Back to Goodyear Preschools

Palm Valley Montessori

629 N. sarival Ave.
Goodyear, AZ 85338

Phone:
(623) 986-9516

Website:

3 parents took the survey TAKE THE SURVEY

Curriculum

Palm Valley Montessori School offers a genuine Montessori education. The curriculum is diverse and integrated. The Montessori method of instruction is truly a hands-on approach to learning where the student is fully engaged. Each skill or concept is introduced with an accompanying material specifically designed to guide the child to discovery and mastery. The four foundations of any Montessori classroom are:

Practical Life The lessons in this category enable the child to care for himself and his environment. They are also known as the independence lessons. From these simple tasks, the young child builds concentration, self-confidence, motor skills, and autonomy. Exercises in this category include washing a table, arranging flowers, preparing vegetables, lacing a shoe, setting a table, and greeting guests. Once the child has mastered these activities he is ready to advance to the more complex lessons of language and mathematics.

Sensorial All five senses are engaged in Montessori education. Dr. Montessori noted that "development of the senses precedes that of superior intellectual activity." The sensorial materials train children to discriminate the differences in forms, colors, textures and smells. The child refines the use of his senses and develops critical thinking, concentration, and sequencing skills. Some examples of the sensorial lessons include the pink tower, baric tablets, tasting jars, constructive triangles, and superimposed geometric figures.

Language Children are capable of using sounds to “build” words before they can physically write. Therefore, Montessori classrooms use a moveable alphabet so the child can literally combine the sounds to form words and sentences. Reading is taught by guiding the child to discover that sounds make words and those sounds have symbols. The Montessori environment emphases the importance of vocabulary with stories, songs, poems, plays, and conversation. The child learns not only to read and write, but to fully express himself through language. Activities in language include sound games, sandpaper letters, phonograms, logical adverb game, and simple sentences with extensions, attributes, and appositions.

Mathematics A love of mathematics will develop naturally if the young child is allowed to discover mathematic truths in the concrete and then apply those truths to the abstract. First, the child learns the symbol and the quantity for numbers. Next, mathematical processes are taught using the decimal system. Some examples of Montessori mathematics lessons include number rods and cards, formation of complex numbers with beads and cards, dynamic multiplication, linear counting, long division with boards and racks, and introduction to fractions.

The Montessori child also receives exposure in the Arts, Sciences, and Culture. Geography, history, botany, zoology, art, and music are all integral parts of the curriculum. The students study an artist and a composer of the month.

Diversity is treasured in the Montessori classroom. Foods, music, dress, language, art, and celebrations from cultures beyond our Western world are introduced to students so they are prepared to be citizens of the world.

Grace and courtesy, peace education, character development, gardening and outdoor activities, and movement education are also stressed in the Montessori primary environment. Children at this level of development are particularly adept to absorb these lessons.

Full and extended day students also benefit from weekly Spanish, music, art, and yoga classes.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

From the Director:

The creation of Palm Valley Montessori School (PVMS) has truly been a labor of love. The seeds were planted twenty-five years ago when my mother picked up our neighbor’s child from preschool. I walked into the prepared environment and announced, “Ooooh, I like this!” I was enrolled the next week at the ripe old age of two years and seven months. Since that time, my love of the teaching method has only grown stronger. After studying mainstream education in college, I was hungry for a return to this amazing philosophy. I received my Montessori certificate from the Montessori Education Center of Arizona under the direction of Mrs. Nimal Vaz. In the Montessori community, Mrs. Vaz is nothing short of a living legend and I was looking forward to a long and fulfilling teaching career at her primary school. However, my plans changed when my first child arrived. I applied the Montessori method to our home life and started dreaming about opening a preschool for my own children. Our schoolhouse is a lovely 3,400 square foot custom home on nearly two acres of land. It used to be a farmhouse, but it was completely gutted and remodeled three years ago. I absolutely fell in love with the place. It was exactly what I had been dreaming of for a school. It is completely surrounded by a six foot high block wall and has thirty-six mature trees on the grand lawn. Although it's off a major road, it is safe, quiet, and private. The natural outdoor play space was extremely important to me after looking at so many strip mall properties with playgrounds surrounded by parking lots! The home itself has an ideal layout for a Montessori school. Our classroom flows throughout the expansive home and outdoors to the large covered patios. The curriculum is genuine Montessori. I had a true Montessori experience for my preschool education and that's what I want for my children and my students. The four areas of a Montessori classroom are: practical life (care of self and the environment, independence skills), sensorial (guiding children to discovery through all the senses), language (phonics instruction, expression, vocabulary), and mathematics (decimal system, making the abstract concrete for the young child). Our studies also include art, music, yoga, and Spanish. We have an outdoor environment too a lovely children's garden. Taking this project from a daydream to a reality has been an exercise in patience, sacrifice, and perseverance. I thought many, many times about throwing up my hands and calling it quits. I just couldn’t bear to do it though. My belief in the philosophy is too strong. I have seen the power this method has on the development of young children. I know that the power to change the world lies in our ability to educate the child. I know that Palm Valley Montessori School has the potential to be a positive force in the lives of our children, our families, and our larger community. I hope you will join us on this journey. Sincerely, Eva Foster Director

