Welcome to Early Bird Montessori Preschool

The children of Early Bird Montessori are the leaders of tomorrow. As a montessori preschool in Castro Valley, our goal is to nurture and expand the minds of young children by providing a safe and peaceful environment. We believe in the Montessori philosophy, which supports the child's cognitive, social emotional and physical development. At Early Bird Montessori we value cultural diversity. Our teachers are dedicated to supporting and encouraging the growth of each individual child.

Our Montessori program helps your child achieve Predictable Results.

Confidence: The Montessori system utilizes an integrated approach to learning, which allows each student to shine by choosing the tools that suit his or her strengths.

Love of Learning: The hands-on, active nature of Montessori lessons make the acquisition of knowledge immediately accessible and empowering, as well as useful in real-world situations.

Independence: The Montessori environment is prepared so that the appropriate materials are at the child’s level. This enables the child rather than make him or her constantly dependent upon an adult.

Creative reasoning: Students who are asked to examine ideas learn to question and appreciate subtleties, in the process developing skills, creativity, and leadership needed in the adult world.

Research skills: Montessori students develop an understanding of what cognitive tools exist, where to find them, and how to use them. When students are asked to do their own fact-finding and report the results, they learn to locate the information they need and put it to work in context.

Teamwork: The collaborative learning structure in the Montessori method produces strong individuals who function well in a group, can problem-solve with others, and who understand interdependence.

Academic excellence: Montessori believes in the child’s natural abilities and utilizes materials that are designed to maximize each level of development, producing students who routinely execute well beyond expected academic standards for their age or grade level. An open door to the universe: Students are given the gift of a sense of possibility, reflecting Dr. Maria Montessori’s belief that every child is filled with infinite potential, and that the right developmental tools and instruction will liberate the growing person.

Programs

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Toddler Program

24-36 Months. Eager to explore in a nurturing environment

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Primary Program

Ages 3-6. Determined to be independent.

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Enrollment Open!
Contact EBM for more info

Our Preschool Campus

We have a convenient campus to meet the demands of parents living in Castro Valley and the surrounding communities. Schedule a visit to observe the Montessori classroom firsthand.


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Center St Campus

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20104 Center Street, Castro Valley, CA 94546
(510) 329-7344 (510) 460-9097

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Enrollment Open!
Contact EBM for more info

Toddler Program

Our "Tiny Tots" two year old classroom offers very young children a unique year of self development in a tender atmosphere of special understanding, respect, and support. They are unique in that they provide a very specific structure which fulfills the social, physical, emotional, and psychological needs of each child.

In these environments, there is space for movement, space for individual work, and space for group activities. Everything in the environment is proportionate to the child's size and is designed to be safe and aesthetically pleasing for children. The toddler classroom is more simple and slower paced than the early childhood (three to six year old) classroom.

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Two year olds are given opportunities to work in the development of language skill, art, music sensorial, and practical life. The practical life area is particularly emphasized as the activities in this area give children the chance to develop skills to care for themselves and their environment in the following areas: control of movement, and grace and courtesy Practical life activities are simple and can be accomplished by each child. They offer repetitive cycle, which helps the child establish patterns of order and sequencing. Due the fact that these are very real activities, each child becomes grounded in reality, building the child's self esteem is the ultimate goal and this is accomplished through! Repeated successes with these activities.

Primary Program

Our "Little Robbins" and "Busy Bees" primary classes are peaceful environments where concentration and independence deepen and grow. As with all authentic Montessori environments this is the childrens’ classroom and everything is designed around their needs. The children spontaneously learn through concrete hands-on activities which draw their interest, spirit and imagination. The classroom environment includes math, language, sensorial, practical life and cultural areas.

The lessons experienced by the child build a solid foundation for future learning. Everything in the Montessori classroom environment serves a purpose of laying a foundation for the child with nature and things that are real in the world.

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"Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment. Plainly, the environment must be a living one, directed by a higher intelligence, arranged by an adult who is prepared for his mission. To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely." -Maria Montessori

Activity Areas

Practical Life

The Practical Life area teaches children self-help skills, care of their environment, coordination, fine motor skills, attention span and a sense of order. These activities are the foundation for future learning - especially reading, writing and math.

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Sensorial

Sensorial Materials help the child to use her senses to learn concepts of size, color and shape, while improving eye and hand coordination. The child compares heights, weights, colors, sounds, smells, shapes and textures.

Math

Math is presented using tangible objects which represent quantities. Children move at their own pace from these objects to symbols and functions. This process includes the introduction of numerals and association of quantity and symbol, sequencing, addition and subtraction, and the decimal system.

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Language

Language includes written and oral expression. This is initiated using patterns, association, rhymes and opposites, and progresses through vocabulary enrichment, control of pencil, recognition of letter shapes, names and sounds. The child works at her own pace to build reading and writing skills.

