New Horizon Montessori School
Typical Day in the Early Childhood Class
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Enjoy a look at how the day unfolds for both children and adults on a typical day in the early childhood class at New Horizon.

Approximate Time
7:30-8:15 AM 

Children are arriving with their parents. Some are having a hard time separating and others are giving a quick kiss and waving goodbye to their parents.  

As children come into the classroom they will help with preparing the classroom by folding towels or cloths that have been drying from the previous day, feeding animals, or watering plants. Some will immediately begin choosing lessons to work with, while others may socialize quietly with friends. Some children will be putting their nap things away. Others might be preparing snack.

Before the children arrive, the adults have prepared the classroom by getting supplies ready for snacks, putting the correct food out for the classroom animals, wetting the sponges in all the lessons that have them, stocking paper and art supplies, preparing the markers that indicate which plants need water, preparing the calendar, straightening any lessons that are in disarray and assuring that the room is clean.

During this transition time, teachers will be helping children and parents feel comfortable with farewells. They will be supporting the children who are not yet independent with changing out of shoes and/or jackets, while encouraging parents to allow children to develop independence. Teachers will help parents with the separation, too. Sometimes children are more ready to separate than their parents are, so it is important for parents to limit the time they spend during the farewell process to allow their children to develop independence. Parents might be exchanging information about special circumstances that their children have experienced that need to be taken into consideration.

8:15 – 11:15 AM 
This is the morning work cycle. Children will be moving through periods of intense concentration with materials they have already been presented, contemplation of their work, presentations of new materials, quiet socializing, creative expression and rest. Typically, there is a short period around mid-morning when many of the children are at an ebb in their activity. The classroom noise level increases slightly during this “period of false fatigue.” Then the children settle into their most intense work of the morning, provided the normal work cycle is not interrupted by a group activity. Snack is available throughout the morning so children may choose to eat when they feel hungry and there is not a call to group snack to interrupt the work cycle. 
This morning work cycle is also an opportunity for children to experience the satisfaction of responsibility. They prepare their own place to eat snack and clean up afterward. They put every lesson back in its proper place on the shelves. They wash their own dishes after eating snack and prepare the area for the next child. 
This morning work cycle is an intense time for the adults in the room. They are involved in careful observation of the children to ascertain the best time to present new lessons. They are making notations in the records of what materials have been presented and the reactions they have observed to those presentations. They are helping to redirect children who are having difficulty feeling confident or gracious. They are providing encouragement and guidance for those in need. They are giving new lessons and re-presenting materials to the children.
The adults have prepared the classroom carefully to make it possible for children to develop responsibility. The chairs and tables are light-weight enabling the children to move them with ease. The shelves are low, allowing easy access to materials. The materials are beautiful to encourage the children to care for them and there are often glass components that can break if handled carelessly.
11:15 AM 
This is an important transition time from individual activity to group activity. Transition times can be difficult for children, so a regular familiar routine is important. 
Group participation should be voluntary, so teachers invite children individually to come to group. Those who are in deep concentration are allowed to continue their work until its natural conclusion. Some may not realize that a group activity has begun if they are deeply involved with their own activity. 
11:15 – 11:30 AM 
Children have the chance to learn etiquette for group situations. This includes keeping one’s hands to oneself, listening and talking when appropriate and taking turns. During group activities there may be singing, listening to books, finger plays or other group instruction. In many schools children review the days of the week and month by finding the current date on a calendar. Numeration may be reinforced by counting the number children present 
Before group begins, the teachers must be prepared for the activities they will present. If there are any birthdays among the children, the teachers must be prepared to acknowledge them in the way the school has decided. Many schools have a “walk around the sun” ritual to signify the number of years of the child’s life. The sun is represented by a candle that the child blows out upon completing the number of revolutions around the sun representing the life so far. 
11:30 AM 
Children will experience another transition as they prepare to go outside. If they have been wearing slippers inside, they will be putting on their shoes as well as jackets and other outer wear depending on the weather. Older children may help younger ones, and teachers are also available to offer assistance when needed. 
Some of the more responsible children, typically kindergarten aged, will stay behind for a few minutes to help prepare the classroom for lunch. Teachers will help organize this process. 

11:30 – 12:00 

Children will be participating in outdoor recreation. 

The older children and teachers prepare the classroom for lunch by setting out the placemats, plates, glasses, napkins, and silverware. They bring the lunch boxes to the appropriate places at the table. Children are proud to have reached the level of responsibility that allows them to help in this important way. They join their younger classmates in a few minutes. While they are outside, the teachers will prepare part of the room for naps by laying out the mats and preparing the blankets or whatever items the children have brought from home to ease them into a restful slumber.

12:00 noon 

Some children go home at the end of the morning recreation time. Others return to the classroom for lunch. This will involve another transition of changing into indoor wear and washing hands. 

Teachers bring the last of the lunch necessities to the table including anything that has been refrigerated, such as pitchers of milk and water. 

12:00 noon until finished. 

Lunchtime is a valuable time for children. They sit with their peers and teachers in quiet conversation. Some of the children provide the first serving of milk to their friend and teachers. As more milk is needed they ask for it to be passed to them.

After eating, children will scrape and stack their dishes, use table crumbers to clean their placemats, wipe the placemats, sweep the floor under their place and generally ready the classroom for the afternoon. Those who are young enough to take naps will use the restroom and settle down on the mats, which are placed in a regular spot to help children feel secure.

Teachers sit among the children to model manners and normal meal procedures. Once children are finished with lunch teachers also lend guidance for the cleanup routines.

After lunch a teacher will finish washing the dishes so they are ready for the next day.

After lunch

12:45 +/-

Younger children are resting until they awaken, while the kindergarten children have an extended day of learning including lessons that may be difficult to set up during the morning when more children are present. Children who have been napping put their mats away and use the restroom when they get up. Then they may choose lessons and continue with a short work cycle in the afternoon. They learn to respect the need for quiet while others are still sleeping. 

Teachers may also use this time to teach some of the more advanced math and language lessons to kindergarten students. 

2:15 PM 

The children help straighten the room for the next day. By taking responsibility for their environment they gain a better sense of ownership. 

Teachers participate in this tidying activity to help model the behavior and guide the children. 


Children prepare to go home by gathering their things and changing into their outerwear. While waiting for parent to arrive they play games that help them develop numeration, grammar, or general language skills. 
Teachers will assure that appropriate notes and communications go home with the children. They say farewells warmly and wish the children and their families a wonderful afternoon. 

New Horizon Montessori School
913 East Cumberland Drive
Louisville, TN 37777
(near Knoxville)

(865) 970-4322

New Horizon Montessori
Inspiring Children to Reach Their Human Potential since 1978!