Be part of the Kiddie Toes Montessori School Family!

Our elementary level follows the Progressive Education Method. We also use the Singapore Math Curriculum.

The Progressive Education’s main objective is to educate the "whole child" (physical, emotional and intellectual)

• Emphasis on learning by doing (experiential learning)
• Integrated curriculum focused on thematic units
• Strong emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking
• Group work and development of social skills
• Collaborative and cooperative learning projects
• Education for social responsibility and democracy
• Integration of community service and service learning projects into the daily curriculum
• Selection of subject content by looking forward to ask what skills will be needed in future society
• De-emphasis on textbooks in favor of varied learning resources
• Emphasis on life-long learning and social skills

School facilities

- Airconditioned classrooms
- Highly qualified Teachers
- Imported learning materials
- English as the medium of instruction
- Spacious play area
- Ideally located in the center of the city
- Comfortable waiting area

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Montessori Terminology

Dr. Maria Montessori introduced many new terms and concepts to describe how children grow and learn. Here are definitions of some widely used Montessori words and phrases.

Absorbent mind – From birth through approximately age 6, the young child experiences a period of intense mental activity that allows her to “absorb” learning from her environment without conscious effort, naturally and spontaneously.

Casa dei Bambini – In Italian, “Children’s House,” and the name of Dr. Montessori’s first school.

Children’s House – In many Montessori schools, this is the classroom for children ages 2.5 (or 3) to 6 years; other schools call the classroom for this age group Casa, preschool, or primary school. Some schools use this term to refer to the entire school.

Concrete to abstract – A logical, developmentally appropriate progression that allows the child to come to an abstract understanding of a concept by first encountering it in a concrete form, such as learning the mathematical concept of the decimal system by working with Golden Beads grouped into units, 10s, 100s, and 1,000s.

Control of error – Montessori materials are designed so that the child receives instant feedback as he works, allowing him to recognize, correct, and learn from his mistakes without adult assistance. Putting control of the activity in the child’s hands strengthens his self-esteem and self-motivation as well as his learning.

Cosmic education – Maria Montessori urged us to give elementary-level children a “vision of the universe” to help them discover how all parts of the cosmos are interconnected and interdependent. In Montessori schools, these children, ages 6 – 12, begin by learning about the universe, its galaxies, our galaxy, our solar system, and planet Earth—everything that came before their birth to make their life possible. As they develop respect for past events, they become aware of their own roles and responsibilities in the global society of today and tomorrow.
Didactic materials – Didactic meaning “designed or intended to teach,” these are the specially designed instructional materials—many invented by Maria Montessori—used in Montessori classrooms.

Directress or guide – Historically, the designation for the lead teacher in a Montessori classroom; some schools still refer to the lead teacher as “guide.” In Montessori education, the role of the instructor is to direct or guide individual children to purposeful activity based upon the instructor’s observation of each child’s readiness. The child develops his own knowledge through hands-on learning with didactic materials he chooses.

Erdkinder – German for “child of the earth,” this term describes a Montessori learning environment for adolescents ages 12 – 15 that connects them with nature and encourages them to form a society of their own; often designed as a working farm school.

Grace and courtesy – Children are formally instructed in social skills they will use throughout their lives, for example, saying “please” and “thank you,” interrupting conversations politely, requesting rather than demanding assistance, and greeting guests warmly.

Montessori – The term may refer to Dr. Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori Method of education, or the method itself.

Nido – “Nest” in Italian, this is a Montessori environment for infants ages 2 – 14 months.

Normalization – A natural or “normal” developmental process marked by a love of work or activity, concentration, self-discipline, and joy in accomplishment. Dr. Montessori observed that the normalization process is characteristic of human beings at any age.

Normalizing event – Within the prepared environment of the Montessori classroom, children experience a normalizing event every time they complete a basic work cycle, which includes 1) choosing an activity; 2) completing the activity and returning the materials to the proper place; and 3) experiencing a sense of satisfaction.

Planes of development – Four distinct periods of growth, development, and learning that build on each other as children and youth progress through them: ages 0 – 6 (the period of the “absorbent mind”); 6 – 12 (the period of reasoning and abstraction); 12 – 18 (when youth construct the “social self,” developing moral values and becoming emotionally independent); and 18 – 24 years (when young adults construct an understanding of the self and seek to know their place in the world).

