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LePort Montessori School

26 Lake Rd
Irvine, CA 92604

Phone:
(949) 551-9020

Website:

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

From the Director:

In the Montessori approach, students master skills in a clearly structured process: First, they receive one-on-one "demonstrations" of the educational materials. Then, after they have been introduced to the materials, they can explore and work with them at their own choice and pace, during our "work periods." For some materials, the learning concludes with a "three period lesson", during which the teacher guides the child to learn the vocabulary associated with the activity (e.g., "short, long" or "light red, dark red", or "high pitch, low pitch", or "wing, beak, claw, tail"...) Montessori is neither "teacher-led" nor "play-based": it is its own unique approach.

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
  • Specially designed Montessori language materials
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Specially designed Montessori math materials
Time & space more

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  • Specially designed Montessori geography, time, practical life, sensorial, and other materials
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • Specially designed Montessori science materials
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Specially designed Montessori music materials
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
Other subjects taught Our school follows the Montessori approach and offers a comprehensive curriculum. Practical Life: Training for independence— fine and gross motor skills, social interactions, care of self and environment. Sensorial Exercises:Developing active minds, powers of concentration, and careful observation skills Language: Handwriting and reading, step-by-step, using materials such as Metal Insets, Sandpaper Letters, Moveable Alphabet Mathematics: A self-paced, sequential progression from counting to early arithmetic, built on high-quality manipulatives Cultural Studies: Discovering the wondrous world, from science to art, from cultures and history to geography and music

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our Montessori classrooms are multi-age communities (toddlers from ages 18 months - 3 years, preschoolers/Kindergarteners ages 3-6 years.) All instruction is individualized: all demonstrations are done one-on-one, and each child works with each material at his own choice and pace until he achieves mastery.

Our teachers provide thoughtful guidance throughout: they observe, and demonstrate developmentally appropriate activities. They also keep track of each child's development, and ensure that throughout his 3-year-stay in our preschool classroom, each child has covered the full breadth and depth of the Montessori curriculum.

All of our preschool/K teachers are AMI trained for children through Grade 1, and are able to guide academically advanced students. For example, a mathematically inclined child in our preschool can learn to do multiplication into the thousands; a verbally-skilled child will progress beyond the writing and reading most students do, to word study and early grammar.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

At LePort, our goal is to enable children to acquire the skills they need for a lifetime of learning and happiness.

We use the Montessori method, because from every perspective –academic, personal, social, life skills—it enables children to make the most of the precious early years.

Early learning, done right, can be natural, easy learning. For example, a 4-year old can learn beautiful handwriting joyfully: at that age, she enjoys sensations of sound and movement and she delights in repetition—interests we build upon with our step-by-step language program.

The Montessori method enables children to learn specific skills, such as writing—and to learn how to learn, to concentrate, to persist, to succeed.
Montessori is the approach to education that recognizes and attempts to develop the potential of the young child. This is accomplished by means of a carefully prepared environment, directed by Montessori teachers trained by the Association Montessori International (AMI) using special teaching materials. The Montessori environment provides the opportunities whereby the child may attain inner discipline and self-management. Children develop responsibility for themselves in the context of the community while exploring all areas of learning at their own pace and according to their own interests.

The basic principle of the Montessori philosophy of education is that every child has all the potentialities of the MAN or WOMAN each can become. To best develop physical, intellectual and spiritual powers, a child must have freedom: a freedom that is achieved through order and self-discipline.

Dr. Montessori developed what she called the "prepared environment" which includes the concepts of freedom, structure, and order.
Children engage in activities that are real rather than fanciful. Each area of the physical environment has a specific and defined order as well as a sequence; thus enabling each child to develop at his/her own pace according to his/her own abilities in a non-competitive atmosphere.
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Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

During morning day care (7 am - 8:30 am), our students often spend time outside, on our beautiful playground.

As an authentic Montessori program, we offer two extended Montessori periods of 2-3 hours each, in the morning (8:30 am - 11:30 am) and the afternoon (1 pm - 3 pm, for kids who have outgrown their naps.)

During these times, children are free to explore the many attractive educational materials in our classrooms. They also receive plenty of individualized attention, by teachers trained to observe and to offer just the right activities, at just the right time, in a carefully structured demonstration.

Before lunch, and after the afternoon work period, our students again enjoy the large, well-kept backyard play area.

Our school day ends at 3 pm. Day care time is spent on arts, crafts, music and free play in our day care room, as well as in our back yard play areas.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Our school encourages active communication and strives to educate parents about the Montessori method. Each year, we offer five Parent Education Evenings, which cover all aspects of the Montessori curriculum. We also send weekly e-mails, and encourage parents to communicate directly with their child's teachers, both at bi-annual parent-teacher meetings, and informally as the need arises. Finally, we invite parents to observe in class: we even have several "watch me work" events dedicated to this purpose.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

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

Separation

Handling Separation: From the Director

We discuss each child's need one-on-one with the family, and tailor our approach to their individual needs. We may invite the child to visit a week prior to enrollment and join his classmates for outside play time. We may also start out with shorter days as needed. Overall, we minimize separation issues through our unique approach: since we have multi-age classrooms, with rolling enrollments, we rarely have a large number of new students starting at the same time. Our older students often act as mentors, and help younger children with the transition. Because our entire teaching is one-on-one, and because older students are capable of working by themselves, our teachers have the ability to spend extra time with new students during the first few transition days. We find that most students quickly get excited by the many wonderful activities in our classrooms, and under the loving care of our well-trained, experienced teachers adjust quite comfortably to their new school environment.