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language      
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Music
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught Curriculum Palm Valley Montessori School offers a genuine Montessori education. The curriculum is diverse and integrated. The Montessori method of instruction is truly a hands-on approach to learning where the student is fully engaged. Each skill or concept is introduced with an accompanying material specifically designed to guide the child to discovery and mastery. The four foundations of any Montessori classroom are: Practical Life The lessons in this category enable the child to care for himself and his environment. They are also known as the independence lessons. From these simple tasks, the young child builds concentration, self-confidence, motor skills, and autonomy. Exercises in this category include washing a table, arranging flowers, preparing vegetables, lacing a shoe, setting a table, and greeting guests. Once the child has mastered these activities he is ready to advance to the more complex lessons of language and mathematics. Sensorial All five senses are engaged in Montessori education. Dr. Montessori noted that "development of the senses precedes that of superior intellectual activity." The sensorial materials train children to discriminate the differences in forms, colors, textures and smells. The child refines the use of his senses and develops critical thinking, concentration, and sequencing skills. Some examples of the sensorial lessons include the pink tower, baric tablets, tasting jars, constructive triangles, and superimposed geometric figures. Language Children are capable of using sounds to “build” words before they can physically write. Therefore, Montessori classrooms use a moveable alphabet so the child can literally combine the sounds to form words and sentences. Reading is taught by guiding the child to discover that sounds make words and those sounds have symbols. The Montessori environment emphases the importance of vocabulary with stories, songs, poems, plays, and conversation. The child learns not only to read and write, but to fully express himself through language. Activities in language include sound games, sandpaper letters, phonograms, logical adverb game, and simple sentences with extensions, attributes, and appositions. Mathematics A love of mathematics will develop naturally if the young child is allowed to discover mathematic truths in the concrete and then apply those truths to the abstract. First, the child learns the symbol and the quantity for numbers. Next, mathematical processes are taught using the decimal system. Some examples of Montessori mathematics lessons include number rods and cards, formation of complex numbers with beads and cards, dynamic multiplication, linear counting, long division with boards and racks, and introduction to fractions. The Montessori child also receives exposure in the Arts, Sciences, and Culture. Geography, history, botany, zoology, art, and music are all integral parts of the curriculum. The students study an artist and a composer of the month. Diversity is treasured in the Montessori classroom. Foods, music, dress, language, art, and celebrations from cultures beyond our Western world are introduced to students so they are prepared to be citizens of the world. Grace and courtesy, peace education, character development, gardening and outdoor activities, and movement education are also stressed in the Montessori primary environment. Children at this level of development are particularly adept to absorb these lessons. Full and extended day students also benefit from weekly Spanish, music, art, and yoga classes.

From the Director:

Montessori Philosophy Every child carries within himself the person he will become. Palm Valley Montessori School aims to provide children an education that fulfills their intellectual, social, and emotional potential. In order to fully develop, the child is given significant freedom in a specially prepared environment and is respected as an individual capable of great works. The child joyfully explores his environment and makes his own discoveries while guided and encouraged by his teachers. The child learns with deep understanding because he is allowed to interact thoroughly with the material. According to Montessori, all children share an aspiration to become competent and independent human beings. Palm Valley Montessori School aids this desire by providing the best stimuli at the ideal time. However, it is the child who is the author of his own education both in his preschool years and his lifetime. The Montessori method of education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori through a process of careful observation, scientific design, research on child development, and trial and error over five decades. Dr. Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. She gained recognition as the first female physician in Italy upon her graduation from medical school in 1896. She was a scientific observer and it was through her clinical observations that she formed her theories about how children learn. She returned to university in 1901 to study psychology and philosophy and soon became a professor at the University of Rome. However, she was drawn to work with young children. In 1906, she gave up her medical practice and university chair to work with poor children in the San Lorenzo district of Rome. It was there that she established the Casa dei Bambino or “Children’s House.” The results were extraordinary. Young children from the poorest families in Rome, thought to be incapable of civilized living, were transformed into excelling students. Montessori's revolutionary teaching methods caught the attention of the world community and a movement was born. Today, thousands of Montessori programs exist in private, public, and charter schools all over the world. The Montessori method is revered as a natural and joyful way to engage the child in learning and develop his potential. Montessori education moves the child toward normalization. This term is frequently used in Montessori education and, unfortunately, frequently misunderstood. Dr. Montessori did not intend to imply the child be made “average” or “typical.” Normalization is a technical word borrowed from the field of anthropology. Think of this term as meaning possessing an inner peace and confidence in one’s role. This confidence, peace, satisfaction in one’s role is developed through concentrated work and self-discipline. Dr. Montessori wrote, “Only "normalised" children, aided by their environment, show in their subsequent development those wonderful powers that we describe: spontaneous discipline, continuous and happy work, social sentiments of help and sympathy for others. . . . An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the child's energies and mental capacities, and leads him to self-mastery. . . . One is tempted to say that the children are performing spiritual exercises, having found the path of self-perfectionment and of ascent to the inner heights of the soul." (Dr. Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, 1949) Assisting the child in this development is the true goal of Montessori instruction. Academic success is only one of the yardsticks by which we can measure the benefits of a Montessori education. The Montessori method is truly an education of the whole person, not just the mind. A Montessori child will… understand himself and develop greater self-respect and self-assurance develop critical thinking skills and apply past experience to solve new challenges learn for the pure delight of learning and this trait will last a lifetime work independently and think independently develop great self-discipline and make appropriate choices develop intrinsic motivation and the desire to challenge himself judge his own performance and progress develop excellent concentration

