In the Primary classroom, we evaluate each individual student readiness to determine the lesson plan that the teacher needs to create for each child. This is because in our classrooms, the teacher monitors each student and the lesson plan progresses based on the mastery level for each child. We have a warm and welcoming environment with teachers who are ready to provide guidance and support, but our students are also widely encouraged to be the leader of their education, even at a young age.
Practical life activities help give the child a sense of being and belonging, established through participation in daily life with us. Through practical life the child learns about his culture and all about what it is to be human. Practical Life exercises help children to become self-confident, independent and prepare them for other aspects of learning. The activities revolve around fine Motor Development, Care of Self, Care of Environment, Grace and Courtesy.
The purpose of the Sensorial activities is to help the child in his efforts to sort out the many varied impressions given by the senses. These materials also help prepare him to be a logical, aware, and perceptive person. After experiencing Sensorial activities, the child’s sense perceptions will appear inherently structured and capable of comprehending abstract concepts. These materials are specifically designed to help the child develop discrimination, order, and to broaden and refine the senses.
Mathematical concepts in our classrooms begins concretely and progresses towards the abstract. This approach allows the students to internalize math skills by using concrete materials and progressing at their own pace toward abstract concepts. Our Students understand and develop a solid foundation in mathematics. Later, as they master the concrete we move them to the abstract, where the child begins to solve problems with paper and pencil while still working with the materials. The child using these materials experiences order, coordination, concentration, and independence. We provide the child with the materials at precisely the right challenge level which will enable the child to demonstrate his development to the teacher through his progress.
Our classroom emphasizes spoken language as the foundation for all linguistic expression. Throughout the entire Montessori environment, the child hears and uses precise vocabulary for all the activities. The child is encouraged to converse with peers and staff. Reading is taught phonetically as the child is ready. The concrete materials, from the sandpaper letters to the beginning of sentence analysis, allow the child to take small, logical, sequential steps to independent, fluent reading. Language work leads into cultural subjects, extending the child’s vocabulary and working with the child’s fascination of his/ her environment.
The Montessori science curriculum seeks to cultivate children’s natural curiosity and to allow them to discover the answers to their “why” questions. As with the other areas of the curriculum, science study concentrates on process, in this case, the scientific process of question, hypothesis, procedure, observation, data analysis and conclusion. The use of this process paves the way for children to think about something that is easily translatable outside the science arena. It teaches them to think before deciding, to use a logical method of discovery or testing and to use data to evaluate results and arrive at a thoughtful conclusion. Finally, the Montessori curriculum aims to fill a child with wonder at the complexity and grandeur of the universe, the simplicity of physical laws and the miracle of life in all of its forms. It encourages respect for the world that we have been given and an understanding of our place in the natural order of things. The ultimate goal is the development of an ecological view of life and a feeling of responsibility for the earth.
Through sensory experience and the use of imaginative stories, children in the Montessori 3-6 environment learn about their physical world. They can touch a sphere and compare the shape to the globe. They build landforms using play dough and fill water forms with water. Montessori puzzle maps are meant to be taken apart and put back together again as children develop an understanding of continents and oceans.
These Montessori hands-on activities build long-term memory by physically engaging the hand. Discoveries are made about the people who live on different continents. Montessori students learn about food, music, clothing, traditions, holidays, customs, housing, as well as the plants and animals of the region as they compare their lifestyles to others. They learn about the flags of the world and reverently carry them as they “walk the line” in the Montessori prepared environment. They learn to appreciate the wonder found in the similarities and differences found around the world.
Our Primary Art Curriculum builds on the foundation provided in the Practical Life curriculum. Our students display a reasonable control of movement, fine motor skills and eye/hand coordination, having been encouraged to express themselves in artistic ways. Elementary Art instruction seeks to strike a balance between skill instruction and free exploration and to encourage a child’s natural desire for self-expression.
It also seeks to build a child’s art vocabulary; awareness of artists and their techniques and knowledge of the various forms of art expression, from architecture to painting to sculpture to computer graphics. Through artistic adventures children also become aware of and develop a respect for the contributions of the arts and artists to societies and cultures, past and present. They gain a lasting appreciation of art from the dual vantage points of participant and audience.
The purpose of our music curriculum is to develop the children’s nonverbal effective communication, to increase their understanding and enjoyment of music within our culture, and to enhance their ability to express themselves through music.