An Overview of Montessori Curriculum Areas
Practical Life activities are designed to develop a child's coordination and independence. Through repeated use of materials such a spooning, pouring, twisting, squeezing and sewing, a child works towards mastery of these skills. Materials also develop care of the environment, care of the person, and grace and courtesy. A sense of order and concentration are promoted through the use of materials in this area. (back to top)
The goal of the Sensorial curriculum is for the child to become an acute observer and to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the world around him. This is done by offering the child beautifully designed materials which isolate concepts of size, color, form, touch, taste, weight, temperature, etc. Each of the human senses is called upon in isolation, thus helping to refine the child's acuity.
The materials begin with simple activities such as matching colors that are the same, building towers of cubes by using the ability to visually discriminate the various sizes of cubes, and learning the names of geometric figures. The work progresses to more complex materials such as the names of polygons and quadrilaterals, and discovering the triangle as the constructor of other shapes. The sensorial curriculum is rich in discovery, manipulation, and language enrichment. (back to top)
Dr. Montessori saw the road to reading as a dual path that involved the education of the hand and the education of the mind. Building upon language skills such as listening, understanding, and basic speech patterns which she has previously acquired, the child moves on to hear and analyze both the sounds and the meaning of language. By using language in the classroom through listening, storytelling, reading, and dramatic play, a child develops a love of literature, good communication skills, and a strong self esteem.
Materials throughout the classroom offer the child many opportunities to develop the refinement of the hand by calling for careful attention to detail and the use of small muscles. Fine motor coordination is also enhanced through manipulating writing instruments, cutting, drawing, writing, and opportunities for creative, artistic expression. (back to top)
In the Montessori Mathematics area, the child is introduced to math concepts and experiences using concrete materials in the environment. Different from traditional mathematics instruction, the abstractions are introduced through sensorial, manipulative experiences which call for the child to order, discriminate, distinguish, make judgments, and solve problems.
Dr. Montessori designed beautiful yet simple materials for her math curriculum. Each material was designed to isolate one concept. The isolated concepts build on one another throughout the curriculum to develop and expand the child's mathematical understanding and experience. (back to top)
These areas of the classroom connect your child to the outside world. Topics explored through games, songs, stories, and hands-on activities. We use our five senses for discovering the wonders of the earth and the diversity of its people. (back to top)
We study the world's seven continents with globes and puzzle maps, cultural items from the continents, and opportunities for tasting foods, dancing to music, and enjoying folk tales. We try to understand the similarities and the differences in the way plants, animals, and people adapt to the ecosystem in which they live. (back to top)
Peace education is an important part of Dr. Montessori's philosophy. It is at the heart of the classroom dynamics and something we address on a daily basis with songs, stories, and games. We attempt to solve conflicts among children with an interactive process that engages all parties involved to try and come up with solutions to the problem. Children discuss what happened, how it make each of them feel, and what they can do the next time to avoid or solve the disagreement. Ending with a handshake or a hug is usually enough to send the children off hand-in-hand towards their next adventure together. In group-time activities, we help the children think of a variety of words to express their feelings and role-play appropriate ways to interact with others. When a child obviously needs a little time alone to gain self-control, she is offered a quiet place in the classroom where she can calm down, and come back to the group when she is ready. (back to top)