Culture

Culture area provides a basic knowledge of culture, science and geography, and builds an awareness of the world in which we live.

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Toddler Program

24-36 Months. Eager to explore in a nurturing environment

Click to learn more

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Primary Program

Ages 3-6. Determined to be independent.

Click to learn more

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Activity Areas

Fun and Learning at the same time.

Click to learn more

2014-2015 Calendar

Early Bird Montessori will observe many of the holidays that the public school system observes. PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THESE DATES.

The above dates and times are subject to change.
School Hours
Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 6:00pm
Morning arrival no later than 9:30am

Student Enrollment

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Enrolling continually throughout the year!

Early Bird Montessori Preschool in Castro Valley is open for children ages 2-6 years old.

We provide full time childcare/daycare Monday through Friday. You are welcome to enroll your child for 2, 3, 4, or 5 days per week. Full-day and half-day programs are also available. Our hours are 7:30am to exactly 6:00pm, with all children arriving no later than 9:30am, so as not to disrupt any planned activity.

In addition to our excellent preschool programs, we offer optional activities in gymnastics plus lessons in dance and mandarin. Click the above PROGRAMS tab for more information.


Parent Resources

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After-school Pick-up Service

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Nut Free Environment

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By now it must be second nature to you all that Montessori Primary classrooms are multi-age environments that follow a 3-year cycle. It is intuitively obvious how students in the first year of this cycle benefit from the arrangement. The 3-year-olds have the benefit of many, many role models for behavior in addition to the adults in the environment. They are surrounded by opportunities to observe and absorb the more advanced work that will some day be their privilege to explore, laying the foundations for it without even realizing they are doing so. And when they stumble, or forget a classroom procedure, or encounter an obstacle they cannot overcome, there are dozens of older helping hands to assist and guide them along the way. What is perhaps not so intuitively obvious is how they will benefit when they in turn are third-year students, but I would contend that in fact the benefits are even greater then.

It is in the third year that all of the academic preparation of the first two years comes to fruition. The work they did with the numbers 1 through 10, the teens and tens, and then the categories of the decimal system through 9,999 only come to a full expression in the third year as they count the squares and cubes of numbers, move toward an abstraction of the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and memorize math facts. All of the steps of indirect preparation of the hand and the mind that came together in their second year as they began building phonetic words with the cut-out letters of the moveable alphabet, open the entire world of reading, writing and grammar to them in their third year. As they learn phonograms (2-letter combinations) and non-phonetic “sight” words they round out the mechanics of reading and apply these new skills by labeling the names, parts and qualities they’ve learned verbally in the previous two years. Their writing moves beyond words to phrases and then sentences, and ultimately to stories and their first reports. It is also in this third year that they begin to develop reading comprehension and lay the groundwork for creative expression through work with the parts of speech, exploring the functions of the article, adjective, noun, verb, adverb, conjunction and preposition. Third year students still do practical life exercises, but less for the sake of the process as when they were 3 or 4. Now they do them for the good of the group, taking pride in the health of the plants and animals, the beauty and cleanliness of their classroom environment. They gain a profound sense of accomplishment by applying these skills to the benefit of all.

Although children would eventually work with the decimal system, the parts of speech, and even perhaps musical notation at some point in a traditional curriculum, it probably wouldn’t be for several years. But, they are ready for it now. What a waste to make them wait for years by which time their interest is blunted and the context of two year’s of careful preparation is lost. It’s as if they had spent two years preparing a sumptuous feast but have to wait for years before they satisfy their hunger. But all of these academic gains pale in significance to the personality development that comes together in the third year. When they were 3 and 4, they counted on the 5-year-olds to show the way and to help overcome obstacles. Now the 3 and 4 year-olds look to them! Even the teacher relies on them to set the standard and to help the younger ones out of respect for their competence and accomplishment. They not only have the opportunity to develop empathy for the younger, newer and less capable students but to act on that empathy in a positive and responsible way. Third year students literally carry themselves differently, with the sense of self-esteem and self- assurance that comes with being the leaders of the class. This feeling of self-confidence, self-worth and responsibility is perhaps the greatest benefit and accomplishment of the third year, and is a nearly irreplaceable experience. This explains why a teacher looks so stricken when one of her students leaves too soon, for she knows better than anyone what a remarkable experience they will be missing.

Balancing Tech, Play and Future Happiness: Is that iPad really a good idea for your toddler?

