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Growing Light Montessori School

4700 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA 94602

(510) 336-9897


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

GLMS is a montessori based program that also invites the teachers to integrate their inspirations, passions, cultures and languages into the curriculum.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • 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
  • Many manipulations to better understand the math concepts.
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
  • curriculum that demonstrates and provides for scientific exploration
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • directed music time, lots of singing and dancing.
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Art books and teacher-led art classes that teach about the history, famous artists and then experiment with the different styles.
Physical activity more

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  • 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 We take the time and care that is needed to provide a wide range of advanced curriculum in the following areas: Art, Music, History, Geography, Language, Mathematics, Geometry, Science, Botany, Zoology, Social Skills, Practical Living Skills, Nutrition Awareness, Physical Development. We also believe that music, drama, art and body movement are important aspects of growing and expressing.

From the Director:

We like to give each child the space to work without being interrupted. This fosters concentration, completion, and the feeling of satisfaction that comes from successfully finishing their project. Having learned to work independently, the child will then begin to explore the opportunity of working with others, confident in the skills they have acquired on their own and willing to assist or learn from others.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The wonderful thing about montessori is that the tools within the classroom range greatly for the wide variety of developmental stages. The teachers are aware of the abilities of each child and guide appropriately.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Growing Light Montessori School originated from the desire to work with children through loving inspiration. Our truest concern lies in helping your child develop a sense of emotional well-being by helping them to learn to:
*Express themselves so they will be understood
*Experience feelings of fulfillment
*Achieve a sense of self-worth and accomplishment
*Share kindness and generosity
*Learn age appropriate curriculum
*Explore advanced concepts and ideas.

A Typical Day

Your child will start the morning off with a wonderful tradition called 'Hands Across The Hall' where all of the children from each class meet in the hallway to sing the school song, make announcements, celebrate birthdays, etc.

Preschoolers will have a circle time, which is mostly teacher-led, introducing academic tools that will guide and support their unstructured choice time. The students also have a great deal of outside play time and music time.

Children have lunch together and the nappers nap while the others continue their choice time.

Spanish is taught both throughout the day casually as well as in structured circle time.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

The teachers have two parent-teacher conferences throughout the school year. They also are constantly in touch casually during pick-up and drop-off.

There are also many community building events where teachers and families all come together.

GLMS actually has its own Elementary Program and will work with families individually to help them identify the next appropriate step.

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 is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Students begin joining the program throughout the summer in very small classroom settings so the teachers have the time and ability to help work through the separation. This allows time for a very individualized process.