TMA is the first Montessori school in Indian Land, SC, conveniently located near S.C. Highways 160 and 521. TMA is not a franchise but is owned and operated by Fort Mill mothers who are educated, experienced teachers and businesswomen who want to provide a premium and academically rich, hands on learning experience for their children. TMA is an ideal choice for families in Indian Land, Fort Mill, Ballantyne and South Charlotte who seek a premium educational experience for their child. We will serve students from six weeks to five years old, including private kindergarten. Our experienced, loving, and highly competent staff and teachers will offer Montessori, Balanced Literacy and Christian education in all of our classrooms.
What is Montessori?
The Montessori Method is a child centered approach to education developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, over 100 years ago. The five core components of Montessori education include:
Trained Montessori Teachers
Multi-Age classrooms– facilitate leadership development among older students and allow younger students to experience new challenges through observation.
Montessori materials – specifically designed materials that provide a hands-on approach to learning.
Child-directed work – students self-select work, leading to intrinsic motivation and sustained attention.
Uninterrupted work periods – students work at their own pace during the work cycle and have freedom of choice and movement.
The Montessori Method provides a foundation that helps young learners grow into adults who are self-motivated and love learning, think flexibly and creatively, are conscious of the needs of others, and actively foster harmony as they go through life. The Montessori environment offers intentional lessons in social grace and courtesy—modeling appropriate, respectful manners that are demonstrated by teachers and practiced in small groups.
Adapted from "Montessori Resources for Schools, Teachers, Families and Parents: American Montessori Society." American Montessori Society, https://amshq.org/.
What is Balanced Literacy?
A Balanced Literacy classroom promotes a literacy-rich environment where students are able to take risks, become curious, use their imaginations, work hands-on and gain confidence as readers and writers. Teachers are encouraged to use a variety of hands-on materials and diverse teaching strategies since no one method works for all students. Our students’ accomplishments are celebrated as they form a community of young readers and writers. A Balanced Literacy classroom encompasses both the Reading and Writing Workshops.
The Reading Workshop
Read Alouds- Reading aloud to children is the best way we know how to teach children to appreciate books and to eventually develop a love for reading. During Read Alouds, the teacher incorporates variations in pitch, tone, pace, volume, pauses, questions and comments to produce a fluent and enjoyable delivery. The way the teacher models during a read aloud teaches children what to do when they are ready to read independently.
Shared Reading- Shared Reading is an instructional approach in which the teacher models the strategies and skills of a “good reader”, including fluency and expression. Students join in or share the reading of a big book or poem while having guidance and support from the teacher.
Guided Reading- During guided reading, teachers work with small groups of students to help them read a text that requires support. Students are encouraged to use the strategies and skills they learned during read-alouds and shared reading to increase their comprehension and fluency. Guided reading is practiced in our TK/K classrooms.
Independent Reading- During independent reading, students have the opportunity to practice and apply strategies already learned by reading books that are “just right” for them.
The Writing Workshop
Shared Writing- During this time, the teacher models what a “good writer” does. The teacher and students work together to compose a text and the teacher acts as a scribe modeling convention of print, writing strategies, letter-sound correlation, and communication skills.
Interactive Writing- The teacher and students compose and write a text together that is later available as reading material for the class to read. The teacher “shares the pen” with the students in order to complete the text.
Independent Writing and Drawing- Students write or draw independently and learn how to generate, develop, and organize text. “Bookmaking” in our primary focus in the TK/K classrooms. Students are able to share their published work during our author celebrations.
Word work is incorporated into all areas of Balanced Literacy. The teacher works with small groups of students to focus on sight words, letter formation and sounds.
How do we incorporate Christian Values?
We believe it is important to develop the whole child during his or her time at TMA, including mentally, socially, emotionally and spiritually. By sharing God’s truth and love with our students, we hope to inspire them to be the very best person they can be. Our teachers and staff strive to honor God in our words and actions with students and families, and we expect students to act with kindness, respect and truthfulness toward peers, teachers, and staff. We believe that these values will allow students to succeed at TMA as well as in their lives outside of the classroom.
Additionally, our teachers do a daily devotion with their students, using the book God and Me, by Penny Boshoff. This book uses familiar situations and everyday experiences to encourage students to think about Christian values and how God wants them to live in His world. Participation in devotion is optional, and should you not wish for your child to participate, we will provide an alternate activity for him or her during this time.
(Literacy Beginnings, Fountas & Pinnell, 2018)