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Speech: Beginning with an emphasis on expression, speech and clear diction, the children gain in self-confidence and soon become interested in various forms of expression, interpretation and dramatics.
Writing: Again the emphasis is on self-expression. Often a Montessori child writes before he reads as writing involves the single task of self-expression, whereas reading involves the interpretation of another's ideas.
Reading: The program is individualized and no single method of teaching reading is used, but various combinations according to the interests and abilities of each child.
Phonics: With a strong emphasis on phonics and meaning from the very beginning, the children learn to spell accurately and read meaningfully.
Spelling: Children begin to spell using the moveable alphabet to sound out and spell words as they are first learning to read. They 'take dictation' - spelling words called for by the teacher - as a daily exercise.
Grammar: Young children are deeply interested in words, and the function of words, hence we give them an early experience in grammar and syntax.
There is a quick jump from reading and writing single words to sentences and stories. At this point, we begin a systematic study of the English language: vocabulary, spelling rules, and linguistics. Once reading, Montessori students tend to read constantly.
We begin to teach the functions of grammar and sentence structure to students as young as first grade, just as they are first learning to put words together to express themselves. They master these skills during a time in their lives when it is a delight, rather than a chore.
During the lower and upper elementary years, we increasingly focus on the development of research and composition skills. Our students write every day, learning to organise increasingly complex ideas and information into well written stories, poems, report, plays and student publications.
Finally and most importantly, the key to our language arts curriculum is the quality of the things we give our children to read. We introduce them from an early age to first rate children’s books and fascinating works on science, history, geography and the arts.
Children experience numbers and their intricate relationships through their senses first in a concrete form, not by mere memorization. The mathematical material gives the child his own mathematical experience and to arrive at individual work.
Children begin by studying numbers through ten and then move onto the decimal system. Counting beyond ten, includes the teens, the tens, linear and skip counting.
Study of the four basic mathematical operations: addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication is carried out through work with the Montessori materials such as the Golden Beads. Beginning the “passage to abstraction,” the child begins to solve problems with paper and pencil. Children study money units, history, equivalent sums, foreign currencies (units and exchange) as part of social studies and applied math by age 6. Interest: concrete to abstract; real life problems involving credit cards and loans; principal, percentage rate, fractions, ratios, time; computing the squares and cubes of numbers: cubes and squares of binomials and trinomials, normally by age 10; the history of mathematics and its application in science, engineering, technology & economics; basic data gathering, graph reading and statistical analysis.
Study of the basic properties and definitions of the geometric shapes followed by more advanced study of the nomenclature, characteristics, measurement and drawing of the geometric shapes and concepts such as points, line, angle, surface, solid, properties of shapes; congruence, similarity, equality, and equivalence; the calculation of area and volume and the theorem of Pythagoras.
Even the younger child experiments with air, water, electricity, etc. and reasons out the cause of each reaction himself, thereby developing his intellect. The purpose is to give the young child a clear impression of the physical environment, not to give him a lot of scientific information. A child goes home with his brains stirred -- his reasoning powers and his memory sharpened.
Lower and upper elementary science includes:
Astronomy: Students study constellations, light years, astronomical tools, stars, the sun, the earth, the solar system, the moon, tides, eclipses, meteors, asteroids, comets, and space exploration.
Botany: identifying, naming, and labelling the parts of plants, trees, leaves, roots, and flowers.
Ecology: Ecology is the study of relationships between living things and their environments. Students learn about ecosystems and biodiversity habitat, food chain, adaptation to environment and climate, predator-prey relationships.
Health Science: Our approach to health sciences includes food and food handling, nutrition, exploring the body systems, individual and community development, wellness, physical education and sport.
Matter and Energy: Through activities and experiments, students grow to appreciate the ways in which humans discovered, and continue to discover, the nature of matter and energy and the astounding inventions and innovations that have occurred as a result of these discoveries. Matter explores the nature of matter and elementary chemistry, the study of how matter changes from one form to another. Energy explores the nature of energy and elementary physics, the study of how motion, force, and energy affect matter.
