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Monteverde School

2727 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705

(510) 848-3313


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Our teachers are facilitators who know that children realize their potential for growth by exploring their world and allowing their interests to lead them to ask their own questions and to seek their own answers. Children at Monteverde learn the way that children have always learned best, by interacting with their environment and conversing with each other and the adults around them. In other words, they play. They play in the sandbox and the garden and converse while sitting under the trees. In this way they begin to observe and appreciate the natural world. They play dress-up, house, 'going out to dinner' and 'going to work', as they make sense of the adult world. They play in the book corner as they cuddle up with a teacher for a story and then, in turn, 'read' to their doll or their friend. <p>Extracted from Monteverde School's website (3/15/06).

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
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
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

We provide many opportunities for discovery learning through self-selected activities which encourage the development of children's abilities to observe, perceive, explore, investigate, imagine and problem solve. We value the arts as symbol systems through which children make meaning, and make sense of themselves and their world. Art is explored in all areas of the school including the art corner with the artist on staff, three mornings a week. <p>The curriculum is created anew with each group of children as the teachers respond to these interests by changing the environment, bringing in research materials, and setting up projects which allow the children to further explore their interests. <p>Extracted from Monteverde School's website (3/15/06).

Day in the Life

A Typical Day

At Monteverde we value children's time. We respect the needs and rights of children to make choices and decisions.

That is why there is a gentle, underlying structure and a predictible routine to each day, but within that structure children choose how and where and for how long to spend their time.

This allows children to both sample a little of everything and to delve deeply into particular projects.

When we give children these opportunities it is a joy for the teachers to observe their interactions and these observations, in turn, emerge into a curriculum which is based on the children's interests.

Extracted from Monteverde School's website (3/15/06).

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Adult Participation: Family members are welcome in our school anytime. We love it when family members share their interests, cultures, and talents with the children. Families also contribute a minimum of 15 hours a year to fundraising and maintenance of our facility.

Extracted from Monteverde School's website (3/15/06).