The Montessori Environment
The possibilities are endless to engage, excite and build your child’s confidence.
The Montessori Method emphasizes six areas of study
- Practical Life
- Sensorial Activities
Montessori children acquire life skills through practical activities such as maintaining personal hygiene, caring for the environment, pouring, ordering, sewing, cleaning, etc. These actions will develop self-confidence and promote all the skills needed to succeed in more conventional academic subjects such as math and writing.
Children become more aware of their surroundings when they engage in sensorial activities. They may gain a deeper understanding of the world around them if they use all their senses (e.g. vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell).
Abstract ideas become concrete through sensory activities. For instance, working with magnetic and non-magnetic items or handling various 3-D geometric shapes frequently will enable children to better comprehend higher-level academic concepts.
In the early stages of the program, students will be introduced to the concept of numbers through rhymes, songs, poems and activities. When the children develop a firm understanding of how words relate to the concept of numbers, the guide will help them to better understand math symbols, qualities, sets, math functions and more through concrete activities.
With discussions, maps, verbal presentations, pictures, sensory experiences and memory exercises children will become familiar with different cultures, languages and spiritual beliefs around the world. In a practical sense, children will also explore a variety of fauna, flora and landforms.
Children in their early stages are encouraged to enrich their vocabulary and sentence development. With a strong emphasis on phonics, children are motivated to develop reading skills which enables them to construct words and translate those skills into writing.
In addition to arts, crafts, and music, plant care is also part of our expression activities. Growing plants fosters a sense of commonality and builds environmentally responsible children. Plant life cycles are taught, along with where vegetables and fruits come from and what living things need to survive. In a classroom filled with materials, children are encouraged to create freely – and they certainly do! Music is emphasized through the use of instruments and songs to develop a sense of melody and rhythm.
Welcome to primary classrooms
The classes for Montessori students begin at 8:30am. As most young children need the assistance of an adult, a member of the staff would usually welcome the children upon arrival and guide them to remove their footwear and put away their bags and lunch boxes. As soon as the children enter the classroom environment, they have the freedom to choose activities that are tailored made to engage them. The ultimate objective of all activities in the classroom and at school is to help the child become self-sufficient. After acquiring self-sufficiency, a child not only gains confidence but also develop an ability to help his/her friends.
For the first part of the academic year, children are invited to gather in circle at the start of every school day. During this time, the children participate in large group lessons that include group discussions, problem solving, educational games and sharing of thoughts and ideas. In addition, teachers may also read to their students. The children are free to choose work from the Montessori environment after the cycle ends. Children begin to integrate into the environment as the year goes on and are less likely to be interrupted while engaged in an activity.
Those new to the Montessori environment find it surprising to see how involved the children are during the “work cycle”. It is immediately apparent how independent and cooperative the children are functioning inside the classroom. Teachers often give lessons to a few students at a time while the rest of the class works in different areas of the classroom.
The classrooms are equipped with both traditional materials as well as the ones specifically designed by the teacher that follow the Montessori curriculum. Learning by doing is promoted through these instructive materials that are developmentally appropriate. By using these materials the teachers deliver lessons while the students are able to grasp fundamental concepts of language, mathematics, sensory development, cultural studies (science, geography and history) and everyday living skills.
The children transition to the outdoor environment following the morning work cycle. Our playground is a beautiful and spacious outdoor area with swing sets, climbing structures, a sandbox, and gardens beds. As the Montessori curriculum lay emphasis on contact with nature, besides outdoor play, teachers utilize the outdoor environment for educating children. The younger kids enrolled in Level I programme are free to leave after the outdoor playtime and are picked up at the gate. Children at Level II and III eat lunch after outdoor play, followed by quiet time or nap time, if needed. Further exploration and learning in the afternoon work cycle begins after the quiet time. The kids finish the school at 3:30pm and are free to go home.