Montessori Method

 
 

Understanding Montessori

The Montessori approach encourages children to learn through self-motivation within a carefully prepared environment. A multi-age setting offers the child an opportunity to relate to, and work with others at his/her developmental level.

The Montessori culture is devoted to helping each child grow toward independence by building confidence, competence, self-esteem and respect for others.

Education for Life

More than an approach to education, Montessori is an approach to life,  based on the scientific research work of Dr. Maria Montessori; Montessori respects children as self-directed individuals and fosters their growth toward independence and social responsibility, while creating a joyful, diverse and family-oriented community.

Maritime Montessori School

Our classrooms are beautiful by design. They are set up in an open style, with work areas throughout the room and materials available on accessible shelving. Most lessons are given to small groups or, to individual children while other children are working independently.

The school uses stories, Montessori materials, charts, time lines, objects of nature, cultural items and sometimes conventional tools to teach the children. Guided by the teacher, Montessori students actively participate in planning their time and taking responsibility for their work.

Maritime Montessori places the needs of the child first. It is our belief that children, not subjects, are taught. Respect for the child is the cornerstone of our philosophy.

Our Casa program for Children 3 to 6 Years

Traditionally, children first entering Montessori education are introduced to ‘Practical Life’ activities. Children learn self-help and environmental care skills such as buttoning, tying shoes, watering plants, washing windows, and sweeping.

Sensorial activities are next, helping children develop, organize, and refine sensory perception.

The third aspect of the program involves conceptual or academic materials. The practical and sensorial skills learned in the first two areas have laid the ground work on which writing, reading, and mathematics are built. Conceptual learning activities are concrete, multi sensory, and actively involve the child.

The Montessori classroom offers many unique, educational, self-teaching materials which are used by the children in the classroom. They accommodate many levels of ability. The goal is to cultivate the child’s own desire to learn. The materials aid this growth by capturing the child’s attention and inspires a process of concentration. Children then use the materials to develop fine motor skills, co-ordination, and good work habits.

There are five distinct areas in our Montessori Casa classroom:

Practical Life

Practical Life Exercises aid in the growth and development of the child’s intellect and concentration. They also help the child develop an orderly way of thinking. Practical Life focuses on; care of self, care of the environment, exercises of grace and courtesy, and coordination of physical movement. Practical Life materials and activities support:

  • Fine Motor Development
  • Refinement of Concentration
  • Development of Hand Control
  • Develop and encourage a child’s natural sense of order
  • Preparation for writing

Sensorial

The Sensorial Area develops the child’s senses (sight, taste, smell, hearing and touch). It develops the ability to discriminate. This gives the child the ability to order, classify and describe their sensory impressions. Sensorial materials support:

  • Visual Sense– The child learns to perceive differences in size, form, and color.
  • Chromatic Sense– The child learns to perceive differences between primary and secondary colors, as well as the various gradations of each.
  • Stereognostic Sense- The child learns through his hands to perceive size and shape of objects.
  • Tactile Sense– The child learns to perceive her world through touch.
  • Thermic Sense– The child learns to differentiate temperature by touch.
  • Baric Sense– The child learns to differentiate the weight of objects.
  • Auditory Sense– The child learns to differentiate the sounds of her world.
  • Olfactory Sense– The child learns to differentiate the smells of her world.
  • Gustatory Sense– The child learns to differentiate the tastes of her world.

Language Arts

The Language Arts Area offers opportunities to explore and expand the child’s spoken and written language. Through daily conversation, books read aloud, and through new vocabulary acquired, the Montessori student is learning language, and thus, learning to read.

In the Montessori Preschool/Kindergarten environment, emphasis is placed on the process of acquiring language. Knowledge is aquired by mental and physical activities rather than on passive learning. Writing is taught before reading through the direct and indirect aims of the Montessori Practical Life and Sensorial works. In the Montessori 3-6 Language curriculum, writing itself is seen as a direct preparation for reading.

Basic skills in writing and reading are developed through the use of sandpaper letters, movable alphabet, and various presentations allowing children to link sounds and letter symbols effortlessly and to express their thoughts through writing.  The Language curriculum is phonics-based with an emphasis on the child’s whole-language experience. Children also enjoy core French language instruction. Language Arts materials assist students in:

  • Rhyming
  • Phonics (letter/sound correspondence)
  • Blends/phonograms
  • Sight words
  • Mechanical writing activities
  • Reading
  • Creative writing and composition
  • Grammar/punctuation

Mathematics

The Math Area has materials that allow the child to move from the concrete to the abstract. This work gives children a solid understanding of basic mathematical principles, prepares them for later abstract reasoning, and helps to develop problem-solving capabilities.

The materials in the Mathematics area support development of the following concepts:

  • Numeration
  • Decimal system (place value)
  • Mathematical operations
  • Linear counting
  • Squaring and Cubing
  • Fractions
  • Time

Cultural

Children learn about people and cultures in other countries with respect and admiration. The materials peak the children’s interests and give them the freedom to explore and experience, as well as gain an understanding of the world around them. Music, art, and movement education are part of the integrated cultural curriculum. Cultural materials and activities develop the following concepts:

  • Geography
  • Physical science
  • Zoology
  • Botany
  • History
  • Arts and music