Practical Life activities mirror what a family does in the home: pouring, washing, dressing, preparing food, watering plants, and more. These activities offer opportunity for purposeful movement and concentration. The child learns how to control their movement, work through a sequence, and become responsible in their actions.
Sensorial materials and activities isolate and identify various sensory elements for exploration: shape, size, color, texture, weight, smell, and sound. These materials give children a concrete experience with abstractions like big, little, long, short, thin, and thick. These lessons help create categories in the child's mind for gathering and storing information about the world we live in.
Beginning with spoken language, children transition, orient and adapt to their new classroom with language. Many aspects of the language area are invisible and social life is a constant motive for spontaneous language work. Once a child has a foundation in spoken language, they begin to use materials to write and progress into reading.
A guiding precept in developing understanding of mathematics is Maria Montessori's caution: "Never give the mind more than the hand can handle."
Math concepts are conveyed through the use of special materials (such as number rods and golden beads) which show quantity from one unit up to one thousand. With these activities, children gain concrete understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This early manipulative practice prepares the child for future mathematical abstractions.
"We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being."
Director of School
Makaya graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2018 with an Interdisciplinary BA in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. Before joining Woodland in 2018, she worked as a lead teacher in a preschool classroom for four years and as an assistant with Spokane Public Montessori for one. She also sat on the Board of Directors of the Community of Montessori Parents as fundraising coordinator. In her free time, Makaya volunteers with COPS Spokane.
AMI Primary Guide
Sheryl graduated from Western Carolina University with a BS in 1974 and worked as a social worker in Child Protective Services and an early prevention program. After graduating with her AMI certificate from Washington, D.C., in 1985, she started working at Woodland, taking two years off to raise her daughter before returning as a Lead Guide in 1990. Sheryl loves incorporating her hobbies in the classroom, most recently teaching the children Italian.
AMI Primary Guide
Nikki graduated with her BA from Warner Pacific College in Human Development in 2010. She received her AMI certificate from Montessori Northwest in 2012 and her Masters in Montessori Education from Loyola University Baltimore in 2013. Nikki has worked as a primary Montessori assistant and led an in-home Montessori program for several years before coming to Woodland in 2017. She worked as an assistant before becoming a Lead Guide in 2019.
AMI Primary Guide
Brigid graduated with her BA in Theatre Arts from Gonzaga University in 2010 and received her AMI certification from Montessori Northwest in 2017. From 2013 to 2016, she worked as a Montessori preschool assistant and as a lead teacher in an Early Learning Center. Brigid joined Woodland in 2016 as an assistant and became a Lead Guide in 2017. In addition to working as a Guide at Woodland, she also works as the Director of Communications.
Each Guide and classroom is supported by an Assistant. At Woodland Montessori School, we are so fortunate to have incredible assistants who help create and support a nurturing, beautiful, and safe environment for each child.
Michele Knutson (Nikki's Assistant), Kat Nguyen (Late Afternoon Lead),
Ally Lapke (Sheryl's Afternoon Assistant), Barb McDaniel (Late Afternoon Assistant)
Nettie Koroza (Sheryl's Morning Assistant), not pictured: Melissa Preczewski (Brigid's Assistant)
Get in touch with Woodland Montessori School to learn more about our program and observe our classrooms.
402 S Coleman Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99212, USA
Woodland Montessori School encourages diversity. We admit students of any race, religion, national or ethnic origin. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, or gender in any of our policies or programs.