PEAR TREE PRESCHOOL
8100 Winthrope Street Oakland, CA
6925 Chabot Road Oakland, CA
DAYS OF OPERATION
The Pear Tree Preschool operates Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5:30 PM. We serve children ages 2 - 4 years.
CHILD DEVELOPMENT & HOLISTIC LEARNING
The Pear Tree Preschool has mapped out the scope and sequence of the following areas: social emotional learning competencies, physical, cognitive, and artistic competencies based on developmental stages, and has aligned these competencies and skill acquisitions to a year long learning map. Ideally children will enroll in summer or September and will continue through a minimum of 12 months with our program. Early childhood learning happens with repetition and re-introduction so students whose entering the school mid year will not be impacted as concepts are continually re-introduced and reinforced.
CURRICULUM - A RESEARCH - BASED METHODOLOGY
The Pear Tree Preschool has mapped out the scope and sequence of the following areas: social emotional learning competencies, physical, cognitive, and artistic competencies based on developmental stages, and has aligned these competencies and skill acquisitions to a year long learning map. Ideally children will enroll in summer or September and will continue through a minimum of one year with our program. Early childhood learning happens with repetition and reintroduction so students entering the school mid-year will not be impacted as concepts are continually reintroduced and reinforced.
The Pear Tree Preschool has a unique blended curricular approach utilizing traditional Montessori, nature-based and play-based philosophies to guide its framework of early childhood development. We use thematic units (the natural world we live in, planets and moons, plant cycles, parts of animals, dinosaurs) and map benchmarks in Language Arts, Mathematics, and Social Emotional Learning. In addition to the aforementioned benchmarks, The Pear Tree Preschool will explore a variety of other topics and skill set inherent to our curriculum: science, foreign language acquisition, art, small and large motor skill development, technology use and familiarity.
The Pear Tree Preschool uses traditional Montessori Early Childhood Curriculum that focuses on developing self-esteem, independence, and confidence, as well as pre-K academic readiness through self-paced learning. This instructional program is aligned with our thematic units and mapped to our benchmarks. It focuses on the following curricular areas:
“Let us give the world to the child, so let us sow seeds for all the subjects for the child because she is sensitive to everything at this time.” - Maria Montessori
The exercises in Practical Life are the very heart of Montessori education. The Practical Life section lays the foundation for all the other work to be done in the classroom. The activities are everyday tasks such as pouring, sweeping, polishing, tying, grace and courtesy. These exercises help the child grow into a confident and independent person. Practical Life exercises have individual developmental objectives such as concentration, calmness, cooperation, order, self-discipline, and self-reliance. Practical Life exercises also have social objectives such as self awareness, sensitivity to others, and service to the community.
First learning is through senses so Montessori schools use a range of well thought out activities to help children sort, match and compare objects by shape, size, touch, taste, and sound. These sensorial experiences boost children’s powers of observation and discrimination. They also broaden their vocabulary and contribute to their later understanding of formal educational concepts, moving from concrete to abstract. The physical training of the senses forms a foundation for the internal reasoning (thinking.)
“The aim (of sensorial exercises) is an inner one, namely, that the child train himself to observe; that he be led to make comparisons between objects, to form judgments, to reason and to decide; and it is in the indefinite repetition of this exercise of attention and of intelligence that a real development ensues.” - Aristotle
CULTURAL SUBJECTS AND GEOGRAPHY
Cultural subjects in a Montessori class include a variety of materials in botany, zoology, geography, physical science, history, art, movement, and music along with respect for different cultures and people.
Geography: The geography curriculum has 2 objectives: first to give the child a sense of spatial orientation through the intense use of the materials; second to encourage the child to become aware of and accept other cultures. The study of geography is
divided into the following conceptual lines:
Physical - Big picture of land and water forms
Cultural - Cultures and customs of the people of the world
Political - How land is divided into countries, states, etc
Economic - Resources, transportation, housing, products, etc
Science - Zoology, Botany, Physical
The Montessori approach to science cultivates children’s fascination with the universe and helps them develop a lifelong interest in observing nature and discovering more about the world in which they live. Lessons and experiences with nature inspire a reverence for all life. The child feels sheer joy in seeing how life evolves and develops and how a seed grows. Something big and new coming out of a small seed helps a child develop respect for his/her world and the creatures living in it.
“If the idea of the universe is presented in the right way, it will do more for her/him that just arouse her/his interest, for it will create in him admiration and wonder, a feeling loftier than any present and more satisfying.” - Maria Montessori
Even from as early as infancy the develop of the mathematical mind is observed when the child knows the bottle is empty, half full, how far his hand should go to reach an object, etc. Children naturally have an interest in all aspects of mathematics - weight, order, system, series, time, quantities, symbols and so forth. We can serve the mathematical mind by feeding this interested giving sensorial experiences first, and only then their representatives on paper, i.e. moving from concrete to abstract.
Mathematics in the Montessori classroom can be separated into a few major categories: beginning counting, advanced counting, the decimal system, rational numbers (fractions) and the operations of addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division. With the Montessori materials concepts are presented in a concrete way. Children ages 3-6 years are not only able to count, but skip-count, square numbers, and work with numbers into the thousands as well. Once the child has a firm foundation in the operations of addition, multiplication, subtraction and division the memorization of facts is introduced. There is so much that can only be understood through experience. If we want to describe what something tastes like, we can attempt it with words but if we offer a taste then the other person just gets it. Montessori allows children to taste math, to experience it, and integrate it into their system.
ENGLISH / LANGUAGE ARTS
Language development in Montessori class is a process, not just a set of materials. The environment is designed so that all activities feed naturally toward the development of skills required for learning language, writing, and reading. The Montessori curriculum has three essential components: a strong foundation in phonics, comprehension based on visualization and whole language, and learning to read for meaning and using context clues. This multi-sensory approach is unique in that it has children building words (encoding) before actually reading them (decoding.)
PURPOSEFUL PLAY & NATURE- BASED FRAMEWORKS
In addition to the traditional Montessori work sessions, The Pear Tree Preschool incorporates enriching nature-based and purposeful play including the dramatic arts to support social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of our children.
In our nature-based component children delight in hands on sensorial experience with the natural world. This is thoughtfully integrated in our Montessori curriculum where students work with live animals, grow tadpoles into frogs, watch the miracle of caterpillars transform into butterflies, take care of our fish, work in the soil to plant, maintain, taste and share our edible garden, watch, touch and mold water, mud, sand, trees, leaves and play with, explore and marvel at those natural elements.
Traditional Montessori Work Sessions
These are large and small group demonstrations / presentations followed by individual, pair and small group work periods where children explore Montessori manipulatives under the observation of, and with encouragement from a supportive adult. Our Montessori work sessions encourage group interaction and problem solving, independent work, and students receive individualized support and attention from our teachers.