• The Montessori Method
     
    Through the ongoing process of observation and experimentations, students are encouraged to become thoughtful readers, clear writers, skillful computers, problem solvers, and logical thinkers.  Teachers observe students' needs and create an environment that will allow learners to meet those needs. To learn more, please call 269.683.1982.
     
    Donna Dodge, Head Teacher
    Mrs. Jennifer Shabazz, Principal
     
    For more information about our program see Donna Dodge's teacher page.

    Montessori: Early Childhood Curriculum, Ages 2 ½- 6 years

    The Practical Life lessons are the first level of work for all children and are linked to the child’s home environment by using elements that are familiar with the child’s culture. The materials teach precise movements and procedures, which aid large and gross motor development. The practical life area of the classroom is designed to strengthen the child’s attention span and concentration.  Many activities are repetitive and increasingly complex. The “works”, (also known as activities) are designed to produce sequential and orderly work habits. Independence and self-control are established within this area. The early social courtesy behaviors, class procedures and expectations are introduced throughout Practical life. The lessons learned in practical life create the foundation needed to perform work throughout the classroom.

    Your child will participate in lessons in:

    Grace and Courtesy: Class ground rules, social manners, carrying and walking respectfully, conversation and self-expression, table manners and self-care.

    Motor Skills and Coordination: Eye-hand coordination, fine and large motor control, pencil grasp, sequencing, left-to-right and top-to-bottom sequence (reading), spatial awareness and body coordination.

    Care of Self: Dressing/undressing; zipping, shoe tying, hand washing, and independence with personal hygiene are a few of the skills learned here. We learn to care for our personal belongings.

    Care of Environment: Washing and polishing materials and furniture, plant care and flower arrangement, animal care, setting and cleaning tables, respecting materials and environment, returning work when finished, and related environmental activities including the outside environment. We practice making our space and our work look beautiful.

    Food Preparation: Pouring, slicing, stirring, peeling, grinding, chopping, measuring, mixing and following a recipe. Many items in the food prep area are done independently; some are done in group situations.

     

    The Sensorial materials isolate a particular quality and refine the senses. The children learn about abstractions which give the child concrete experiences with concepts. By working with matching and gradations of size, shape, form, color, texture, sound, and taste, the child’s senses are refined and perceptual awareness is intensified. The sensorial materials are a direct preparation for the development of mathematical thinking and the math lessons.

    Visual and Touch: Using the sense of sight and touch we learn to discriminate colors, textures size: length and width and corresponding vocabulary. We learn geometric forms and shapes and vocabulary and definitions.

    Auditory: Using the sense of hearing we learn to discriminate sounds and musical tones and rhythm instruments. This prepares students for phonemic awareness activities.

    Gustatory (taste) and Olfactory (smell): Recognizing and identifying different tastes and smells. Discrimination Skills: Recognizing same, similar, differences and gradations.

     

    The Language materials are incorporated through many daily experiences. Children between birth and six years are in a long sensitive period for language. Language development is what separates the very young, from the independent children that can connect with their environment. The child is continually developing oral language and communications skills, preparing for writing, reading, and grammar academic work.

    Oral Language: We work on listening and communication skills, auditory discrimination, and vocabulary development.

    Writing: We work with sandpaper letters (children can remember the letters by feeling them), metal insets, moveable alphabet, and penmanship.

    Reading: We work with phonetic object boxes, phonetic reading (pink, blue and green reading series), sight words, phonograms (blends), reading classification, function of words, alphabetizing, word study and simple research.

    The Mathematical thinking and reasoning skills are developed through precision, order, and logical processing. We work from the concrete to the abstract by using materials that bring math to a new dimension. There is much focus on math language.

                    Numeration and Linear Counting: We discover the relationship between quantity and symbol. 

                    We count by ones, work on teen numbers, skip counting and practice numbers 1-1000.

                   

    Decimal System and Concept of Operations: We focus on the relationship between quantity and number. We learn the meaning of the numeral 1, all the way through 1000. We work on addition, multiplication, subtraction and division.

    Memorization: The Montessori materials help the students independently memorize math facts. The use of the boards and charts are available to use every day.

    Math Concepts: We offer lessons working with clocks; telling time, counting money, measurement and working with fractions. All of the lessons start off with concrete materials before moving to abstract (pencil/paper) work.

    The Science curriculum includes the physical sciences; learning about the world, zoology; learning about animals, and botany; learning about plants. While learning about the world we focus on the seasons, the weather, atmosphere, land and water forms. While learning about zoology we focus on animals, body parts and habitats. While learning about botany we focus on leaves, trees, plants and the process of how they grow. We introduce a plethora of science language and terms to help children gain a sense of scientific wonder.

    The Cultural area in our classroom teaches children about geography, history and cultures. The students learn about our cultures and can learn about the cultures, animals and people around the world.

    The Arts are integrated throughout the curriculum, beginning with the basic skills and procedures gained through Practical Life lessons, and perceptual skills are refined with Sensorial lessons. Music is explored through singing, rhythm work and movement activities.