"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."

 

-Maria Montessori

  • 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 problemĀ­ 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.

  • Language

    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.

     

    Auditory preparation

    Conversational speech

    Identifying and discriminating sounds

    Storytelling

    Sequencing

    Repetition

    Poetry

    Rhymes and finger plays

    Listening skills and comprehension

     

    Visual preparation

    Recognizing patterns

    Matching and sorting

     

    Motor preparation

    Eye-to-hand coordination

    Strengthening of the hand

    Handwriting

     

    Manuscript

    Introduction to cursive in the third year

     

    Analysis

    Phonogram sounds

    Blends

     

    Reading on word level

    Phonics

    Reading In context

     

    Correct expression

    Vocabulary of objects, attributes, and actions

    Informal discussion

     

    Function of words

    Beginning writing

    Introduction of noun identification

    Introduction of verb identification

  • Math

    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.

     

    Numbers 0-10

    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

    Set baskets

    Spindle boxes

    Sandpaper numbers

    Cards and counters

     

    Decimal System

    Goals: Understand the concept of base ten. Learn composition of numbers, including place value and equivalences.

     

    Introduction tray

    Tray of nine

    Golden Bead (or 45) layout

    Numeral

    Bead and numeral layout

    Number fetching

    Bank game

     

    Numbers 11-99

    Goals: Ability to recognize teens and tens.

    Bead stair

    Teens' board

    Tens' board (or 45) layout

     

    Linear Counting

    Goals: Develop ability to recognize and count to any number. Learn skip counting.

     

    Hundred board

    100 (square) chains

    1000 (cube) chains (or 45) layout

     

    Operations

    Goal: Provide a concrete introduction to the four basic arithmetic operations. Moves into abstract work with operations.

    Golden Beads

     

    Addition

    Multiplication

    Subtraction

    Division

     

    Stamp Game

    Addition

    Multiplication

    Subtraction

    Division

     

    Bead Board

    Multiplication

    Division

     

    Bead Frame

    Continued Operations/Passage to Abstraction

    Addition

     

    Snake game

    Addition strip board

    Addition charts

     

    Multiplication

    Bead bars

    Multiplication boards

    Multiplication charts

     

    Subtraction

    Negative snake game

    Subtraction strip board

    Subtraction charts

     

    Fractions

    Names (wholes-ninths)

    Money

    Denominations

     

    Geometry

    Geometric solids

    Geometry cabinet

    Regular polygons

    Quadrilaterals

    Triangles o Circles

    Curved figures

     

  • Science

    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.

     

    Life Science

    Botany-plant care, tree and leaf studies, flowers, gardening

    Zoology-animal husbandry, animals kingdoms, vertebrate/invertebrate

     

    Physical Science

    Magnetism

    Sink and float

     

    Earth Science

    Weather/seasons

    Scientific reasoning and technology

    Observation skills

  • World Language

    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.

     

    Skills:

    Vocabulary

    Numbers

    Games and songs

    Questions and answers

  • Cultural Studies

    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.

  • Practical Life

    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.

     

    Physical Skills

    Elementary movements

    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

    Recycling

     

    Grace, courtesy, and etiquette

    Caring about others

    Problem solving

    Conflict resolution

    Peace table

     

    Independence

    Care of person

    Health and safety

    Nutrition and food preparation

     

    Community Service

    Developing an awareness of needs of others

    Participating In several service projects throughout the school year

     

    Sensorial Work

    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:

     

    Auditory learning

    Sound

     

    Visual learning

    Color

    Size

    Shape

    Gradation

     

    Tactile learning

    Texture

    Weight

     

    Olfactory learning

    Gustatory learning

  • Music

    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.

     

    Understand tempo

     

    Keep a steady beat

    Matching pitch

    Singing in unison

    Introduction to aspects of drama

  • Movement Arts

    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.

     

    Skills

    Basic locomotor and axial movement activities

    Creative self-expression through movement

    Basic manipulative skills with movement props

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