Spring Hill Montessori School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, marital status, political beliefs, or national or ethnic origins in any of its admission, administrative or educational policies.
Cambridge restricts parking along Blakeslee Street to Cambridge residents only. There is non-resident non-metered parking on Huron Avenue. Cambridge conducts street cleaning. Be sure to check the signs posted along the street when you park.
We hope that visitors will see the children in their natural state at school so we offer a few guidelines.
Observers can naturally disrupt and distract the children from their normal behavior thus distorting a true picture of life in the classroom. For this reason we ask observers to try to be as unobtrusive and transparent as possible while in the classroom. Choose to sit in a spot where you can see the majority of the classroom. Feel free to move to enhance your observation. Try not to engage the children in conversation, but it is all right to answer their questions. When you establish transparency, and the novelty of your presence wears off, you will get a realistic impression of school life.
What to look for during your observation
The direct aims: Each material the child chooses from the shelf develops: concentration , a child's ability to attend forever lengthening periods of time; coordination , refining eye and body movements; independence , the ability to find and solve problems without help; and order , gaining the ability to make sense of pattern and sequence.
Correction of error: Each material is self-correcting. If a piece is out of place it should reveal itself to the child. The role of the teacher is to guide, but never to correct, the child. If the child does not see their mistake it is simply because they are not ready developmentally.
Confidence: Freedom of choice encourages the children to take risks when they feel they are ready. The inner knowledge of "I can do this" accumulates with each work cycle experienced by the child. In small increments the child develops a knowledge of certainty about his or her capabilities.
The age groupings
First-year: Entry year children learn the routines of the classroom. Their work is to master self-control under the ground rules. They will often choose open-ended imaginative play activities such as " Playmobil," " Little People," miniature animals, and the practical life activities.
Second-year: Children returning for the second-year begin to have a command of their phonics and one-to-one correspondence and thus make forays into "publishing" and mathematics. They spend more time refining their senses with the sensorial materials. They are more daring in their choices and begin to acquire a taste for the success that challenging work brings.
Third-year: The cumulative experience and incremental successes of the first two years make the children hungry for the academic challenges of reading, writing, and math. Their confidence and desire to take on the once insurmountable tasks of reading and arithmetic make for attainable goals. The oldest children gain a sense of citizenship by mentoring the younger children around the obstacles they themselves faced in the previous years.