Warm, caring teachers guide the children
in a program that is geared towards the individual child's developmental
stage, using Montessori materials and principals. The classroom is
set up with different areas including practical life, sensorial,
beginning math and language, as well as blocks, puzzles and library
areas. The emphasis is on developing language skills and interpersonal
relationships. The children learn to respect the rights of others,
to choose their own work and be responsible for returning it to the
shelf. They participate in small group activities and become independent.
Indoor and outdoor activities are designed to improve large and small
There are three classes for 3-5 year old preprimary children, they
are staffed by certified Montessori teachers. The children spend
time with equipment that helps to develop concentration, coordination
and working habits necessary for the more advanced exercises they
will perform at age five. The entire program of learning is purposely
structured. Children move from work with shapes to letters and numbers,
and then on to simple word reading and math problems. History, nature,
geography and sciences are explored in increasing depth with each
year, beginning with simple stories, pictures and art projects for
three year olds. The children learn to think before they act, to
consider the needs of others and to be safe.
The Kindergarten class has a smaller enrollment than a standard elementary
school kindergarten class. The smaller size provides the opportunity
for individualized interaction between the student and the teacher.
Unlike a standard elementary class the children work at their own
level and pace. When they master one level they move onto the next.
They are required to complete a set amount of work appropriate to
their level each day. There is a focus on mastering basic math, reading
and writing skills. Children are encouraged to become more independent.
Weekly topics ranging from the rain forest to the solar system are
introduced and formally discussed in a group setting. Other experiences
the children are exposed to include a foreign language, and daily
readings. There are some aspects typical of elementary classrooms
that have been introduced to ease the child's later transition into
In a small group setting, the children in this kindergarten first grade
class work individually, at their own level and pace, in reading,
writing and math. To ease the transition into their next school environment,
the children write journals, have weekly spelling tests (at different
levels), assigned seats and some group lessons. Geography and science
are presented through hands on materials and experiments. The children
learn about artists, composers and musical instruments do sports,
foreign language, learn to play a recorder and have fun.
Thinking of Montessori for Kindergarten or first grade? read this article written by our Elementary class teacher.