiastic, confident, self starting, lifelong learners, capable of working within a community of other people in a respectful and effective manner. And, literally every detail of what goes on there is designed to produce those results for your child.
   If those goals match well with the hopes and dreams you have for your child, then Montessori is most likely a good choice for your family. Other schools have gifts to offer, but always within a conventional model, which severely limits their ability to give children what they need most from their education as stated above. If what you want most for your child is the reflection of more traditional goals, then Montessori is probably not the right match for your family because the model varies from what you are used to. Montessori gives children educational content above and beyond what other programs offer, but within a very different model that produces the broader results described above.
* Montessori education informs the child from within through the child's engagement with pristinely designed materials in a fascinating world.
*Montessori education facilitates the development of concentration, critical thinking and problem solving both socially and cognitively.
*Montessori education widens the child's awareness and sustains the child's enthusiasm for further discovery and focused work.
 * But best of all, Montessori education teaches all while informing from within, and while igniting the fire of intellectual curiosity and endeavor.
Montessori at Garden Gate 
Characteristics of our Program   Parents who want the unique gift that an authentic Montessori education has to offer will see and hear it in every detail of Garden Gate Montessori school. See the beautiful details below.

 The "Prepared Environment"

 In quality Montessori programs all over the world you will find inside and outside environments lovingly prepared with a level of order and beauty that refects the underlying orientation of respect for the child's sensitive nature and need for beauty and order.  Accordingly, at Garden Gate every aspect of the child's sensory and cognitive experience is considered in the design and maintenance of the environment.


The child's learning materials and other furnishings are of high quality, always in good repair, and readily accessible in order to serve the child's developing sense of independence and competence. The child's environment is geared to provide the kind of individualized, hands on learning for which Montessori education is renowned.


The role of the teacher is part of the prepared environment. Teachers are specially trained in the Montessori philosophy of child oriented education that respects each and every child, and bases its guidance on careful observation of each student. You may read more below about the unique role of the teacher in Montessori programs.



Child’s Play is Child’s Work  
In Montessori schools we do not distinguish between work and play. All learning is seen as the result of the child's natural impetus toward self-development. Even "academic" work is approached as a symbolic and abstract level of play through the hands-on, sensorial way of learning that is the hallmark of early childhood.  Learning is natural and easy because it involves the mind, body and spirit in a way that is natural to the child.  

Parents and Grandparents are Important        

Parents are invited to observe their children and to confer with the teacher regarding their children's development. Daily personal contact with the child's teacher is a unique benefit of Garden Gate's homelike program. From their individual observation records for each child, teachers prepare and send home periodic progress notes to let parents know about their child's recent experiences at school. 



Our Morning Unfolds 

    In the Garden 

We have a relaxed beginning to the new day in our garden-play area where opportunities abound to observe nature and engage in gross motor and social play.      


Opening Circle-"Line Time"   


Our outside time is followed by a gathering time when we come together for an opening circle  ("Line Time") in which we greet each other and the new day with an opening song, hear the weather report, and work with the calendar, and talk together. We also announce who does which classroom jobs and celebrate birthdays at this time, and perhaps see something new that will be available for choosing in the classroom. This is a joyful time when the sense of belonging to a small community prevails.  



Time to Choose and Enjoy
Independence within a Community
The children choose from amongst the many learning materials offered in the classroom and in the outside areas.  A child may choose to work either alone or with others.

This is a time when children can develop independence while remaining part of a community. 

Because each child is fulfilled through self-chosen work and secure in the knowledge that no one may interfere with his or her work, interactions between the children tend to be non-competitive.  When two children choose to work together, they are more likely to cooperate, because they have entered into their shared play freely.  


Language Development 

Vocabulary building activities, the natural dialogue which accompanies the children's self-chosen work, and social interactions enhance the child's emerging ability to think with language and to communicate verbally. Open, respectful communication amongst children and adults is modeled and valued for the building of self-esteem and mutually satisfying relationships.

Non-Competitive Interaction

Because children are free to choose the work that appeals to them, to learn at their own pace, and to work either alone or with another, each child develops a desire to be part of the community and a love of learning for the satisfaction that it brings to the child.




Conflict Resolution


At Garden Gate Montessori School a special effort is made to support children in their efforts to resolve conflicts by providing them with the necessary communication skills through a process they all know and love as the "Peace Talk.".  We see these learned skills independently applied by the children once they have been introduced to them.  

A Peace Talk


Good-bye Circle    


Singing, movement, and stories typify our closing circle time together.  There is a sense of closure to our morning as children prepare for the next step of their day.



The Role of the Teacher


Our Montessori trained teachers serve as observers and guides to the children, giving them direction and help to facilitate their own independence while being careful not to intrude upon their work or interrupt their concentration. Prior to the school day the teachers have spent time in careful preparation of the environment based upon their observations of the children’s needs and her knowledge of child development.  We invite you to our "Curriculum" page for descriptions of the kinds of experiences available for the children's choosing.