Unlock your child’s potential at Cole Valley Montessori

enrollment now open for our founding class

Primary Program at a Glance

  • School hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with extended day option program 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

  • 30 children in the Primary Classroom (2.5 to 6 years old)

  • Snacks provided | Lunch not provided

Cole Valley Montessori Primary Program

The  Primary Program is authentic Montessori education, focused on the whole child—mind, body, and spirit.   

The Primary Curriculum is designed to introduce topics at the ideal time, when your child’s interest is at its peak. Our teachers curate a rich learning environment, where each child’s need for purposeful work, concentration, independence, movement, language development, order, and security can be met.

Primary Curriculum


Practical Life Exercises

Children learn to care for themselves and their environment, and to interact with others with grace and courtesy, setting the foundation for the child to function within the community. These exercises include arranging flowers, washing a table, slicing vegetables, dusting , sweeping, and sewing—activities children love.

These exercises help children develop and strengthen their attention spans, leading to complete engrossment in their chosen activities. They are refining their ability for deep focus and concentration, needed for later study, and building joy, satisfaction, and self-worth in the present.


Sensorial Exercises

Young children learn by immersing their five senses. They want to touch, taste, smell, see, and hear it all.

The purpose of Sensorial Exercises and materials is to help the child classify, categorize, and catalog their sensory perceptions. Children compare and sort by color, smell, texture, sound, and shape, which refines their sensory perceptions and teaches key observation skills. Many of the materials also prepare the child for future mathematics.


For many young children, mathematics is often their favorite subject. They haven’t yet been socially conditioned to accept barriers to mathematics, such as “math is hard.” Children learn mathematics with sequential materials.

Children begin by using concrete materials, such as counters. As they progress, materials get more abstract, for example, quantities being represented by tiles. Eventually, children are performing the operations in their head (with just the use of paper).



Children learn through verbal language: storytelling, poetry, songs; engaging in deliberate conversation; phonetic objects to learn words. The child learns individual sounds of the English language by playing sound games. Children then begin to connect phonetic sounds to the letters (ABC’s). Learning the phonetic sounds of each letter best prepares them for reading and writing.

Children begin expressing their own ideas through writing stories with the moveable alphabet, progressing to writing by hand with a pencil. After children have been writing for a while, and practicing sounding out the words they are writing, they discover that they can read.


Art is a powerful form of self-expression and serves as a vehicle for mindfulness and processing a child’s emotions and experiences. Students learn to take joy in the process of creating art, versus focusing on the product.

Children are introduced to a variety of mediums, such as colored pencils, watercolor, clay, and collage. Children will build their observation skills through still life drawing and self portraits. While students create art, teachers never give rigid parameters for projects. This creative freedom encourages their innate creativity and imaginativeness.


Benefits of Montessori Primary Program

Your child will experience benefits including:

  • Independence and self-responsibility: Children exercise their power of choice by selecting their work for the day, and choosing to work alone, or with others.

  • Love of learning and curiosity: By allowing children to work on what they naturally gravitate toward, encouraging their curiosity, and catering the curriculum to the individual, children enjoy learning and develop a lifelong love of learning.  

  • Increased focus and concentration: Children are granted the freedom to work in-depth on a material of interest, rather than being interrupted by constant subject/attention changes during the day. This time for focused work builds their concentration skills.

  • Self-confidence and problem solving skills: Children are encouraged to ask questions and find solutions, as well as to amicably settle conflicts with classmates on their own. This not only builds their problem solving skills, it increases their sense of competence and confidence.  

  • Advancement in academic areas of mathematics, language, practical life, sensorial refinement, artistic expression, and cultural studies. Children who attend Montessori Primary are well-prepared, and often ahead of their classmates, when they enter a traditional elementary school.

The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. For that is the time when a person’s intelligence itself, their greatest implement, is being formed.
— Dr. Maria Montessori