The Montessori Curriculum is an integrated thematic approach that ties together separate disciplines into studies of the physical universe, the world of nature, and the human experience. In this way, one lesson leads to many others.


Learning materials in the classroom have been specially designed, by isolating one concept or skill, to naturally draw children to explore and work with them. Each material has also been designed so a child can check his own work—what Montessori calls “control of error.”


These learning experiences lead to independence, and the materials let children see abstract ideas presented in concrete, three-dimensional ways. They also help them grasp and understand what they are working on, and allow each child to work at their own pace.

The curriculum is divided into four areas: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, and Cultural subjects. The curriculum is always evolving and growing alongside the children.



Our curriculum is divided into four areas


Practical Life

The Practical Life area gives children a chance to gain independence by learning to control the coordination of their large and small motor movements. Practical Life also helps children to adapt to their society by teaching them to move gracefully and to be courteous.



The Sensorial area allows children to acquire information by using their senses. The activities give them a chance to refine all five senses—smell, touch, hearing, sight, and taste. In addition, children learn to classify objects in their environment and learn the language that goes with this activity, such as short / tall, narrow / wide, small / big, etc. The Sensorial area also prepares children for mathematics.



The Language area consists of materials used for reading, writing, and math. Montessori reading and writing materials are specially designed to teach not only reading and writing, but also comprehension of what the child reads.

The math materials introduce abstract concepts, and give a sequential understanding through hands-on concrete exercises that allow a child to understand mathematical concepts. This provides the child the opportunity to become comfortable and competent in the language of numbers.


Cultural Subjects

The Cultural area gives children a chance to explore geography, general science, botany, zoology, music, and art. Dr. Montessori felt that knowing and understanding these subjects was what made a person “cultured.” The Cultural area is unique to the Montessori curriculum; it distinguishes Montessori schools from all other preschools. The Cultural area also prepares children for reading.


Copyright 2016 by Amanda Riccetti




Daily Schedule

We open at 7:00 am with a spacious playroom that offers children an opportunity for open-ended activities such as thematic and dramatic play. At 8:30 am, weather permitting, the children are invited to go outside and enjoy a beautiful play area.

From 9:00 am to 3:00 pm the children have their core Montessori classroom time (which includes snack times, bathroom times, nap time, lunch time and recess / play outside). From 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm the children transition into enriched after school programs.

After School

Our before school and after school programs follow the same principles as the Montessori classroom: respect for each other, respect for one’s self, and respect for the environment.

The after school program offers age-appropriate activities for all children. After school care is an opportunity for open-ended activities such as thematic and dramatic play, and more time to enjoy the outdoors. The program also offers specialized enrichment classes including Spanish, Music, Art, Sports, Yoga and Fitness. All of these classes are available to each of our students and is included in the tuition. The after school program starts at 3 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. Healthy snacks are also provided.

On-Site Field Trips

Instead of children going to the zoo, Big City Montessori School brings the zoo to the school. We have on-site field trips from January through November, which are wonderful learning, enriching, as well as fun experiences for the children.

The following are examples of some of our visitors:

  • The Lizard Lady

  • Insect Discovery Lab

  • SF ZooMobile

  • Sean Powers Shadow Puppets

  • Tim from the San Francisco Beekeeper’s Association

  • Storyteller, Muriel Johnson