Our Montessori classroom provides a prepared learning environment to help to create self-disciplined and self-motivated children that are empowered by opportunities for independence, mixed-age learning, and the desire to pursue knowledge. The classroom provides freedom within limits of an environment which develops a sense of order and self-discipline.
Primary classes are specially prepared learning environments for children between the ages of 3 and 6 years. The didactic materials, curriculum and instruction are carefully divided into the following areas.
A series of prepared exercises focus on the child’s large and fine motor development, and directly impact control and coordination, physical independence, concentration, order, and generosity of heart.
Practical Life activities are divided into care of person, care of environment, control and coordination, and grace and courtesy.
A child’s five senses is critical for the development of his/her perceptual acuity, intelligence, and mental framework for abstract/logical thinking. Sensorial exercises and didactic materials are based on the Aristotelian principle of “What is in the mind was first in the senses” and are divided into the following categories: visual (colors, shapes, solids, and dimensions); auditory (sounds and tones); tactile and baric (textures and weight); gustatory (taste); olfactory (smells, aromas, fragrances), and stereognostic (visual activities blindfolded).
The Primary child is particularly interested in language and expanding his/her expressive vocabulary. The sense of touch is acute, making exercises that introduce the child to writing, reading and spelling, such as “sandpaper letters” and “the movable alphabet,” profoundly interesting. Music and Spanish are also critical supplements to the language curriculum.
With a good foundation in the sensorial area, the child quickly and thoroughly grasps the concepts of quantities and numerals, as well as simple mathematical operations with concrete materials that make abstractions very clear. Areas of mathematical work include counting quantities and numerals from 1-100, the decimal system and related operations, memorization of arithmetic facts, and square and cubes of whole numbers.
Science & Geography
Geography and history lessons present to the child a personal sense of time as well as placement in the family, school, community, state, country, world, and universe.
Life sciences include the study of the five vertebrates as well as plants, flowers, and leaves. Simple science experiments introduce the children to concepts of water, gravity, light, and magnetism.
Skills and techniques of art are introduced to the child in the Practical Life exercises. In this area, many exercises, such as cutting paper with scissors, mixing colors to make a color wheel, and using pastels, water colors, tempera paints, and markers for self-expression are always available to the child. Teachers are also active in giving lessons in shading, outlining, and coloring – necessary skills for projects that are either content oriented or spontaneous.