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Grand Lake Montessori

466 Chetwood Street
Oakland, CA 94610

(510) 836-4313


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Montessori

From the Director:

A Montessori classroom looks different than others because it is prepared for the convenience of the children rather than the teacher. It was this concept of specially designed child-centered spaces that led Dr. Montessori to call her first school a 'children's house', 'Casa dei Bambini'. The classes combine play and social skills with practical and academic achievements. The child is free to move within the classroom, working with any of the materials that she chooses as long as it lies within her understanding. Each class has 22-27 children, 1:9 adult/child ratio. Extracted from Grand Lake Montessori Preschool's Website.

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
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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  • 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
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Botany, Zoology, History curriculum
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • singing daily, music specialist
Visual arts more

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

More Information

  • 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
  • Ample outdoor yard and play space, climbing structures, riding bikes, yard games ( Red Rover, Ring Around the Rosy), sandbox, playhouse.
Other subjects taught Each classroom has foreign language. We use specialists in music and movement.

From the Director:

An observer is struck by the wide range of activities for children 2.6 to 6 years. Individually, or in groups of two or three, children may draw, paint, assemble puzzles, play a sorting game, do a math exercise with a friend or join the teacher for a lesson. The children are encouraged to choose their own activities and to repeat the exercises until they have mastered them. The guide and the children teach others to care for the things in the classroom and to return materials to their places. Children are especially drawn to real activities such as buttoning, tying, pouring, scrubbing tables, sweeping, washing and slicing fruit to share as snacks. These tasks appeal to children because they are real things that adults do, and it gives the child a sense of accomplishment and sharing. All these exercises are preparation for the academic skills the child will acquire in the future. Extracted from Grand Lake Montessori Preschool's Website.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Grand Lake Montessori believes that childhood is a journey, not a race.
By teaching thoughtfully, cherishing ethnic differences, and actively cultivating a partnership between children, families and teachers.

Home-School Connection

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
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school