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San Anselmo Montessori School

100 Shaw Drive
San Anselmo, CA 94960

(415) 457-3428


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Children at SAMS are looked as a "whole child". They are individuals who learn in different styles and paces. We work with the children so they love to learn.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

San Anselmo Montessori School (SAMS) is based on the Montessori philosophy and is accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS). In a multi-aged classroom, children have the freedom to progress at their own pace, explore their world, make discoveries, and draw their own conclusions. Children gain knowledge, confidence, and leadership skills that enable them to offer a positive contribution to their community.

A Typical Day

A typical day begins with the children playing outside which includes developing and mastering gross and fine motor skills through playing on the play structure, swings, monkey bars and riding tricycles. In the sandbox and around the playground, social skills are developed and refined through interactions such as the negotiation of who is making what kind of pies and the collaboration of selling the pies.

After outside play, the children come inside for a work period. The focus is on practical life, sensorial, language, mathematics, science, art, geography and social graces. The classroom is a beehive of quiet industry. Children can be seen cutting banana slices and serving them on a tray to their friends, learning the sounds that letters make through the sandpaper letters, playing the bank game, sewing a pillow, or making a maze out of the Red Rods. Children are able to fulfill their interests through working with materials, mastering skills, and repetition. Leadership and confidence skills are built when an older child helps a younger child put on their apron so they can paint at the painting easel. The children are guided by experienced and highly trained teachers who look at them as individuals and help them continue their developmental growth.

Children can go out to the organic garden classroom to prepare the soil for planting tomatoes or harvest some strawberries to eat. A few children may be under the pole bean tee-pee playing drums and bells while some children are on the observation deck looking through binoculars studying and counting birds.
In winter months, children are in the greenhouse classroom, making boats from wood using sandpaper, a hand drill, and vise. Surrounded by glass windows children can see the rain and cold but are warm and dry, serving tea to their friends, sorting seeds, or grinding crackers to feed the birds.

The children move outside to continue running on the playground, building with life-size legos, and practicing getting across the monkey bars. The morning ends with circle time where the children sing, dance, perform mini plays, or learn new lessons as a group.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Every year we have two parent nights where parents learn more about the school and parenting skills. We encourage parent- teacher meeting throughout the year with a formal meeting in the Spring. Communication is very important at SAMS. The partnership between the school and the parents is what makes it so successful.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Our staff is fully trained and experienced to help with any type of separation anxiety. We work with the parents to make it a smooth and happy transistion.