At Pennington Montessori, our learning environment is less a classroom and more a reflection of the society and world outside its walls. Children are exposed to exposed to a diverse range of cultures, through interaction with their peers as well as educational programs.
With a overarching focus on hands-on learning, children also build practical life skills using real-world tools, whether peeling a carrot or navigating an iPad. These and other enrichment opportunities are an integral part of the child’s holistic education:
Spanish is offered in our pre primary classrooms once a week with our instructor from “Spanish Para Ti”. It is a different and innovative Spanish learning program developed specifically for preschool and Kindergarten programs. It is based on techniques that facilitate children’s language experience using songs, games, puppet and story books as well as arts and crafts. Lessons incorporate key areas – listening, speaking, pronunciation and vocabulary at an age appropriate level.
The school has a garden, a greenhouse and 2 compost bins. Students work in the garden all year, growing and preparing food. Each pre-primary and toddler class meets each week to participate in a gardening related activity.
The concepts of cycles and progression are an important part of our program. The children learn about insect and plant life cycles as well as the paths plants take to become a part of a healthy diet. The school year begins with enjoyment of a garden full of colorful annual and perennial flowers, as well as the harvesting and tasting of fruits and vegetables planted the previous spring. In the fall the children plant spring flowering bulbs and we cut, bundle and dry herbs from our alphabetical herb garden Later the dry herbs are chopped or pulverized for use in winter cooking projects such as bread with lemon verbena, lemon thyme and lemon balm, pizza with oregano and the favorite – brownies with chocolate mint! The children also participate in clean-up and composting of dead plant material. In early December the children grow paper white narcissus bulbs indoors in clear cups, which allow the children to see the development of a bulb and understand what is occurring underground to the bulbs they planted outdoors.
The school year culminates in a well-earned garden party where we taste fresh fruits and herbal baked goods.