If you have to ask any number of today’s parents about children and technology, you would probably find a lot of varied opinions out there. Some would say that young children are not ready to experience and handle electronic items, and the rest would say that they must experience it as early as possible. After considering these two opposing ideals it seems that some common ground needs to be found between all the controversy. Considering how most kids are with everything they handle, it doesn’t make much sense to give them your touch-screen device to play with for a couple hours. The chances of the device looking the same as when you gave it to them are slim. The biggest drawback of technology these days is that it has a tendency to be fragile and requires a fair amount of finesse to handle and keep it in good working order. Generally speaking, most y oungsters would not take such care of your mobile device and who wants to get angry with a three year old for being a three year old?

Consider that most children can’t handle expensive equipment, and on the other hand we have a world that is constantly changing and evolving leaps and bounds on the technological frontier. So much so, that just about everyone has a piece of technology playing a functional important role in their lives. The presence of technology is so prevalent that it simply cannot be ignored, even if you tried to. So where does one turn to when trying to give your child the right exposure to cell phones, tablets or computers? How does a parent that wants to give their child the best possible start in this technological world of ours, get their little ones off to a good start? The answer to this problem actually lies in the cause. By allowing a child to experience and work with technology as often as possible, they start to learn how to use it with the same care as you. Under the supervision of a knowing and patient adult, there is really no limit to how much a child can learn about technology. For most parents, the thought of letting their child handle expensive electronics is an unnerving one. Cell phones, iPads, computers, DVD players and televisions are can be rather expensive. If you end up having to replace them when you could have prevented it in the first place, you find that it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

The best place to start is at home, where you can sit with your child while they play a game on your phone. They could spend some time with you while you surf the internet on your computer. Letting them type in search entries into Google and going through the web pages with them is an ideal way to create an interactive learning experience while getting the exposure to technology that they need. Keeping a child occupied helps prevents boredom in a child, and every parent knows that a bored child can easily become a problem child. Let’s say you happen to be busy with a work project, and your child is bugging you for something to do. We often resort to a quick solution like putting on a DVD for them to watch. That too can become a tedious matter as they always have to decide which of the movies they want to watch. It causes frustration for the parent and the child experiences your aggravation when it isn’t necessary. If they know how to put a disc into the player, turn the TV on so they can sit back and watch their favorite animation, you can leave them to their own devices and you can carry on with your work unhindered.

For parents that don’t have time to teach their kids about technology but still want to offer their children a chance to experience it first hand, so they can learn and develop the skills they will need in future, there is the option of sending them to techno camps or summer schools where they get exactly that. These camps offer your child a chance to learn from hands on experience and develop a keen insight into what is required to master technology from an early age. There are countless examples of children all across the US where they have learnt from these exact opportunities, and they have developed skills that an adult would only learn once they have graduated from high school. A thirteen year old girl is able to animate in 3D because she attended a workshop that taught her how to do it.

By the time she finishes high school, she will have enough 3D design experience under her belt to secure a stable job that pays well. Another young boy from Alaska attended the Digital media academy at Stanford University, where he was able to study filmmaking. By the time he turned fifteen he had produced two documentaries based on places he visited with his father a few years earlier. These children are going to grow up being more prepared for some of the adversities in life, and they may even be responsible for making great changes for everyone. This may sound a little off the topic here but it actually ties in quite nicely to the question posed in the title. If you take a look over the ages, we see that key individuals are responsible for great changes to mankind. They are people that have great talents and are exposed to the right environments to allow them to flourish. Individual potential needs to be identified early in life, so that it can be coupled with the child’s will to do what they really want. A lot of your child’s frustration stems from their inability to develop themselves and in most cases that tends to manifest itself in mischief. Once they have the means to do what they can, and need to do, they will flourish and go on to make positive contributions to their lives, their families and to society as a whole.

The Montessori approach to learning is an educational philosophy that may seem foreign to parents as it differs from traditional educational models. Whether your child is already enrolled in a Montessori school or you are trying to determine if a Montessori education is right for your child, there are many wonderful resources available to help parents learn about a Montessori education.

"Brief Answers to Questions Parents Often Ask"

Authors, Tim Seledin and Paul Epstein of The Montessori Foundation answer some of the most frequently asked questions received from parents regarding the Montessori education.


Tomorrow's Child Magazine

Tomorrow's Child is the Montessori Foundation's independent and not-for-profit magazine serving Montessori schools and families around the world. Each issue is filled with articles that address the questions parents most often ask about Montessori schools and Montessori in the home. Online and Print subscriptions are available.

Our Online Private Community

We understand how busy parents are, so we make our best efforts to keep them updated and informed about various upcoming events, activities, programs and school updates.


We have our facebook page to share information about our school as well as general updates. Check out our facebook page Early Bird Montessori Preschool.


We have also built our private community on Socialhoop, where we share updates, announcements, fundraising campaigns, blogs, event updates as well as provide parents an option to signup for programs and make tuition payments. We restrict membership to just our parents member community to maintain privacy and confidentiality. Do check out our Socialhoop community profile Early Bird Montessori School.

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