When choosing a Montessori education for preschool, you are enrolling your child into a program with a 3-year cycle, culminating in the kindergarten year.
Kindergarten is when everything clicks and children become critical thinkers and problem solvers. They are role models in their community and are confident to take on tasks on their own. They are well-rounded learners ready to take on the most challenging of tasks.
Great Beginnings prides itself on being a "Modern Montessori." Our school is traditional in its curriculum and adherence to the American Montessori Society. However, we also incorporate aspects into our school that make sense for our school's culture and community. We attempt to be paperless within our administration; we utilize outdoor spaces for additional classrooms for our children; we incorporate technology into the classroom when appropriate, and more.
At Great Beginnings, all kindergartners are allowed the opportunity to be a leader in the 3-6 classroom. The kindergartner becomes a teacher to their younger peers. As they give presentations and help others, they are building independence and autonomy that is often missed in other educational settings.
As Montessorians, we are taught to take each child where they are and give them the tools to “make them sing." This Kindergarten year is when the primary program comes together. The children are confident and able and well prepared for first grade and beyond.
The kindergarten program at Great Beginnings is based on the Montessori philosophy, which has successfully educated children for over a century. Harvard Business Review investigated the thinking strategies for top American innovators and entrepreneurs. Researchers found that inquisitiveness was one of the top skills needed by entrepreneurs. Interestingly enough, they found that many successful entrepreneurs, such as the founders of Amazon and Google, were educated in Montessori schools where they were encouraged to develop their curious minds.
Fostering inquisitiveness is what makes our academic program special. Great Beginnings creates meaningful learning opportunities that engage the academic, artistic, athletic, emotional, and psycho-social aspects of every student. Fostering these budding leadership skills are the results of a kindergarten education at GBMS.
Kinder Year students attend a half-day morning program with the younger children, working with the younger children to empower kindergartners to practice and develop strong leadership skills. Each afternoon, kindergartners enjoy a special pull-out program in the Yurt on the Springhill campus. This two-hour session with only 5-to-6 year olds is designed to meet the intellectual, physical, and emotional needs of kindergartners.
Afternoons have academically-focused enrichment classes:
Reading: Instruction in decoding skills and strategies; fluency (modeling fluent reading, directly teaching how to interpret punctuation marks when reading orally, etc.); vocabulary word meanings and word-learning strategies; and comprehension strategies.
Specials: Art, music, world language, and yoga
In addition to continuing with the program of reading and specials, kindergartners will additionally have the weekly opportunity for field studies. Because no classroom can contain answers to all of the child’s questions, the field studies are a response to the need to explore beyond the classroom. In contrast with the traditional field trip, where the adult usually plans the activity for the whole class, the Montessori elementary children’s field studies are based on individual or small-group interest and is an extension of classroom study.
Our curriculum sets the foundation for future academic success, and develops the necessary skills to meet 21st century demands: growing autonomy, independence, cooperation, collaboration, and flexibility.
Key Components in the
Green Theme: Nature-Based Programming
Students enjoy weekly field trips, exploring Gallatin valley. Hiking the local trails, field studies at the East Gallatin, and bird watching at Cherry Creek are some of the activities the kindergarteners experience.
Local Connection: Service Learning & Community Involvement
By "going out," our Kinders get off-campus and into the local community. This fosters the natural appreciation for participating in their local communities, and giving back.