Welcome to the Monarch Class

3 to 5 years – to honor the rapid growth and development of these ages, The intention is to nurture the sense of wonder, trust, and determination these children hold dear.

“As a teacher in a Reggio Inspired classroom I believe that children are capable of constructing and guiding their own learning. The Reggio philosophy tells us that classrooms should be beautiful and designed to encourage independence, exploration, and collaboration. In the Monarch Room we honor the transformations, determination, and capabilities true to the preschool age child.  We have consistent daily and weekly rhythms and our schedule is always flexible to allow us to respond to the needs of the children.”

  – Mariah Miller
Morning Meeting
This is our first whole group gathering of the day. We sing, dance, discuss the day, and read our class promise. We might have a book to share or a game to play. This first gathering helps to set the tone of the day and gives us a chance to connect as a community before the day gets into full swing.

Snack Time and Lunch
Both of these experiences offer opportunities for connection, chatting and making plans. The children quickly learn how to serve themselves the snacks they bring from home and to tidy up when they are done.  Lunch time gives us a chance to connect with each other and reflect on our day.

Wiggle Time and Recess
Young children need to engage their large muscles and really move their bodies. We often share recess with the Forest Room. This gives us a chance for active play and to spend time with friends in other rooms.  We are outside as much as we can be all year long.

Shelf Time
Shelf Time is the heart of the Monarch Room. During this time the children choose their work and play and move at their own pace. There are choices for independent and partnered work, pretend play, and work that focuses on fine motor, literacy, numeracy skills, and an art project. The most important quality of Shelf Time is that the children have time to engage in deep and meaningful work and play.  It is through play that children learn that others have perspectives, rights, and feelings that may conflict with their own as they collaborate and negotiate through shared experiences.  Playing with others is how children learn reciprocity, mutual respect, resilience and perseverance.

Pre K at GCS is rich with many experiences.  We strive to nurture the innate sense of wonder in each child. Each year we explore many topics through making, doing, creating, and sharing ideas.  We will ask a lot of questions, make predictions, observations, and connections.  We will take a lot of time to ponder, explore, and experiment.  Our hope is to cultivate a lifelong passion for investigation and learning.

“Ultimately, what matters most is how you honor and respect the child in the educational process.” - Sally Haughey

Latest Events in Monarch


Febuary Monarch News

February 2, 2020 3:00 PM

February will be a busy month.


Monarch January News

January 2, 2020 5:00 PM

The year ended with such joy! I'm excited to be back in class.


Monarch News

December 4, 2019 12:04 PM

The Monarch children are very excited about all things December!

Meet the teachers

Mariah Miller
Lead Teacher

Brooke Kelley

Mariah Miller
Lead teacher – Monarch Room

B.A. Early Childhood Education - Guildford College
‍I’m one of those teachers who always knew she would be a teacher. As it would happen, I didn’t start college until relatively late in life and graduated in 1992. Fall of 1992 I moved, with my 3 children, to WV to work at The Greenbrier Preschool. I didn’t plan on teaching prek, but I knew I had found my calling. At the Greenbrier Preschool we served children with and without disabilities and delays. I found this work inspiring and very satisfying. After a whirlwind courtship, Scott and I married in 1993, combined his son with my children, and went on to have two more to create our beautiful family of 6 children. After homeschooling for many years, I returned to teaching at The New Greenbrier Preschool in 2005 and came to my beloved Greenbrier Community School in 2009. After teaching for 30 years, I still love the magic, spontaneity, and joy that young children bring to their classrooms. They never stop amazing me!
I take guidance and inspiration from the Reggio-Emilia approach which tells me that children are capable of constructing their own learning. This approach describes teachers as collaborators, there to guide and support the children as they act on their own questions and wonderings. Reggio-Emilia describes the classroom as the ‘third teacher”. With a carefully designed classroom and thoughtful presentation of materials, the children generate a steady hum of work, ideas being realized, of creating and doing. There is always time to ponder information and ideas and to respond through play, making and doing and asking questions to further understanding.

In the Monarch Room we honor all aspect of each child – social, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and physical. We provide time, room and work that allows children to investigate their world though all parts of themselves. The Reggio Emilia approach tells us that relationships are at the heart of all learning. With this in mind, we spend the first several weeks of school focused on the work of building our monarch community and establishing trusting relationships. We do this through our respectful and consistent interactions and our willingness to listen and respond. The first days are designed to allow for lots of time for playing together, reading together, singing and dancing together. We establish the rhythms of our days and clarity about expectations for how we’ll treat each other and we offer many opportunities for collaboration.

Children need to first be respected and accepted, then they come eagerly to learning.

Creating the Culture
of the Classroom

Over the first six weeks, the primary focus of all GCS classrooms is to set up the structures and behavioral atmosphere needed to create the ideal learning environment for all students. Students co-create this environment so that they feel safe to voice their concerns and needs, clear in their understanding of behavioral and academic expectations and inspired to learn and grow as a valued member of a real community. Click on the links below on the right for details.

Click on links below for details

Daily agenda Introduced
Every classroom has a daily agenda and the day begins and ends with a morning circle to discuss the the goals for the day and what may have been missed at the end of the day so students are aware of what adjustments will be made for the agenda on the following day.
Classroom Structure Development
Students make lists of what will make the class work smoothly. Procedures are set for how students operate in the classrooms, how they transition from activities, how materials are used and put away, and how they will take responsibility in the classroom for their behavior for their needs.
Social Behavioral Constructs
Procedures for how teachers respond to breakdowns with students, and how peers respond to each other if there is a conflict are developed. Teachers model behavioral responses for students to emulate, which helps to set the tone for a harmonious classroom environment.
Building Trusting Community
Teachers connect with students on a human level to create relationships as caring community members not authoritarian teacher/student roles. Strategies such as being at the door in the morning, saying good morning, showing empathy with separation from parents or emotional concerns of students may have.
Class Promise
A behavioral contract for the rules that govern the class is co-created by students and facilitated by the teacher. All students sign or add hand prints to validate the contract. The contract may get read daily and students are reminded that failure is ok and the class promise is in place for students to realign with if a breakdown occurs. Teachers post the promise in a visibly prominent place in the classroom for students to refer to often.