The moment you walk into an afternoon Kindergarten class you sense the magic. After a busy morning of individualized learning and discovery in their mixed-age environment, five-year-olds suddenly have the whole room all to themselves. Here they are the masters of their small universe, curious and confident explorers, comfortable in familiar surrounding that feel like a second home.
They’ve come in from Outdoor Play, changed back into their slippers, and settled into part two of their full day. Lunchtime is calm, quiet and quite grown-up, held at small tables in their own classroom (rather than a large cafeteria), with creative placemats they’ve made themselves. Teachers join the kindergarteners at their tables, facilitating friendly conversation and modeling the Grace and Courtesy lessons so key to the Montessori curriculum. After lunch, all put their Practical Life skills to work while packing up lunchboxes, cleaning tables, sweeping floors and doing other classroom chores.
All of the hands-on, sensorial materials they used in the morning for math, science, geography, writing, pre-reading, reading and more are still there in their places, accessible for further exploration. On top of that, they have specialist classes in Spanish, Chinese, Art and Science (both inside and outside the classroom); and head to the Artsbarn or the field for Movement, Sports, and Music.
What’s Montessori Kindergarten All About?
Watch this clip and put yourself in an Inly student’s shoes to get a sense of how much meaningful discovery they pack into one full day:
The Lasting Impact of the Montessori Three-Year Cycle
In a Montessori classroom, students go through a carefully planned three-year cycle designed to help them grow and blossom in all areas of development: cognitive, social, emotional and physical. During the third year they experience a remarkable sense of ownership and responsibility for themselves, their community and their environment.
Year 3 of Children’s House is when everything comes together. It’s the culmination of all the learning, development and discovery that makes each child unique. Fine-motor skills and concentration are deepened through hands-on work with Montessori manipulatives. Math concepts are practiced and mastered, handwriting is honed, reading lessons are intensified. As one Montessori teacher put it, the end of the Montessori Kindergarten year is when you take the cake out of the oven. Montessori kindergartners come out “fully baked” and ready for the next stage of learning — and life!
8:30 – 11:00 am: Mixed-age classrooms provide personalized learning in a stimulating, carefully prepared environment.
11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Outdoor play and community lunch are important components of an Inly Kindergarten day.
12:30 – 2:50 pm: The Kindergarten afternoon combines academic lessons with enrichment opportunities in an intimate setting that allows maximum focus on each student.
Activities challenge children academically, develop their motor planning, and deepen their concentration. One-on-one lessons, small-group lessons and independent work are all part of carefully sequenced curriculum.
Highlights of the Inly Kindergarten Program
All children attend the multi-age morning session; full-day kindergarten students stay on for the afternoon, in small classes of their own.
Student/teacher ratio: 8:1
• Spanish (Extra afternoon Spanish lessons, in addition to whole-class Spanish lessons in the morning )
Special K Traditions:
• Leadership Summit
• Thanksgiving Feast
• Solstice Celebration
• Cultural Curriculum: Ancient, World or American Civilizations (rotating school-wide curriculum)
• The Invention Convention Learning Fair
• Parent Appreciation Event
• Kindergarten Musical
• Graduation Songs & Ceremony
Read more about Inly Kindergarten here: Nurturing and Empowering Young Leaders