Scientific Method and Technology: Scientific Method and Technology explores the tools and procedures that scientists use to further their knowledge about the world, examining the basic machines and tools of technology, and their history and application. Older students (years 5 and 6) are provided opportunities to conduct small- or medium-scope research projects with the teacher’s guidance.
Zoology: Involves identifying, naming, and labelling the external parts of human beings, insects, fish, birds, and other animals.
Geography includes physical geography, cultural geography and economic geography.
Geography: Physical Geography Children study land and water formations such as island, isthmus, peninsula, strait, lake, cape, bay and archipelago. Introduction to longitude and latitude, coordinate position on the globe, tectonic plates, Earth’s poles, the magnetic poles, history and use of the compass, topographic maps, global positioning satellite devices and electronic charts.
Geography: Cultural Geography Countries are studied in many ways at all levels of the Montessori Academy, beginning at age 3. A number of festivals are held every year to focus on specific cultures and to celebrate life together. The detailed study of one nation at a time, moves from one continent to another. All aspects of the nation are considered: geography, climate, flora and fauna, major rivers and lakes, cities, mountains, people, food, religions, etc.
Geography: Economic Geography Natural resources of the Earth - Production: how humankind uses natural resources. Imports and Exports: the interdependence of nations.
The basic needs of man are food, shelter, clothing, defense, transportation, culture, law, religion or spiritual enlightenment, love, and adornment. (This study begins at age 5-6 and continues throughout the curriculum.) Each year the child continues to study and analyze the needs, culture, technology, and social history of various periods in history. The trends of human achievement are chartered, such as the development of transportation, architecture, great inventions, and great leaders.
The goal in the modern foreign language classes is to incorporate Spanish and French into the daily life of the class, and to offer opportunities to learn Spanish and French during the Montessori work hours. These courses emphasize that language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. Classes are taught using a mixture of Spanish or French and English, depending on the level of the students. The focus of this subject is to encourage the students to gain a love for the languages and an understanding of the various cultures that use the languages. Students learn extensive vocabulary and grammar skills. Spanish is introduced at early childhood level and French is introduced at lower elementary level.
To respond to music is a natural and basic tendency. Children have ample opportunity to explore music by creating new tunes and playing different instruments.
Elementary students are taught by trained musicians who encourage the students’ interest in music by working with a variety of musical concepts. Students work with voice, rhythm, movement and instruments. Music is further enhanced by a variety of activities done as part of the regular class curriculum.
In Montessori education, art work is an important form of self expression and a part of the daily life of the class. A teacher's approach is to give basic lessons to small groups of children in the mechanics of using a media, then to have the supplies available on the shelf for the child to use during the work time.
Children need quality movement opportunities throughout their week and day. Weekly physical education courses help students develop a lifetime of personal fitness and health. Students participate in a wide variety of individual and team athletic activities. The aim is to foster fitness, participation, confidence, teamwork and enjoyment. Children are taught activities as diverse as yoga, badminton, tennis and football. The study of nutrition and the human body are included in our curriculum.
Practical Life Skills
One of the first goals is to develop in the very young child a strong and realistic sense of independence and self-reliance. Along with love and a stable environment, this is the child's greatest need. This area of the curriculum focuses on developing skills that allow the child to effectively control and deal with the social and physical environment in which he lives. There is a growing pride in being able to "do it for myself." Practical life begins as soon as the young child enters the school and continues throughout the curriculum to more and more advanced tasks appropriate to the oldest students.
Practical life skills include:
Cooking / Food Preparation: At all age levels, lessons about food preparation, and presentation of food enables the child to interact with others and gives them a sense of independence. Cooking activities are also used as an extension of math (measurement and equivalence) and science (reactions and botany) and social studies (food as reflection of culture). Emphasis is placed on good nutrition with whole grains, organic produce, and foods with limited additives.
Gardening: Gardening activities are connected to the science curriculum. In addition to plant propagation within the classroom, the children maintain raised beds around the school.