MONTESSORI STUDIO

Our Spark Studio, for learners 4 to 7, is a Montessori-based environment.

As Maria Montessori advised, our learners engage in self-directed activities, hands-on materials, and collaborative learning through play. Children increase confidence, emotional intelligence, and independence.

Our young learners also build foundation skills such as reading, math, science, and citizenship that will prepare them to soar into the Discover Studio when the time is right. 

Our Spark studio also offers a robust outdoor learning program. Outdoor time is critical for young learners to engage their bodies and minds, while also connecting to nature and the broader community. 

A Typical Week in Our Spark Studio

Montessori based environment - our weekly schedule

Morning Circle

We start each day by sharing something inspirational, having a discussion, asking our learners to share something about themselves and their thoughts, sing a song, or discuss the weather and the news of the day.

Morning Work Cycle

A structure of all Montessori programs, this is a time when learners are free to work with any materials in their studio that they have been introduced to. This includes practical life works, Montessori math tools, and reading and writing works.

Reflection Circle

A quick check-in before lunch to reflect on our morning work cycle. An example of a question we might pose: “What are you most proud of yourself for today?”

Outdoor Time

After lunch, bundle up and play outside. Depending on the day it might be playground free-time, organized games, community walks, or loose parts play.

Enrichment: Outdoor Exploration

Our weekly outdoor program focusses on child-lead exploration. We engage in a play-based, gross-motor curriculum that encourages a connection to our earth, nature and our environment, while safely navigating risks.

DEAR

Drop everything and read or rest. Learners find a book and get cozy for some quiet time.

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Quest

We go on a quest, working as a team to explore a simple project over a period of several days or weeks. Build a chain reaction machine, or experiment with growing a garden, for example.

Studio Maintenance

In teams, learners choose a job and take care to clean up their studio.

Closing Circle and Book Club

Learners are engaged in a small discussion, before we dive into our imaginations for a read-aloud from our latest chapter book.

Friday Enrichment Program

Fridays are reserved for longer field trips, forest school, farm visits, or other special activities that meet the interests of our learners. We may be inside the school or on-the-go.

What is a Montessori Program?

A Prepared Environment

Our Spark Studio is designed intentionally to serve the child and is set up to facilitate independence in all areas. You’ll see child-sized desks and chairs, shelves with educational materials accessible at the learner’s height, artwork, and cultural items displayed at eye level. The classroom also has all the items that a learner needs to care for themselves and take care of their classroom. There are child-sized brooms, washcloths and even items to serve snacks and clean up afterward.

Emphasis on Community

Our Spark Studio community is built around an understanding of the interconnectedness of living things. Routines are established early on that include things like: how to greet each other, how to watch respectfully when someone is working, how to solve problems and disagreements, how to take care of personal hygiene and how to wait while someone else finishes talking.

Guide Training

Our Spark studio has trained Montessori guides. These guides observe and help individual children or small groups but rarely teach the whole classroom at once. Our guides are highly respectful of each child’s unique learning path and take great care to introduce them to concepts when they’re ready, not based on an external timetable. We prepare the environment each day and to rotate materials on the shelves to meet the day-to-day needs of the learners. 

Choice and Freedom

Maria Montesori called this “freedom within limits.” While our guides prepare the environment and helps to structure the overall day, children have a lot of choice over what their day looks like moment-by-moment. This includes freedom to move around and choose where they do their work, what work they’ll complete and in what order, and often, freedom to choose how they’d show their understanding of a certain topic.