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Page history last edited by Alexandra Wlodkowski 7 years, 2 months ago

Welcome to Dirigo Montessori School


 Early Childhood classroom at Dirigo Montessori School.


My name is Alexandra Wlodkowski (Sasha) and I am so pleased to have you here.  I have a diverse background working with children of many ages and have taught in both public and private Montessori schools at the kindergarten and elementary levels.  This education portfolio extends to ballet instruction and providing lessons in the Russian language.   My passion, however, is watching the unfolding of the individual within the child during the early years.  Watching my own two sons and daughter develop their own personalities and discover their worlds has been most inspirational.  Having completed a liberal arts degree in 1999 from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, I began working in the education field.  I have attained a Master of Arts in Education from St. Catherine University and have completed an Early Childhood Montessori teaching credential from the Montgomery Montessori Institute.  I live in Ellsworth, Maine with my husband and three children.


Me and my family:  My husband Paul, sons Roman and Leo, and daughter Mila.


About the School


I founded Dirigo Montessori School (DMS) in 2006 to provide families in Ellsworth, Maine and surrounding towns with a quality option for their children’s preschool and Kindergarten needs.  I was determined to establish this school not only for the benefit of our city and its families, but also so that my own children could experience a Montessori educational beginning.  The school encompasses the philosophy and educational approach espoused by Dr. Maria Montessori.  DMS views each child as an individual with a unique background, personality, maturity and intellect.  Moreover, DMS encourages a “whole family” approach to learning and strives to provide opportunities for parents and teachers to work together, share and learn from one another.  We are committed to providing our children the most positive and enriching educational experience.



For your information:


Our school has a total enrollment of 23 children ranging in age from three to six.  The number of children in the classroom on any given day is 18 as not all children attend each day of the week.  One place where parents can find out about general events, activities, and lessons in our classroom is my blog, To the Lesson!  This is one way I try to close the gap between home and school!  Another tool I utilize to facilitate communication with parents is through Montessori Compass - an online record keeping system used in the classroom to track student activity and progress.  This resource enables parents to have a front row seat in their child's individual Montessori experiences and allows for meaningful communication between teachers and parents.  



Did you know...?


  • One of my favorite presentations to give is the Addition Snake Game.  What joy it is to see the child's excitement when the colored beads which form the shape of a snake mysteriously become golden!  Children who are ready for this lesson have worked very hard through the Montessori Math activities and are delighted to practice their skills and form new understandings of combinations of numbers.  I love the expression on a child's face when they discover that the numbers associated with their golden snake are identical the those of the colored beads.   This lesson is just as exciting for the child completing it as it is for those who gather to watch!


  • One of my favorite moments in the classroom:


The lesson I am presenting consists of a laminated color wheel, jars of water in primary colors with droppers, white paper towels, a pencil, a toothpick, and a sponge.  I slowly set the items in order in front of the children as they curiously watch.   I show them how to write their names lightly with the pencil so as not to tear the paper towel.  “What do we do with that?” I hear one say as I put the towel to the side for later. Another child remarks, “It’s a color mixing work!”  With     quiet drama, I meticulously transfer colored water droplets with the droppers onto corresponding colored dots on the  color wheel.  The children are now silent.  They watch with awe.  I take the toothpick and demonstrate how to mix the drops of water – new colors appear.  The silence deepens.  I am careful to wipe the toothpick on the sponge between each color mix.  Slowly, slowly, I retrieve the white paper towel with my name written lightly on the bottom edge.  Carefully and with precision, I place the paper towel on top of the color wheel now filled with vibrant sections of colored water.  Before our very eyes, the brilliant colors of the color wheel appear on the paper towel, as if by magic.  The children let out a  collective gasp, followed by a few seconds of stillness.  They can no longer contain their amazement and spontaneous applause fills the room.  


  • Looking back at my own educational experiences, one teacher stands out as most memorable and inspiring.  Her name was Mrs. Sierzant and she was my fifth grade teacher at Ravensworth Elementary School.  She was always smiling, cared about her students, and encouraged us to always try our hardest.  Mrs. Sierzant was incredibly organized and had a vision for each of her students.  While she maintained this structure, she always made sure to honor our interests and made time for us to pursue endeavors which were personally meaningful.  Knowing that I studied and loved ballet, she encouraged me write a report and complete a lecture-demonstration for the class.  The ever-encouraging teacher that she was, she invited me to deliver my demonstration to the other fifth grade classes.  In doing so, Mrs. Sierzant impressed upon me the importance of not only following through with one's passion in life, but also sharing it with others.   





Classroom Environment

Montessori Ground Rules

Classroom Rules and Procedures

Grace and Courtesy

Student Work

Montessori 101

Parent Resource






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