Our Casa Montessori prepared environment is specially designed to meet the developmental needs of our students. Children experience the freedom to choose, the freedom to move, and self-discipline.
Our classrooms adhere to these principles as they are bright, warm and inviting, and they allow children to develop independence in all areas according to his or her inner psychological directives.
Classrooms are prepared with beauty and harmony; they are filled with plants, libraries, bright arrays of geometric solid forms, knobbed puzzle maps, coloured beads, nature tables and a science table including fossils and artifacts, as well as various specialized rods and blocks.
Materials and activities are laid out in an orderly way on easily accessible open shelves that are at the children’s eye level allowing them to freely engage in any activity that appeals to their cognitive, physical, social or emotional needs.
Lessons are presented to the children individually or in small groups when they demonstrate readiness and interest. The Montessori materials cater to the young child’s natural inclination to touch and do.
THE SIX PRINCIPLES OF THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT ARE:
Structure and order
Nature and reality
The purpose of Practical Life lessons is to assist the child in gaining coordination of movement and help them acquire independence. