The infant program is comprised of two classrooms of 9 infants, ranging in age from 3 months to 2 years old, with 3 teachers in each classroom.
Our infant program is Montessori based and incorporates the RIE philosophy developed by Magda Gerber and Dr. Emmi Pikler. The core principle to providing quality infant caregiving is developing a respectful and responsive relation between the infant and caregiver. Caregivers are trained to meet the needs of infants through sensitive, careful observation. When infant needs are met, they become confident and satisfied.
As caregivers spend focused time with each infant, deep attachments form. Consistent caregiving routines develop predictable, language rich experiences that promote an individualized dialogue between the caregiver and the infants in their care. These anticipated experiences stimulate cognition and understanding, promote cooperation and language development, and foster the social and emotional aptitude of the infant.
Infants are individuals who are initiators, explorers and self-learners. As much as possible, the infant is involved in all care activities as an active participant, not merely a passive recipient. Within a carefully prepared environment, time is given for uninterrupted exploration and interaction with other infants. In sum, our infant room is a safe, joyful environment in which discovery is bountiful, peaceful and productive. (For more information, see Being with Infants and Toddlers: A Curriculum that Works with Caregivers, by Beverly Kovach.)
Two-Year Old Program
Each two-year old classroom is comprised of 12 – 14 students, one Montessori lead teacher and an appropriate number of assistant teachers. The Montessori classroom is a child’s world geared to the size, space and interest of the two year old. It is designed to put the child at ease by giving her freedom in an environment prepared with attractive and stimulating materials. The classroom enhances each child’s innate sense of independence, order, respect and kindness.
In Practical Life, the twos will experience real life situations and activities promoting care of self, the community, and the environment. These activities include dressing, grooming, toilet learning, and grace and courtesy. Children perfect their gross motor skills by moving freely around the classroom, balancing on a line and climbing and exploring the woods adjacent to the School in our nature program. The twos gather for lunch as a group. Table manners, conversation and dishwashing are introduced and perfected in this daily activity. The group lunch fosters community and aids in a smooth transition to the primary program.
Early Childhood Program
Early Childhood Program
The Montessori curriculum is designed to accommodate various stages of development in children, which occur in roughly three-year cycles. During the time from three to six years of age, the child reaches a stage in which repetition and manipulation of the environment is critical to the development of concentration, coordination, independence, and a sense of order. The child learns skills for everyday living: sorting, grading, classifying- all of which lead to the development of writing, reading, and a mathematical mind.
Under the direction of a certified Montessori teacher, learning is individualized and self-paced. Our beautiful, light-filled Montessori classrooms are a comfortable and stimulating environment for 26 to 30 children ages 3 to 6. Each primary classroom has a lead Montessori-trained teacher along with 2 assistant teachers. Each classroom activity is executed from beginning to end with careful attention to the accuracy of sequence and process. The classroom contains six interrelated sets of materials. The following information gives a brief description of the objectives of each area. A more detailed description of the use and purpose of the classroom materials are available from the office and your child’s classroom teacher.
Extended Care Program
Early School Day
7:30 am - 8:30 am
The Franklin Montessori Schools open their doors at 7:30 am. Our Early Risers program provides time for eating breakfast, art, gym and outside play. Notes to teachers and staff can be left with the Sign In/Sign Out sheets.
8:30 am – 9:00 am
At this time, our classrooms are fully staffed with all lessons and materials available to the child. This period before school begins is an enriching time for small group and individual lessons.
Extended School Day
3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Afternoons have been designed to allow your child to explore a wide variety of special interests. A carefully thought out balance of activities provides age appropriate times for rest, active indoor and outdoor play and a choice of open-ended experiences in our various classroom centers.
Children in the Primary Program spend a 9 or 10-week period working with our art specialists. The art teachers completely transform the studio into an immersive experience highlighting a particular artist or art movement. While being inspired by the environment, each child develops their own painting, as well as working with a variety of media. Their unit culminates with an “Art Gallery” opening where families are invited to come and enjoy their child’s hard work and creative expression.
Beyond the Walls Nature Program
Nature is an important part of our program at Franklin. Using the art of questioning, children are encouraged to explore the natural world around them. Each child spends time in Soapstone Valley (a tributary of Rock Creek Park) becoming familiarized with flowers, fauna, birds and the creek. Our Nature Specialist, Amy Beam, accompanies and leads each classroom in their exploration.
Music is an integral part of our Franklin program and is celebrated every day in our classrooms. In addition to this integral music program, our music teacher, Ms. Julie, moves between classrooms and works with the children in small groups, allowing her to follow the interest of the child and enhance their musical experience.
Third-year Students' Drama Program
The drama program is designed to provide expressive experiences in the dramatic arts. Our 3rd year students are exposed to different literary forms as they analyze and discuss stories, plots, settings and characters. These exercises culminate in an end of the year performance.