"Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core."
Kindergarten Curriculum Overview
Young children take in a tremendous amount of information from their environment with what Maria Montessori called "the absorbent mind." Our Children's House preschool and kindergarten program provides an enriching hands-on learning experience with specially formulated Montessori materials for math, language, sensorial exploration, practical life activities, art, science, and geography. Making choices and using coordinated movements to accomplish tasks leads the child toward self-regulation and self-control. Children develop observation and problem solving skills. By manipulating, experimenting, and discovering, children begin to move from the concrete to the abstract as they prepare for the more complex studies of the CMMA elementary program.
Children are learning language long before entering the Montessori classroom. By using their senses as tools, children absorb information about their language. During the first two years of Children's House, students prepare themselves for language study by working in the practical life and sensorial areas with materials that refine auditory, oral, visual, and sensory/motor skills which are necessary for writing and reading in the third year. Language spans every other area as an integrated source of preparation for a well-planned approach to further learning.
Identifying and discriminating sounds
Rhymes and finger plays
Listening skills and comprehension
Matching and sorting
Strengthening of the hand
Introduction to cursive in the third year
Reading on word level
Reading In context
Vocabulary of objects, attributes, and actions
Function of words
Introduction of noun identification
Introduction of verb identification
Maria Montessori proposed that logical thought stems from the human mind's ability to organize and categorize. The aim of the math curriculum at the Children's House level is to help students develop their thought processes, not to simply teach math facts at an early age. With hands-on materials, students begin to understand the concrete through manipulation, experimentation, and invention, which prepares them for abstract study at the elementary level.
Goals: Establish numbers one to ten. Understand quantity and sequence of numbers using manipulatives. Establish recognition of numerical symbols. Learn relationship of quantity to symbol.
Number rods and cards
Cards and counters
Goals: Understand the concept of base ten. Learn composition of numbers, including place value and equivalences.
Tray of nine
Golden Bead (or 45) layout
Bead and numeral layout
Goals: Ability to recognize teens and tens.
Tens' board (or 45) layout
Goals: Develop ability to recognize and count to any number. Learn skip counting.
100 (square) chains
1000 (cube) chains (or 45) layout
Goal: Provide a concrete introduction to the four basic arithmetic operations. Moves into abstract work with operations.
Continued Operations/Passage to Abstraction
Addition strip board
Negative snake game
Subtraction strip board
Triangles o Circles
The science materials live in the cultural studies area in a Children's House classroom. Maria Montessori had a unique way of defining cultural studies-she incorporated the specific areas of history, geography, physical sciences, botany, and zoology into the studies within this area. These components support Montessori's strong belief in the need for global education. Exploration and inquiry are encouraged by fostering and nurturing the young child's curiosity. By exploring in the cultural studies area the child defines his individual spirit as well as a sense of wonder of people and the world.
Botany-plant care, tree and leaf studies, flowers, gardening
Zoology-animal husbandry, animals kingdoms, vertebrate/invertebrate
Sink and float
Scientific reasoning and technology
The Spanish program is designed to enable students to speak and write their basic thoughts and questions in a second language. The curriculum utilizes a combination of speaking, writing, and activities that are often based on music, art or Total Physical Response. Students learn to express themselves in a second language environment that promotes confidence and creativity.
Games and songs
Questions and answers
The Children's House classroom integrates cultural studies through literature, activities, and materials. Maria Montessori had a unique way of defining cultural studies-she Incorporated the specific areas of history, geography, physical sciences, botany, and zoology into the studies within this area. These components support Montessori's strong belief In the need for global education. Exploration and Inquiry are encouraged by fostering and nurturing the young child's curiosity. By exploring in the cultural studies area the child defines his individual spirit as well as a sense of wonder of people and the world.
The Practical Life curriculum is the cornerstone of the Montessori method. Its goals span the three-year age cycle, providing practical experience in everyday activities. These activities not only teach physical skills, but also prepare the children for subsequent or concurrent work in mathematics, language, and socialization. The necessity of making choices and using coordinated movements to accomplish a task leads the child toward self-regulation and independence. The ultimate lesson, however, is concentration-without it, nothing else is possible.
Pulling out a chair, carrying a tray
Gross and fine motor skills
Use of activities that promote concentration, coordination, independence, and order
Respect and care of environment
Indoor and outdoor
Grace, courtesy, and etiquette
Caring about others
Care of person
Health and safety
Nutrition and food preparation
Developing an awareness of needs of others
Participating In several service projects throughout the school year
The Sensorial Curriculum is the key to knowledge in the Montessori classroom. It builds on the foundation of the Practical Life Curriculum and prepares the way for children to progress into academic work through development of observation and problem-solving skills. The sensorial materials are designed to develop and refine skills that help young children learn how to think, reason, make distinctions, make judgements and decisions, observe, compare, and better appreciate their world. This is the beginning of conscious knowledge. Students learn to distinguish and differentiate physical properties through:
The music curriculum combines individual and group work with work designed to appeal to a variety of learning styles. This directly relates to our philosophy of enhancing the Montessori philosophy with other innovative methods. The music curriculum also offers significant opportunities to build community through our numerous performances, field trips, and assemblies.
Keep a steady beat
Singing in unison
Introduction to aspects of drama
The ultimate goal of the CMMA movement arts program is to assist all children along the path to lifetime physical fitness, which is also in line with our holistic philosophy. The benefits of this journey are many: health, longevity, positive body image, improved overall self-esteem, and increased energy and concentration in all areas. All students from toddler to middle school participate regularly in movement arts classes and activities.
Movement arts at CMMA embraces the philosophy of the school as a whole. The program, at each level, is responsive to the needs and interests of the children, and the ultimate goal is the joyful discovery of movement and its benefits, both physical and psychological.
CMMA movement arts seeks to benefit ALL children, not just those with particular interest or talent in this area. Volumes have been written about the connection between body image and overall self-esteem, as well as the dangers of introducing children to competitive sports at an early age. Care is taken to keep the emphasis on fitness and fun, as opposed to individual superiority of skills.
Basic locomotor and axial movement activities
Creative self-expression through movement
Basic manipulative skills with movement props