About MCSH Pre School

Mission

Montessori Pre-School PittThe mission of the MCSH has always been to provide a carefully planned,
stimulating environment based on the tenants of Dr. Maria Montessori.
Our objective is to help children develop within themselves the fundamental
habits, attitudes, skills, and ideas which are essential for a lifetime of
creative thinking and learning.

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History of MCSH

Montessori Children's Schoolhouse was founded in the fall of 1991.
Our first Schoolhouse space was leased from Faith Lutheran Church in
Upper St. Clair. We outgrew that location and in 2002 we moved to our
current environment in the South Hills on Vanadium Road. Elizabeth
Petrucelli is the owner and school director.

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Program Description

Toddler room for kids educationTODDLER
Class meets T,W,TH from 9:30-11:30
At no other time is there as an intensive growth as can be seen in the child
from birth to 3 years. During this time they are acquiring information in
leaps and bounds. The two streams of energy, one of the body, the other
of the mind, are growing separately but must learn to work in concert;
each profoundly impacting the other. Special attention must be given to
the child of this age in order to support their unique developmental needs.
There are 8-10 children for 1 teacher and 1 assistant, and the day is
2 hours long to help her adjust to a new environment.

There are three main areas in the Montessori toddler classroom that aid
the child’s progression: practical life, language, and movement.

Practical life materials are everything that will allow the child to
adapt to gain independence; care for person (ex. the button frame),
care for environment (ex. table scrubbing), grace and courtesy
(ex. how to shake hands).
Language is given orally through the naming of objects,
telling stories and singing songs.
Movement includes large muscle activities (ex, carring a tray, walking
around a rug, running, jumping) and eye-hand coordination materials
(ex. puzzles, box gradations, manipulatives).

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Leaning to paint in allegheny county3-6 CLASS
Morning session - 8:45-11:45
Afternoon session - 12:15 – 3:15

A Montessori environment is comprised of specific didactic materials that
help the child learn by inviting them to discover, draw conclusions,
see parallels and generalize information. The beauty and aesthetic nature
of the materials ensures repetition from the child, allowing her to establish
order, discipline, and motivation. Each child is free to work undisturbed and
without unnecessary interference from adults. Concentration is a must for any
true learning to occur. The children work at their own pace, individually or
in small groups, on projects of their own choosing with the guidance from
the teacher. This not only motivates the child but allows her to obtain her
own “flow” with the materials and helps her integrate information at a much
deeper level than information merely imparted from the teacher to the child does.
By using specially designed materials and equipment the child is able to foster
her own natural desire to learn, which manifests itself at a surprisingly earl age.
There are 25-35 children for 1 teacher and 2 assistants, and the day is
3 hours long to ensure a full work cycle.

Boy playingThe typical daily routine begins with a hand shake and greeting from a teacher
as the child walks up the steps. The child will then check their work folder to
see if there are any projects from the day before to be completed. He or
she will begin to move throughout their work cycle, touching base with the
teacher as needed. This includes individual, partner, and small group time.
Towards the end of the day a bell rings to indicate it is time to check the job
chart and gather for large group circle. Each child is responsible for the care
of their environment and when their name is on the job chart they have
additional duties such as making sure the rugs are rolled up nicely, or
collecting the hand towels from the bathroom to be washed. Large group
circle gives the class time to come together as a whole. This is when a
teacher may discuss an aspect of the culture they are discussing or sing a
new song. The group is then divided and half goes downstairs for large
motor play while the other group continues on circle. A new poem may
be introduced, a book read, or music/games played. The groups then exchange.
The children reconvene in a large group and are dismissed individually.

There are five main areas in the Montessori 3-6 classroom that aid the child’s
physical and intellectual growth: practical life, sensorial area, language,
mathematics
, and the cultural/science/arts.

Boy working on a activityPractical life exercises are the starting point for any new child because
they are designed to allow the child to participate more fully in life and they
are the direct link to the home environment. The care of self and the care of
environment exercises (ex. spooning, pouring, buttoning, table scrubbing)
help the child’s voluntary movement while developing concentration, and
sequencing and independence.
Sensorial experiences help the child classify impressions gained during
the first three years of life, and to allow the cild to take her knowledge one
step further to finer sensorial distinctions. The materials isolate a particular
quality in the environment and make it concrete for the child. They also
help the child create a classification system in which she can organize
information (ex. the child absorbs the decimal system and its relational
size by first working with the pink tower and learning about large and
small relationships).
Language is the foundation of the classroom It helps the child expand
her vocabulary by giving names to all of the materials in environments and
their various attributes (ex. the pink tower: large, larger. largest, small,
smaller, smallest; the tasting jars: bitter, sweet, salty, sour). Poetry and
stories are important to share not only for their and informative substance
but so the child can hear the natural rhythm of her own language.
Self-expression is cultivated, showing that the child is able to analyze
events that happen outside her psyche, take it in and then express how
she feels about it.
• The cultural/science/arts areas expand the child’s horizons, taking
her to different times and cultures. Here the child learns that she is
interconnected to the world and its peoples. The child also learns about
botany, zoology, etc. and physical and non-physical properties. Creative
expressive media of the arts has no boundaries so she is free to get in
touch with her creative energies that are guided by her soul.

The primary class meets everyday M-F
(This is in accordance with traditional Montessori principals. The
continuity of this schedule allows the child to feel secure and produces
less anxiety and confusion than a school-home-school schedule.)

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Girls showing artworkEXTENDED DAY
2 hours, 3 days a week
The extended day year is the flagship of the 3-6 program. As the child enters
the third year of the Montessori program he or she stays an additional two
hours to work with his/her same-age peers in the extended day classroom.
Although some parents choose to repeat this year due to the child’s age,
typically this is the child’s kindergarten year and she/she will move directly
into first grade at your private, public, or Montessori elementary
school of choice.

The extended day room is equipped much like the 3-6 room but geared more
towards the needs of the older child. During this age the focus shifts from
individual to group work, longer projects, and more abstract concepts.

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SPECIALS
Spanish is offered to all children in the 3-6 program. Spanish class is taught
once a week in small same-age groupings. Basic vocabulary is introduced
and reinforced with games, songs and books.

Art and theater is offered at the extended day level. Throughout the first
semester art class is held on Fridays during the 3-6 class time. Different
concepts are explored through a variety of medium. A few weeks after
winter break theater class begins. It is held on Tuesdays after lunch with
all the extended day students. They will learn about expression, voice, and
stage direction through a variety of games and warm up practices. The
extended day year will culminate with a full costume production of a musical.

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Thank you for visiting Montessori Children's Schoolhouse where personal commitment
and loving attention to detail make the difference.