Practical life – The Montessori term that encompasses domestic work to maintain the home and classroom environment; self-care and personal hygiene; and grace and courtesy. Practical life skills are of great interest to young children and form the basis of later abstract learning.

Practical life activities – Young children in Montessori classrooms learn to take care of themselves and their environment through activities such as hand washing, dusting, and mopping. These activities help toddlers and preschool-age children learn to work independently, develop concentration, and prepare for later work with reading and math; older children participate in more advanced activities.

Prepared environment – The teacher prepares the environment of the Montessori classroom with carefully selected, aesthetically arranged materials that are presented sequentially to meet the developmental needs of the children using the space. Well-prepared Montessori environments contain appropriately sized furniture, a full complement of Montessori materials, and enough space to allow children to work in peace, alone or in small or large groups.

Primary classroom – In some Montessori schools, this is a classroom for children ages 3 – 6 years; however, the American Montessori Society uses the term Early Childhood and defines the age range as 2.5 – 6 years.

Sensitive period – A critical time during human development when the child is biologically ready and receptive to acquiring a specific skill or ability—such as the use of language or a sense of order—and is therefore particularly sensitive to stimuli that promote the development of that skill. A Montessori teacher prepares the environment to meet the developmental needs of each sensitive period.

Sensorial exercises – These activities develop and refine the 5 senses—seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling—and build a foundation for speech, writing, and math through the use of sensorial materials. The exercises also bring order to the barrage of sensorial impressions the child experiences from birth onward.

The 3-period lesson – A 3-step technique for presenting information to the child. In the first—the introduction or naming period—the teacher demonstrates what “this is.” (The teacher might say “This is a mountain” while pointing to it on a 3-dimensional map.) In the second—the association or recognition period—the teacher asks the child to “show” what was just identified (“Show me the mountain”). Finally, in the recall period, the teacher asks the child to name the object or area. Moving from new information to passive recall to active identification reinforces the child’s learning and demonstrates her mastery.

Work – Purposeful activity. Maria Montessori observed that children learn through purposeful activities of their own choosing; Montessori schools call all of the children’s activities “work.”


Monday, November 21, 2011

KTMS' Tour Around the World

In October, KTMS celebrated the United Nations day in a unique way. Instead of the usual donning of national costumes, the teachers and learners prepared and coordinated a world tour for their guardians and family.

Passports, tickets and flight itineraries were issued. Learners were designated as Immigration Officers, Tour guides and Flight attendants.

Innovative activities such as these ensure that the learners not only learn about the different countries and its customs and traditions, but also important lessons in travelling and other global concerns.

For more photos of the event, please visit our Facebook site.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

5TH KTMS Montessori Week

5TH KTMS Montessori Week

05 September 2011
By: Ms. Divine May Flor Mercado-David

The School year 2011 – 2012 at Kiddie Toes Montessori School already started a few months back, but I would still like to take this opportunity to welcome you all.
Education can be compared to a great big canvas. And this year we would like our learners to throw as much paint and colors as they can on the canvas of their education. I would like enjoin the parents, guardians and teachers to value and uphold the importance of learning, but still having fun at the same time. The education for these learners should be sound, creative and innovative. That is why Kiddie Toes Montessori School, together with the parents, guardians and the learners themselves, will help and work with each other to make this a reality.

Today is the opening of our 5th Montessori Week. We started with humble beginnings. Our first Montessori day activity was a very simple motorcade with only 24 learners, in a small house in a private subdivision. For this school year I am happy to share to with of you that the KTMS family is growing steadily. We now have 124 learners. More importantly, activities are now well participated and parents and guardians are really giving their best effort in every year’s contests and activities. Activities like these develop a stronger bond between each learner as well as the parents and guardians. We are a very small community that is why we want everybody to treat each other as family members.

Our teachers will also take action and help our learners to achieve academic, sports-related, cultural, social and life-long learning. May I take this opportunity to thank the teachers for their continued professionalism, excellence and dedication to their work. It is your motivation in the classroom that will help to create a year that is bright and brimming with opportunities.

