Ages 2 1/2 - 5
In these classes, the children build on the levels of task orientation, impulse control, and self-sufficiency through hands-on learning. Each child differs and progresses in areas according to individual capabilities and maturity levels. The teacher, keeping in mind curriculum requirements, evaluates the needs and helps guide the children into appropriate learning activities. The following are some of the materials and techniques we use to promote learning.
Practical Life Activities
Some practical life activities available in the classroom include water work, pouring from one cup to the other, baby washing, dishwashing, hand washing, table washing, sink and float, spooning, scooping, sweeping, bread cutting, fruit cutting, and spreading and orange squeezing. The object of these activities is to make use of the child's voluntary muscles with objects he/she encounters in everyday life. Many practical life activities are functions, which the child needs to master in order to live comfortably in the adult world.
Sensory materials help the child in abstractions and in the development of the senses. For example, these materials help to develop visual discrimination of size, shape, and hand-eye coordination. In addition, they help to strengthen writing fingers, muscular coordination and visual discrimination. Some of these activities are knobbed cylinders, threading beads, shapes, color tablets, sorting, matching objects, mixing colors, coloring, feeling different objects, smelling jars and sound boxes.
Language is developed through pictures, reading stories, memory building, matching/pairing, songs, pre-reading skills, vocabulary building, rhyming pictures/words, sequence, opposites and spatial relationships, listening to stories and discussing them, and tracing. Other language activities include reading skills, names and sounds of letters, putting sounds together to form words (short vowel, blends, long vowel, and diagraphs), use of the moveable alphabet to form words of increasing complexity, putting words together to form sentences, phonetic rules, readers and workbook pages, sight words, writing skills, dictating stories, tracing and writing letters(upper case and lower case), and tracing and writing words and sentences(reading program, stories, journals, and letters).
Through materials and exercises, the child learns that the symbol and the quantity are related. They develop an understanding of the relationship between the concrete material and the abstract figure. Mathematical activities include 1-10(symbol and quantity) number recognition, number tracing, and counting, 1-10(symbol and quantity) teens, 1-100 skip counting by fives, sums, and differences to 10 and 20, missing addend, place value(1's, 10's, 100's, 1000's), simple addition and subtraction, simple estimating, concrete introduction to multiplication and division, measuring, fractions, time, money, calendar, and word problems.
Movement to music, jumping, skipping, catching and throwing balls, games of skill and teamwork, and drama. Jump rope skill tumbling, and soccer skills are included in our physical education program.
Citizenship and inter-personal skills
These areas are developed through class discussions for cooperative problem-solving, value stories, classroom chores, courtesy, and manners. We help a child develop a joy of learning through the child's emerging respect for themselves, others, and their environment.
These provide an overall framework for the study of life in our environment. Cultural topics include Geology(volcanoes, rocks), Ecology(conservation, preservation, awareness), Botany(experiences with plants, caring for our environment and how seeds grow), Zoology(experience with farm animals and pets, the study of the human body, health and nutrition, sea life, and insects and spiders), Astronomy(universe, stars, planets, day/night, seasons), and Geography/History(earth-globe and maps, land/water forms, continents).
Songs, listening, body movement, and introduction to composers(Mozart, Bach, Chopin, etc.) are a part of our curriculum. Rhythm and keeping the beat are a critical component of a child's learning. Rhythm sticks, tambourines, clapping, and slapping are used to develop the child's sense of rhythm and keeping the beat. Music sessions often include dancing and experimenting with musical instruments.
Paper art, drawing, holiday projects, open art, watercolor painting, sewing, cutting and gluing, and clay modeling are activities that are available on an individual basis and in connection with special projects. Famous artists and their works are also introduced.
4 1/2 - 6 years
In this class the children begin to make a gradual passage from the concrete hands-on learning to a degree of pencil and paper abstraction. Material in this class extends through second grade level. The curriculum which includes language, reading, creative writing, handwriting, mathematics, practical life skills, cultural geography and history, science, art, physical education, music and Spanish continues to be enhanced through hands on materials.
6 - 8 years
The goal of the montessori elementary curriculum is to educate the child for life. The skills in mathematics, language, arts and crafts, physical education and music are integrated with the cultural subjects.
The elementary-aged child is moving from an understanding of the physical world to an understanding of abstract concepts. Montessori provides diverse and creative passages to abstraction.
Reading, creative writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence analysis and cursive writing.
Arts & Sciences
Anthropology, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, History, Philosophy, Physics, Political science and Zoology.
Three dimensional, manipulative math materials, provide a concrete way to experience an abstract concept.
Spanish, music, art, drama, fitness, conflict resolution and time management.