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Little Elephant Montessori Preschool

5782 Miles Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618

(510) 597-1963


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

At Little Elephant each child is worked with at their own level. The children are provided with challenges based on their needs individually.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We are committed to creating a nurturing environment that focuses on the development of the whole child. At Little Elephant your child will be prepared for school, but will also thrive in social situations, have a passion for learning, and have a healthy respect for the diversity and complexity of our world.

We believe in:
*Providing challenges and opportunities tailored to each child's interests and choice of activities.

*Experimenting with dramatic play, art and music as a self-confidence builder.

*Freedom through discipline. By providing boundaries of behavior and informed choices, the child will develop self-discipline and independence.

*School being an extension of the home; parents are considered an important part of our team. We encourage parent participation in school activities.

*We provide an environment where Spanish is integrated into the curriculum through music, language materials, and individual and small group activities provided in Spanish by our teachers.

A Typical Day

A Typical Day @ Little Elephant Montessori

8:00am School opens and Children start arriving.
The morning is spent working on individual activities as well as small group activities. An art, cooking or science project may be set out at a group table and the children are free to join the activity at any time, or not at all. The teachers are also giving language, math, and sensorial, practical life and social studies lessons during this time.

11:00am Circle or Music
The class is invited to join circle, the children welcome and greet each other and their teachers. We discuss the date and any news for the day.
The second part of circle is either a group activity or a music class. Circle ends with story time. During circle the children who are toilet training and/or still in diapers go to the bathroom, one at a time and get their diapers changed.

11:25am Lunch
All children are invited to stay for lunch, even half-day children who leave at 1pm. The children bring their own lunch, which we are happy to heat up, if necessary. Lunchtime is a very social time of the day.

12:05pm Outside play begins
This is a time for the children to develop their large motor skills. Art and exploration of their environment are always a big part of outdoor play. This is also a time to take care of some of the gardening, raking, pulling weeds, watering the plants and, of course, looking for earthworms.

1:00pm - 4:00pm Half day children leave/nap/afternoon work period
If any children have outgrown nap, they are welcome to stay awake and enjoy a second work period. These are usually older children; this gives them an opportunity to work on some of the more challenging Math and Language activities in a relatively quiet environment.

3:00pm - 3:30pm Nappers get up and join the children who are already working

4:10pm Children go outside (Schedule is different in winter when the sun sets early. Children go outside a little earlier and come inside for a structured group activity.)

5:50pm Outside clean-up time

6:00pm School Closes

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

At Little Elephant we believe communication with parents is an important part of the child's school experience. Daily contact and updates from teachers, messages boards and a Yahoo Group are some of the ways we communicate with families. There are two formal teacher/parent conferences per year as well as informal conferences held on an as needed basis. Little Elephant Montessori School does include the Kindergarten year.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • 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:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • 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

There are several visits before the child officially starts school, shorter days if needed.