Staten Island has a Montessori School with a cool name: Building Blocks Montessori School. What started out as a nursery school in 1972 has grown into an elementary school with a lower school and an upper school.
The lower school consists of students from 3 to 5 years old. The upper school includes first through fifth grades.
Building Blocks Montessori Lower School
Teachers use multisensory hands-on materials to teach young children abstract thought. Class sizes are kept small to maximize teacher-student time. Classes are mixed age so that younger children benefit from learning from the older children and the older children can teach and mentor younger ones.
Instruction includes Spanish language classes, yoga, and multicultural studies.
Building Blocks Montessori Upper School
The upper school picks up where the lower school leaves off, providing students with a rich and varied academic experience. Teachers use textbooks and advanced Montessori teaching methods.
Students and teachers set individual goals and tailor the curriculum to the needs of the student. As a result, students advance at their own rate in a non-competitive mixed-age environment. Teachers and students meet in small group settings with the following subjects taught:
- Language arts
- Writer’s workshop
- Social studies
- Computer lessons
- Physical education
- Spanish language classes
Children get to write and publish their own stories in the creative writing program; learn about genealogy, other cultures, world and U.S. history, and government in social studies; and delve into creativity as well as art history in art classes.