Our carefully prepared, mixed-age classrooms contain the many materials scientifically developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. The children have the opportunity to work with these materials in the areas of practical life, sensory exploration, language development, mathematical understanding, geography, botany, music and art.
The teacher guides the children’s work, and allows them to move forward at their own pace. The students become self-confident, enthusiastic and joyful learners with remarkable focus and concentration. Our classrooms offer plenty of opportunities for social interaction and children learn to cooperate and respect each other.
The Montessori classroom environment and activities are carefully arranged in the following areas:
Practical life exercises include many tasks of daily life, such as washing dishes, flower arranging, and learning to button and snap. Other exercises are specifically intended to foster “grace and courtesy, ” through which children develop poise, coordination and self-confidence. They experience the joy of “I can do it myself.”
Sensorial materials involve training and developing children’s sense of touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. By practicing, children sharpen their ability to differentiate between various shapes, sounds, smells, colors, textures and tastes. The result is accentuated awareness of the physical environment and heightened powers of observation that are highly useful for future academic explorations.
Montessori builds on children’s remarkable natural capacity for language development. Students are exposed to rich language in all areas of the classroom. A phonetic approach leads to reading words, phrases and sentences, and ultimately to reading books. Children are also exposed to the mechanics of cursive writing, parts of speech and grammatical concepts.
Cultural subjects, such as geography, history, biology, botany, zoology, art and music are an important part of the Montessori classroom. Children use the Montessori materials to gain understanding and appreciation of the world around them.
Work with the Montessori math materials ranges from simply learning to count and recognize numerals to hands-on work with the decimal system and hierarchies of numbers (units, tens, hundreds, thousands, etc.). By working with these lessons, children also learn the process of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Concrete materials help the children develop a deep level of understanding of mathematical concepts.