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Missoula Valley Montessori

2811 Latimer Street
Missoula, MT 59808

(406) 880-2819


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

From the Director:

In the questions below you will see both teacher-led and play-based as answers. This means that a teacher presents the activity to small groups of children and then the children choose whether or not to do the activity at that time. In order to move ahead to new work, children must first complete certain work. So, the curriculum is structured, but children move at their own pace.

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

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  • Puzzles
  • Montessori math tools
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
  • daily experiments
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • LOTS of singing
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
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
  • 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
  • Garden
Other subjects taught Practical Life and Sensorial work. Practical Life is one of the most popular areas at MVM. Children learn to do all the things they see grown-ups do that they desperately want to try (preparing food, cleaning, pouring, doing dishes, working with tools). Practical Life teaches order, concentration, coordination and independence. Sensorial works are designed to stimulate each of the five senses as well as to create order in the brain for the information a young brain is constantly absorbing.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The beauty of the Montessori approach is that each child works at their own pace.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Montessori approach to education allows children to become very independent and self-motivated about their education. Within a very structured curriculum over 100 years old and offered worldwide, your child has the freedom to move at his own pace and make choices about what activities he will do and for how long. Work is self-correcting so children feel free to take risks. They don't worry about making mistakes because teachers do not hover over them making corrections.

A Typical Day

Children arrive, greet their teachers and friends and choose an activity. At 8:30 the group gathers for morning meeting and then each child chooses a challenging work to begin their day. Children eat snack when they are hungry. After three hours of uninterrupted work we have lunch, then recess. Naps occur after recess for younger children. Older children continue with challenging work until the end of the day.

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • 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:

  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

In the beginning we help the children take ownership of their beautiful classroom. All three teachers at MVM are very skilled at helping children ease into school. Overall, it is more difficult for parents than the children! We are there to help everyone feel good about the start of school.