However, even more importantly, our learners themselves will have to take action to further their education. Our young ladies and gentlemen should likewise begin to realize that they cannot merely sit back and expect the greater School community to do everything for them - they should realize the importance of self-motivation and independence. They should be prepared to help themselves.

It is an appeal that we make to our young children today. Learners… Make the most of the fantastic educational opportunities that you have. Throw as much paint as you can on to the canvas of your education this year. Don’t be afraid to try out new things, learn new skills and participate in new activities. We believe in you. You are smart and talented kids. You can do it!

This year, we will continue to improve, innovate and diversify to make our vision of providing a holistic education a reality! Let's continue to work and help each other to give these children the world!
Thank you and have fun!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sometimes You Just Have to Polish the Duck: Lessons for Grownups From a Montessori Classroom;content

Sometimes You Just Have to Polish the Duck: Lessons for Grownups From a Montessori Classroom

I am continually taught important lessons by my son's Montessori education. Montessori puts a respectful, loving philosophy into practice. The Children's House classroom makes a place that embraces the Tightness of the child's intentions while shaping the child's ability to line up these intentions with action.

How distinct this approach is from what I experienced in my own childhood education. While a few of us might have been defined by the school as "good" or "smart," school was essentially a process that required distrusting and redirecting so that children might be kept "on task" or focused on what they "should" be doing, often ignoring what they would really like to do.

After experiencing a Montessori classroom, I have come to believe the opposite: the classroom structure (and, by extension, the structure of a home) can foster a child's practically innate desire to follow a path toward learning. This environment does not have to shoehorn all children into the same trajectory, but rather sets the stage for each small person to proceed as the way opens for him or her.

The deep trust I have in Montessori comes from experience. My son, Anson, had his first Montessori Children's House participation at age 4, weeks after relocating from California to Wisconsin. His transition to his new school in Wisconsin was at first difficult. He cried each morning before school for several weeks, begging us to let him stay home. I shed tears as well, once in front of his teacher as I mentioned how difficult the morning routine had become. Wisely, she advised us to change routines: what if we carpooled with another child to school? This suggestion transformed our mornings almost from the first day we started driving with a friend. I began to suspect that there might be something to this Montessorian emphasis on environment.

Anson did not outwardly grieve the transition from familiar California to unknown Wisconsin the way we did. My husband and I missed friends and longed for familiar places. After the carpool started, Anson appeared to pass blithely through the day. At school, however, he chose different activities than the other children. Many of the kids his age worked with number chains, created words with the movable alphabet, or traced the sandpaper letters. My son rarely did any of the things his first months in Children's House, at least not to my knowledge. Teachers told me he often watched other children engage in these activities, but he did not participate. Instead, day after day, Anson chose to practice something he learned as one of his first lessons in the school.

He took to the table a small tray containing a cotton cloth, clear shoe polish, and a wooden duck. Then he enacted a simple ritual. Lid removed from polish. Cloth dipped in polish. Polish applied on duck. Lid put on polish. Items replaced on tray. Tray returned to shelf.

"What did you do at school today?" I would ask, violating rule number one for how to start a conversation with your preschooler.

"I wandered around," he would tell me. "And I polished the duck."

The duck, his teacher informed me the second month of school, was well maintained. "Anson likes to polish wooden objects and repeats this often," his progress report duly noted. I silently calculated how much we were paying per month (with what kinds of financial sacrifices) to subsidize our son's wood-shining habit.

This gut reaction arose from the timework messages transmitted to me through my education about what children "should" be doing in school. I mistrusted Anson's desire to learn, longing for him to rush to the things that "kindergartners must know." As parents, we receive messages everywhere about what kinds of evidence our children should provide to demonstrate progress. I jumped to the conclusion that duck polishing was, if not what my son would do throughout his year in school, at least an indicator that he would not create the kind of output necessary to "be a success." In a culture that values product, the seeming passivity of observing others or polishing the duck is slightly suspect. Shouldn't a student immediately jump into producing something, the way I was expecting myself to be producing something in the job I had moved to Wisconsin to begin?

