Montessori for Preschool

PRESCHOOL PHILOSOPHY & STRUCTURE

  • DR. MONTESSORI BELIEVED THAT NO HUMAN BEING IS EDUCATED BY ANOTHER PERSON; HE MUST DO IT HIMSELF OR IT WILL NEVER BE DONE. SHE, THEREFORE, FELT THAT THE GOAL OF THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS SHOULD NOT BE TO FILL THE CHILD WITH FACTS, BUT RATHER TO CULTIVATE HIS OWN NATURAL DESIRE TO LEARN. 

     

    Feeling that there is an important correlation between muscular activity and learning, she incorporated movement into the use of the equipment, particularly constant use of the hands. Error-control factors were included that indicate a child’s mistake to him without his having to be told.

    Children between the ages of two and six can pick up knowledge and understanding effortlessly, spontaneously, and joyfully. Dr. Montessori called the child’s mind at this stage “absorbent” and compared its soaking in knowledge to a sponge’s soaking in water. She also discovered that during these years there are sensitive periods when a child shows unusual ability to acquire particular skills and it is actually easier for him to learn those skills than at any other time in his life.
     
    She concluded that freedom is a goal, not a starting point and that educators have a responsibility to train children’s characters to achieve self-discipline and self-direction. These result from the mastery of meaningful firsthand experience and fulfilling the urge to expand and grow in one’s own way without jeopardizing the rights of others to have this same privilege.
     
     

MEET THE PRESCHOOL TEACHERS

Ms. Christina Eckstein, PRESCHOOL LEAD TEACHER, AGES 3 AND 4

Phone: 352-375-6773

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Christina Eckstein, PRESCHOOL LEAD TEACHER, AGES 3 AND 4

  • B.A., Music Education, Youngstown State University
  • M.A., Music Performance, Florida State University
  • American Montessori Society Certification, Early Childhood
  • Certification, Phono-Graphix
  • Pi Kappa Lambda (Honor Society)
  • Graduate Assistant, Florida State University
  • Private Instructor, Clarinet
  • CPR and First Aid Certified
  • Hobbies: Zumba, running, and Spartan races
  • MMS Affiliation since 2004

 

Ms. Kendal Cates, ASSISTANT TEACHER

Phone: 352-375-6773

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Kendal Cates, ASSISTANT TEACHER

  • B.A., Child and Family Studies, Columbia College 
  • C.C.L.S., Certified Child Life Specialist, Association of Child Life Professionals
  • YMCA camp counselor 
  • CPR and First Aid Certified
  • Hobbies: swimming, fitness classes, painting, sewing, and exploring the outdoors
  • MMS Affiliation since 2017

 

 
Ms. Martha Dolan, EARLY PRESCHOOL TEACHER, AGE 3

Phone: 352-375-6773

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Martha Dolan, EARLY PRESCHOOL TEACHER, AGE 3

  • American Montessori Society Certification Ages 3-6
  • A.S., National Child Development, Lurleen B. Wallace Community College
  • C.D.A. Credential, Child Development Associate, Council for Professional Recognition
  • Certification, Phono-Graphix
  • Former instructor of Kids College, Lurleen B. Wallace Community College
  • PreK Lead Teacher since 1985, various schools
  • CPR and First Aid Certified
  • Hobbies: gardening, camping, raising butterflies
  • MMS Affiliation since 2010
Ms. Jasmine Laska, TEACHER, AGE 4

Phone: 352-375-6773

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Jasmine Laska, TEACHER, AGE 4

  • B.F.A., Specialization in Painting
  • Currently taking the American Montessori Society Early Childhood Certification
  • Teaching Fellow at Breakthrough – Miami
  • Art Teacher/After Care Teacher, Boulware Springs Charter School
  • Extensive Community Service
  • CPR and First Aid Certified
  • Hobbies: muralist, yoga, live painting and hiking
  • MMS Affiliation since 2018

  • PRESCHOOL CLASS INFORMATION

PRESCHOOL AGE 3 – 5

  • The Preschool program continues to focus on emotional, social, and academic development. Development in these areas must be carefully balanced to effectively meet the evolving needs of each student. Preschool students remain in a sensitive stage for order, sensorial learning, and language development. They begin to possess a “conscious mind” that allows them to direct themselves more effectively and apply themselves to and complete more complex tasks. They will repeat an activity until they have mastered it and then move sequentially to the next activity. By giving the students freedom combined with responsibility, they are able to progress through the curriculum at their own pace by making choices that enable them to maximize their development.

    Social development includes learning to make the transition between home and school, gaining a more positive selfimage, increasing independence, and developing the skills to work and play cooperatively with other children. Students also begin to establish a strong work ethic by developing self-discipline, increasing responsibility, and working independently.

    Subject areas include practical life activities, sensorial lessons, language, mathematics, cultural studies and science, music, Spanish, art, library and media, and physical education. Learn more in our detailed curriculum guide.

THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT FOR PRESCHOOL

  • The prepared environment encompasses the teacher, student, and classroom. The teacher’s role in the prepared environment is to observe and facilitate. Teachers provide the link between the materials and the student, maintain order, and preserve the environment. The materials are set up so that the students can witness success or correct errors by themselves. They are free to move about the room and make choices independently. The items in the environment are reality-based and found in nature. Furnishings, countertops, sinks, and décor are all at the students’ height. There is structure and order in the room, within the shelves, and within each individual activity. Elements are sequenced from simple to complex, top to bottom, left to right, gross to fine motor, no tool to tool, few objects to many objects, isolation to complex, one-step to multiple steps, and concrete to abstract. Each work has specific direct and indirect aims in the student’s development.

THE THREE PERIOD LESSON FOR PRESCHOOL

  • The three period lesson is the method used to teach new vocabulary in all areas of the curriculum. In the first period, the student is introduced to new vocabulary as the teacher names two or three objects (This is a cone. This is a sphere). In the second period of the lesson, the student is asked to recognize the objects (Point to the cone. Point to the sphere). During the third period, the student is asked to recall the objects (What is this?).

    Learn more in our detailed curriculum guide.

  • Curriculum Guide