I recently visited Miniapple International Montessori which has three locations near Minneapolis, Minnesota. I observed in classrooms and met the staff and students. I had a wonderful experience learning about the school. Miniapple is an International peace site for teaching children to give back, help others, and recognize the importance of a peaceful world. They offer world languages, and world music is included in the program. They also offer yoga during the school year and soccer in the summer.
Miniapple International Montessori Visit
There were quite a few special art pieces hanging on the wall which I found lovely and inspirational, such as this one that says, “Grow with Peace and Love.”
The school has the largest pink tower I have ever seen. My photo does not do it justice but I hope this will give you the idea of how tall it is. A monument to pink towers! All three schools have one of these to display, handmade by a parent. The school has lamps offering lighting to help set a peaceful mood. Here you can see a lovely community art project. The mosaic tree was created with the help of a staff person, the roots by the owners, the trunk was worked on by staff, the branches were completed by parents, and the leaves were added by the children. There are apples by alumni representing the 3 Miniapple Locations.
Even the message center is attractively composed with lighting and seasonal objects which help the children learn about seasons of the year, while informing adults about the calendar and activities. I was so interested in the spiral peace path where children work towards becoming world citizens. This was also an inspiration to me.
The parents can wait in a lovely area, as well. Beauty and peace are evident throughout the school. A special area for eating is converted to a discovery area for project and learning. It currently has a beach theme with educational and thoughtful displays. I’m sure the aquarium is a popular area!
Dr. Montessori’s Influence
Dr. Montessori’s influence is everywhere. This school had every educational material for a prepared environment. The indoor playground was excellent. Children need space to play on rainy and cold days, and they even have bikes for children to be able to get exercise inside during such weather.
Sandpaper letters, phonics, the different levels of reading, and resources for practicing writing were all being used the day I visited. The Montessori method has many pre-writing activities such as metal inset trays. There are so many hand muscles to develop prior to writing. I was pleased to be able to see some of these materials in use.
A four and five year old were doing this work with pictures of state flags and a book.
The maps, flags, and culture materials had special areas and beautiful displays. Sensorial materials were also in use. Children were working quietly and independently. The children worked so well with the math manipulatives. Care was taken to set up the work, do the work, and then put the work back on shelves.
I was so happy to be able to see the binomial and trinomial cube work. I think those are so special. There were trays prepared throughout the school on shelves. Some of these were used by the children. Even the youngest learners had appropriate work for success and the intrinsic reward of being able to accomplish a task. One child offered to show me the peace table and explain what to do. I didn’t realize one person could use it to calm down as before I thought it was for working out differences. I loved learning from the children. Science and care of plants are part of the curriculum. Children bring plants from home and then care for them at school giving them water and so on. Additionally, French and music are both taught twice a week.
For The Teachers
At the end of a long day, there is a lovely room for teachers to relax in that is also beautiful and peaceful. It was so light my photo isn’t that nice but you can get the idea. I had a delightful visit to the school. I would like to thank the Miniapple International Montessori for allowing me to visit.
Thank you for reading, Carolyn