Fortunately, the school's director suggested I read more about the Montessori classroom. I learned that children entering this environment normalize, a term that I understand to mean the way kids figure out how to listen to the loving voice within that just a few years earlier urged them to sit up, walk, and speak those delicious first few words. To normalize, children must learn the structure of the Montessori classroom through participation. Polishing the duck was not just cloth on wood (although I imagine that the textures and smells provided daily comfort for Anson during the transition to all places new in Wisconsin). This task, included as part of the Montessori practical life curriculum, helped to teach the order, both internal to my son and external of him, necessary for working in other areas of the classroom. The repetition done at his choosing provided comfort and confidence during the process of learning to work in a Montessori classroom. One year later, as Anson draws maps, manipulates the addition board, and learns to write, his early period of duck polishing ritual has served him well.

How much better would all of us be if we learned to trust ourselves the way my son did during this time? I am sure that my first year at work would have been less traumatic if I had been given the opportunity to observe and gain readiness instead of pushing to replicate the output of the best years in my old, familiar workplace. We drive ourselves forward, always wanting evidence of achievement. I am guilty of demanding daily proof from myself that I am productive. Another report filed. Another flowerbed weeded. Another project begun.

Nonstop output is not only impossible, but our expectations that we work in this way exhaust us and set us up for failure. Big, "productive" accomplishments, whether learning to read or writing a novel, require a strong, healthy center that cannot be nurtured in the moment of rushing toward task completion. As my son demonstrated, rituals and routines, while not generating output, help create the environment for success and time for regeneration. The mindful pause, as Anson enacted when polish met wood, can help us prepare for future bursts of growth, and help us to rest after completing such growth. I try to remind myself that this step of regeneration is vital. Sometimes you just have to polish the duck.

DARCIE VANDEGRIFT is a Montessori parent and assistant professor of sociology at University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Project Approach

At KTMS Elementary, we use the Project Approach to teach our learners about topics. This approach proved to be most effective especially in making them truly understand their lessons.

We will be posting articles about project approach, so you, the parents, guardians and caretakers can also understand.



The Project Approach

A project is an in-depth investigation of a topic. This topic is one that involves children's attention and energy. Projects involve children in conducting research on events worth learning about in their own environments. The teacher selects the topic of study based on the children's and his/her interest, curriculum, and availability of local resources. A topic "web" is then organized by the teacher as a structure to guide the project.

While gathering information on the chosen topic, children have the opportunity to ask questions, to generate theories and predictions concerning possible answers, to seek answers to their questions, to interview experts and others from whom relevant information can be obtained, and to engage in other activities involved in collecting information.

Projects, like good stories, have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This structure helps the teacher to organize the progression of activities according to the development of the children's interests and personal involvement with the topic of study.

Phase 1: Beginning the Project
The teacher discusses the topic with the children to find out the experiences they have had and what they already know. The children represent their experiences and show their understanding of the concepts involved in explaining them. The teacher helps the children develop questions their investigation will answer. A letter about the study is sent home to parents. The teacher encourages the parents to talk with their children about the topic and to share any relevant special expertise.

Phase 2: Developing the Project
Opportunities for the children to do field work and speak to experts are arranged. The teacher provides resources to help the children with their investigations; real objects, books, and other research materials are gathered. The teacher suggests ways for children to carry out a variety of investigations. Each child is involved in representing what he or she is learning, and each child can work at his or her own level in terms of basic skills, constructions, drawing, music, and dramatic play. The teacher enables the children to be aware of all the different work being done through class or group discussion and display. The topic web designed earlier provides a shorthand means of documenting the progress of the project.

Phase 3: Concluding the Project
The teacher arranges a culminating event through which the children share with others what they have learned. The children can be helped to tell the story of their project to others by featuring its highlights for other classes, the principal, and the parents. The teacher helps the children to select material to share and, in so doing, involves them purposefully in reviewing and evaluating the whole project. The teacher also offers the children imaginative ways of personalizing their new knowledge through art, stories, and drama. Finally, the teacher uses children's ideas and interests to make a meaningful transition between the project being concluded and the topic of study in the next project.


