Montessori math is a hands-on, concrete approach to learning about mathematical concepts. Students are able to experience math in a multi-sensory manner, which helps them to develop a mental framework for learning abstract math concepts. Instead of rote memorization, children develop understanding. Teachers present small concepts separately and sequentially, building on the child’s mastery. Some examples are Sandpaper Numerals, Spindle Box, and Golden Beads.
Children learn a variety of skills such as pushpin, cutting, gluing, drawing, painting, using clay, and collage as tools for the development of creativity and self-expression.
Practical Life is the foundation of the Montessori Primary classroom. All of the Practical Life activities build gross and fine motor skills while helping children develop concentration, order, independence, and coordination. Practical Life work includes care of the self, care of the classroom environment, food preparation, and the wonderful grace and courtesy lessons.
Oral language, reading, and writing skills are developed in this area. Through the use of multi-sensory materials, children progress from learning sounds to reading books, from writing letters to writing stories. Children learn to read and to write in both manuscript and cursive by the time they graduate from Primary. The language area promotes a love of reading and writing.
Children explore science and geography with a wide range of materials, learning an extensive vocabulary and widening their understanding of the world around them. Geography materials include the puzzle maps and the land and water forms as well as a wide range of materials for the study of each continent. Science materials include the solar system, magnetism, plant and animal studies, and a focus on the human body.
The beautiful Sensorial materials were developed by Maria Montessori to refine the senses, since all information enters our brains through our five senses. This area includes dimensional materials such as the Pink Tower and Red Rods as well as materials for refining touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. The Sensorial materials also develop order, concentration, and both gross and fine motor skills and are excellent preparation for academics.
The curriculum for Primary also includes group times for stories and music and daily playtime. Kindergarten students experience their first field trips away from the school and participate in a special Kindergarten work time in the afternoon. They have additional art, music, and PE times each week with Kindergartners from other Primary classes.
Primary classrooms are peaceful, beautiful, and orderly learning environments. Children learn with multi-sensory, hands-on Montessori materials. Montessori-trained teaching teams guide students individually through the curriculum. Children develop independence, self-motivation, and confidence while becoming responsible community members.Primary classrooms are joyful and calm environments for young children.
Teachers interact with children in a positive manner and are models of kind and respectful behavior. Each child is treated as a unique individual and is able to progress through the extensive and challenging Primary curriculum at an individual pace. Children receive individual presentations of new work and are then able to practice the work as much as necessary to achieve mastery. While academic excellence is an important goal, Primary classrooms also focus on the social, emotional, and physical development of the children, with the goal of helping children develop kindness, confidence, responsibility, curiosity, creativity, and self-direction.