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Garden Day Montessori

1332 Parker Street
Berkeley, CA 94702

(510) 649-9110

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Montessori

From the Director:

Garden Day is less 'school' than it is 'home away from home'. This is the children's place and it is infused with their energy, joy, excitement and curiosity.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Sandpaper letters for tracing, lined and unlined paper, chalkboards, language games.
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Full complement of Montessori math materials.
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Music teacher, tapes and cd's.
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
  • Hobby horses, child-sized cars, scooters, small trampoline.
Other subjects taught The children get yoga instruction once a week. And although we are not a bilingual school, we do teach (mostly at twice weekly circle times) numbers, colors, songs, etc. in Spanish.

From the Director:

The classroom is arranged with a variety of activities appropriate to a wide range of developmental readiness. The children spend their mornings choosing their own activities, with the teachers demonstrating and guiding as needed. The teachers also invite children to participate in individual and small group activities and special projects throughout the day.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We are a small, family-friendly Montessori program in a home-like setting.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent information evening occurs in September. Parent-teacher conferences happen in the spring. There is lots of informal conversation throughout the year, initiated by both parents and teachers. We hold a meeting in the fall to inform and advise parents about kindergarten. Past parents come and share their experiences.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • 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
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

With a mixed-age class, only about one third of the group is new to the school each year. This allows us to focus our attention as needed on the children that are having their first experience away from home, and lets the older children participate actively in helping the younger ones acclimate. Parents bring their child in for one or more visits before they start. Parents and teachers discuss what to expect at the beginning of the year, and the teachers advise parents as to what might be most beneficial to their child during separation.