Web sites:
ERIC Digest: The Project Approach
The Project Approach (ERIC/EECE)
The Project Approach


Title: The Project Approach: A Practical Guide for Teachers
Author: Sylvia C. Chard
Date: 1992
Publisher: Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta Printing Services

Title: The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education
Author: C. L. Edwards, L. Gandini, & G. Forman (Eds.)
Date: 1993
Publisher: Norwood, NJ: Ablex
ISBN: ED 355 034

Title: Engaging Children's Minds: The Project Approach
Author: L. G. Katz & S. C. Chard (Eds.)
Date: 1989
Publisher: Norwood, NJ: Ablex

Copyright © 2002, University of Kansas, Circle of Inclusion Project. Permission for reproduction of these materials for non-profit use with proper citation is granted. Please send your comments and questions to

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Dolphin Warrior visits KTMS

Last May 14 2011, AG Sano, also known as the Dolphin Warrior or the Whaleboy, together with KTMS teachers, learners, parents and other volunteers and environment-lovers gathered together to paint and color dolphins on the walls of the KMTS fence and buildings.

The activity was made more festive with the presence of the KTMS family, local artists and musicians and photographers.

For photos of the activity, please visit the KTMS Facebook site. More photos of the murals can also be found in this Facebook folder.

Ms. Divine also visited AG's art exhibit at Indios Bravos Art Gallery in San Juan, Manila. She also purchased a commemorative tile of AG's artwork to be placed at the new elementary building of KTMS.

Check out these links for more information about the Dolphin Warrior and his advocacy:

CNN I-Report coverage

GMA Video coverage

GMA news story

Dolphins Love Freedom Facebook page

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dolphins, the Environment and You

Kiddie Toes Montessori School (KTMS) aims to be a “green school”, taking into consideration the environment and the society in all that we do – from our academic curriculum, learning materials, building and school plan, school policies and extra curricular activities.

We know how important it is to provide information relevant for the protection of our environment. That is why this summer, we have invited artists and advocates working to protect the environment.

We have invited Mr Guerrero “AG” SaƱo, 35, a marine mammal expedition photographer for the World Wide Fund for Nature, to do a mural of bottlenose dolphins.

AG is aspiring to paint 23,000 dolphins in different locations all over the country as a personal crusade to raise public awareness on dolphin slaughter. The number represented those killed yearly in Taiji, Wakayama, Japan, according to the US documentary film “The Cove.” He has so far painted 110 walls from as far as the Babuyan Island in the north down to the Tawi-Tawi Island in the south.

Painting dolphins are just the tip of the iceberg, it’s just the beginning and a jump off point to inform the public, particularly the children, about love for animals and the environment. The activity will not only serve as a public awareness on dolphin slaughter and protection, but also protection of the marine species as a whole, and how climate change and disregard for the environment will affect our friends in the ocean.

Isabela is blessed with a 208-km. coastline and is home to beautiful caves, coves, bays and rich marine life. That is why it is important for us to protect and preserve the marine creatures and environment.

On 14 MAY 2011, Sunday, AG, together with KTMS teachers, learners, parents and other volunteers and environment-lovers will paint and color dolphins on the walls of the KMTS fence and buildings.

The activity will be made more festive with the presence of the KTMS family, local artists and musicians and photographers.

What: “Colors and songs for dolphins and the environment”
Where: KTMS school compound, Patul Road, Santiago City
When: 14 May 2011, 9am onwards

Bring your paint brushes!

Bring your guitars, bongos, flutes, songs and dances!

Bring your love for the environment!

Join us in a day of arts, music, volunteerism and love for mother earth.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Four: 4th Moving Up Day

Opening Remarks
4th Moving Up Day
Kiddie Toes Montessori School
29 March, 2011

By: Divine May Flor Mercado- David
School Directress

Year one… One big step forward.

Year two… Soar high, fly high.

Year three… Three’s a charm.

And then… there’s four.

But does anyone in the room know the meaning of the number “four” – F-O-U-R?

Let me give you a few definitions.

Four… is the natural number following 3… and preceding 5.

In religion, Four represents the Noble Truths in Buddhism.

There are Four great elements in the Universe… earth, water, fire and wind.

There are Four stages of enlightenment.

There are Four gospels, according to Christianity.

There are Four Archangels in Islam.

There are Four basic states of matter… solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.

Four. It has different meanings to different people.

