My name is Katie Kabat, and I am the E1 teacher at La Crescent Montessori and STEM School. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. After college I traveled for five years before starting my family. My journey into loving teaching began with my own children. I have four children at home ranging from the ages of five to fourteen. When they became school age we started our homeschooling adventure. We had five beautiful years at home learning together. During that time, I came to realize that at the core of my teaching and curriculum was the Montessori philosophy and finding a Montessori school was the next logical step in my children’s education.
We discovered a local Montessori school where my children are enrolled and thriving. As time passed and my involvement in the school grew, I felt a calling to “do more.” I decided to take the leap into becoming part of the teaching staff when the opportunity arose. My first year, I had the privilege of working in the E1 classroom as a paraprofessional. The following year I used these skills as the Interventionist at the school. In 2020, I accepted the E1 lead guide position, despite the tumultuous year of Covid-19. I found peace in creating a safe community for the children to grow within the difficult times. Finding the Montessori philosophy was like coming home. It confirmed how I live, parent, and teach, because it is more than something I teach in the classroom, it is a way of life.
About Elementary 1 (E1)
E1 is a multi-age classroom consisting of first, second, and third graders. In E1, the students experience a wide range of lessons, from how to become independent learners to adding, multiplying, subtracting, and dividing—in the millions!
Having the students in the same classroom for three consecutive years helps form a bond that is difficult to find in other schools; each student is viewed as an individual in the classroom. Throughout the day, students receive small group lessons in our classroom curriculum. Simultaneously, other students self-identify and choose other materials to explore and master. This not only solidifies the classroom bond, but it also grows our students’ autonomy and promotes their investment in education.
Courses taught in the E1 classroom include:
- culture, which consists of a variety of sciences, history, the cosmic curriculum, and social studies
True to Montessori, our E1 classroom sets the stage and builds the foundation for our continued E2 and AP classrooms. We invite you to come by and visit E1 and experience Montessori firsthand.
Typical Day in Elementary 1
Click on the times below to learn more about what happens during that period of time.
Students are welcomed into the classroom by their classroom teachers or peers, often with handshakes or fist bumps. Students put their clothes and shoes away, slip into their inside shoes and prepare for the day.
Students come into the classroom and immediately pick out a work to begin their day with. Teachers and assistants are available to help guide children in the decision making process if necessary. During this Great Work Period, the teacher invites students to the rug for private or small group lessons. After the lesson, students are able to work on this new concept as another work until they have mastered it. Once a lesson is mastered, teachers are able to provide extensions to the original lesson, or provide a new lesson. Shortly before lunch, the class comes together for a morning meeting. This is a time when the class can discuss the schedule, planned activities, special requests, or work through dilemmas in a safe environment.
Shortly before 11 a.m., students begin to prepare for lunch: cleaning up their work area, washing their hands, and preparing their lunches. Lunch is held in the Community Room with Children’s House, E1, and E2 students. AP students remain in their community space upstairs for lunch. Staff are on hand in both locations to help students as needed. The lunch hour is a wonderful opportunity for students to work on their practical life skills, like preparing food, cleaning up spills, washing dishes, and sweeping up debris. After lunch, students participate in recess, located in either the front or back of the school. During sunny weather days, the students will sometimes travel to Abnet Field for extra space.
Students return from recess and begin reading, either on their own, or as a group. The afternoons are often spent on special, larger group activities, such as Art, Health, PE, or music. Lessons that were unable to be given in the morning can also happen at this time.
Students prepare for their transportation home. They pick up their work space, put away materials, and help organize the room. Most students have “jobs” to complete, such as feeding the class pet, sweeping, dusting, taking out the recyclables, or wiping tables off. It is important for students to take part in making their environment a welcoming space. Students are released from class into the care of the bus company or a parent or guardian. We look forward to seeing the students tomorrow!
Note: On Wednesdays, we have early release and the school day ends at 2:15 p.m.
LMSS is a public charter school providing tuition-free education for grades K-12 school children. We welcome Wisconsin residents! If this is your family, please call our office for the current tuition rate.
Hours M–F: 8 a.m.–3 p.m. (there is early release at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesdays)
LMSS provides a full range of world class experiences. We encourage our families to remain enrolled throughout the breadth of each mixed-grade classroom.