|What is the Montessori Curriculum?
All the materials in the classroom are set up so that children can manage the equipment easily. All the Montessori Materials have several qualities which aid in the development of young children. All the lessons have a control of error, a point of interest and an isolation of difficulty. These lessons assist with "auto-learning" which in turn develops independent learning and confidence. The entire environment fosters integrity, a strong work ethic, responsiblity, and tolerance. It allows children to develop their talents and stregthen areas which are often challenging to the individual.
There are several distinct areas in a Montessori Classroom:
The Practical Life area, which enables children to participate in every day activities such as pouring, cleaning, dressing and opening containers. This area aids in the development of fine and gross motor skills and is preparation for reading & writing.
The Sensorial area reinforces the child's senses by using materials which isolate specific concepts such as color, size and sound. This area introduces new vocabulary and allows a child to relate to various areas in the classroom environment as well as their home environment.
The Math area introduces numbers one to ten while first introducing the quantity and then the symbol. All math is presented from the most concrete concepts to more abstract concepts with increasing levels of difficulty. Children will also be exposed to geometry, fractions and all areas of measurement.
The Language area introduces new vocabulary and promotes interactions with friends through conversation. Children begin by matching objects and pictures and are then introduced to the sound of a letter while tracing the shape (Sand Paper Letters). When the child recognizes most of the sounds in the alphabet they are shown how to combine these sounds to form words. Writing is developed after much work in the Practical Life and Sensorial area (refinement of fine motor skills) through the presentation of Metal Insets (tracing and drawing from left to right, top to bottom). French is taught in small groups. The children enjoy singing,finger plays and stories in French.
The Cultural area consists of science (botany, zoology, experiments), geography (maps of the world, land & water forms), history (peace makers ), visual art (artists and techniques), performing art (mime, clowning, acting) and music (musicians, notation, types of music). The library is always open at Steeple on the Beach. Children are given a beautiful, quiet area to enjoy books. They are encouraged to check out books and to donate books to their library.
First Grade Curriculum
This is an accelerated program which reinforces Independant learning, Mentoring, Abstract thought and Problem Solving. Each child has a Daily Work Sheet which helps them work independantly throughout the day. They are given small group and individual lessons to introduce new concepts.
Math skills are developed through the use of concrete materials and parallelled with abstract concepts. All students participate in "Payroll" and receive school currency for services rendered during the week.
Language skills are reinforced through Grammar and Punctuation and then practiced during Creative Writing activities. The children enjoy a "Story Circle" which allows everyone to tell the story with the teacher as a scribe. All stories are published. Eventually, the children write their own stories and experience the editing process with the teacher.
Science and Social Studies are learned through research and experience. As the children are able to write easily, they are taught to extract information and write using their own words. The children love the science experiments and they have enjoyed travelling around the world through various projects.
The First Grade experience at Steeple on the Beach is like no other. A full outline of our curriculum is available upon request.
The Outdoor Environment
The Montessori environment utilizes indoor and outdoor environments. The outdoor area is set up so that the children have an opportunity to work outside if they wish. There is a garden for all the children to care for. This area compliments our botany and zoology program (i.e. learning the parts of the plant or parts of the flower, life cycles, insects, etc.) Children are asked to read the temperature outside and describe the weather. Older children will gauge the precipitation and the weather and form graphs to illustrate this.
The 19th Ave. Park is located right across the street!
The Montessori Teachers
Your child will be taught by a certified Montessori Teacher. All teachers must have two or more years of experience before they may direct a class. No more than 27 children are in a class. There are currently three Montessori Teachers in the Casa Class: Mrs. Seaman, Mrs. Hilton and Mrs. Sinatra. Not only are they dedicated, intelligent teachers, they are parents who understand what it is like to have to trust others to care for your child.
Any individual working at Steeple on the Beach Montessori School must have a love and respect for our children and their families.