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The Montessori Children's Garden is based on the principles of Maria Montessori, an educator and physician. Dr. Montessori's approach is designed to fit the child, rather than the child having to conform to the program. She believed that learning should take place in multi-age classrooms where children at various stages of development benefit from each other. She developed the idea of a "prepared environment," where the classroom contains a wide variety of cognitive materials that foster learning in numerous areas.

The purpose of the equipment is not just to impart knowledge to children. Rather, it provides them with stimuli that captures their attention and initiates a process of learning. The prepared environment disposes children to develop patters of concentration, perseverance, and confidence that will help them become competent learners.

The Montessori teacher is a multifaceted resource person who prepares this dynamic learning environment. The children do the rest. They are free to move around the classroom, choosing learning materials that interest them. The teacher introduces learning materials and changes the environment continually to meet the needs of the growing child. Montessori activities encourage each child to reason, cooperate, collaborate, negotiate, and understand.

Through this freedom and exposure to an enriched environment, children develop at their own pace in a non-competitive atmosphere according to each child's own capacities.

Day in the Life

A Typical Day

7:30 AM Preparing the environment
8:00 AM Working in the classroom
8:30 AM - 10:45 AM Morning snacks available
10:45 AM Group Time
11:00 AM Walking on the line
11:30 AM Lunch
11:55 AM Clean-up
12:00 PM Outdoor play
12:35 PM Working in the classroom
or napping
2:30 PM Specials
Art (Mon)
Music (Wed)
Yoga (Fri)
Spanish (Tues & Thurs)
3:00 PM Outdoor play
3:45 PM Afternoon snack
and story time
4:30 PM Ourdoor/indoor play
5:30 PM End of school day

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

A school newsletter is published and distributed to the parents each month. We also have parent observations and parent teacher conferences twice a year. The teacher, director, and other staff are always available to answer questions and or address concerns. In addition, there are many school events through out the year in which parents, family, and friends are encouraged to attend.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school

Separation

Handling Separation: From the Director

Separation anxiety is a normal part of development in children, usually ranging from eight months to two years of age. Around eight months, a child begins to understand about object permanency. When a baby is not able to see an object in front of her, she believes it to have disappeared. It is therefore important to create a sense of trust and security so a child understands she is not being left alone. Attempts to leave the child alone, either with a caregiver or in their bed to go to sleep, are often met with anxiety and tears. Most children overcome this anxiety by age two, especially those who experience being left in the care of others for short periods of time.

The first day of school can bring about a reoccurrence of separation anxiety for some children. It is often caused by the fear of the unknown in a new situation. Parents’ attitudes as well, often play a deciding role in the child’s outlook and approach to starting school. Modeling appropriate behavior and attitude plays an important role in the success of the first day of school.

Tips for Parents

Create and establish peaceful (and happy) morning routines.
Place “love notes” in your child’s lunchbox and a picture of her family in her backpack.
Always say goodbye to your child and include a light hug and/or kiss. Tell her you’ll be back when school is out. Prolonged goodbyes are harder on both child and parent.
Allow the teacher to assist her in the classroom.
Stay positive and enthusiastic at drop off. Don’t cry!
Don’t linger and peek through the classroom door or window.
Don’t linger in the parking lot.
Read books together about going to school.
Be prompt at pick-up and turn off your cell phone so you can focus all your attention on your child.