But here at KTMS, Four is important for us… because today, marks the 4th year of KTMS’ existence.

Four, for KTMS means stability. Much like a chair or a table, which sits securely and sturdily – with 4 legs to provide stability and permanence.

We have labored, together with you, dear parents, to provide the learners with the best possible educational framework there is. We have developed, improved, and tirelessly kept on enhancing the kind of elevated education, that your kids deserve.

We have not only continued with our quality academic processes, but we have made sure that we provide a secure and stable learning and physical environment for the learners. And so it is with much pride that we would like to inform you that KTMS will have a new home. We are soon moving to an ideal location, complete with all the things and elements that you could hope for and expect in a school of the future. This is the product of countless of hours of planning, brainstorming, conceptualization, fundraising, discussions, monitoring and implementation.

Today, we are moving up… together with our learners… together with their parents and care-takers. We are all moving up to greater heights because we have demonstrated that with our joint hearts and minds, we can make a difference for these young souls.

For you little learners… we congratulate you. And you truly deserve a round of applause… You have shown how it is to be a true and genuine Montessorian.

For you dear parents and care-takers… let us be your children’s foundation for their education. We commit to continuously provide a stable environment for your children’s development. Help us, in building and maintaining a stable quality educational system that only KTMS can give.

We fervently wish that you will choose to still hold hands with KTMS to provide your children with only the best. We request you to continue believing in us… because we will never fail you, and most especially our dear learners. Together, we can definitely help them to shine… towards stardom… towards success.

Thank you. And let’s all shine!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Montessori influenced Google

Watch this video:
Youtube clip of Google and Montessori

... and find out how Montessori education influenced the emergence of Google.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What are Suitable Montessori Toys?

What are Suitable Montessori Toys?

In line with Montessori philosophy here are some suggested toys & gifts for the different age groups and also some developmental considerations.

Many quality toys have age guides to help choose what the appropriate age is, but remember these serve as a guide and always check for small pieces when young children are around. The quality of the toy’s materials is a valid consideration; natural wooden toys will last far longer than plastics, but can prove a challenge to wash. Lillard and Jessen (2003, ‘Montessori from the start’) said “your only purpose is to give a key to your child for discovering his world“.

Toys and materials can act as that key, they aid the child’s understanding of the real world and help them distinguish order and make sense of their environment. This is a true gift to the child.

Montessori Toys for Infants
Birth to 6 months - Babies are interested in exploring the senses of sight sound and touch

6-12 months - Developmentally interested in mobility, crawling, learning to walk, safety important as objects still being mouthed

12 to18 months - Children this age are curious about how things work and still put most things in their mouth. Mobility, coordination and manipulative skills are still developing.

Toys & Gift Suggestions: Birth to 18 months

soft toys
things with bright contrasting colors
rattles (wooden or silver)
mobiles (that catch children’s attention/ reflective)
squeaky toys
music boxes
balls (of various sizes and textures)
knock down toys
bath and pouring toys
simple wooden musical instruments
push or pull toys
spinning top
drop boxes
stacking toys
rings and bases
board books

Montessori Toys for Toddlers
18 to 24 months - Children are learning to control events and organize the world, they have little sense of danger. Mostly, cannot share. They want to imitate you, yet are still becoming independent

2-3 years - More imitation of adult behavior and exploration of the adult world. Enjoy manipulating objects, express their own personality and test everything.

Toys & Gift Suggestions: 18 months to 3 years

posting toys
wooden jigsaws
sandpit toys
hammer and pegs
wooden animals
rocking horse
crayons, colored pens
paints, easel board
simple musical instruments
household objects (real child sized)
moving toys (such as trucks)
large threading beads
bean bags
wheelbarrow or a wagon
interlocking blocks
doll equipment and clothing
large cartons and boxes
play dough
realistic animals (farm or zoo)
child sized cleaning apparatus (mops, brooms, gardening tools)
simple story books

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Montessori in the early childhool years

Please click on this link from the American Montessori Society for a short video clip about Montessori education for the early childhood years.

This is an excerpt from "Nurturing the Love of Learning" produced by the American Montessori Society. It shows how Montessori education nurtures learning for children who are 3-6. It is available from Over 1,000 schools are using this DVD to educate parents.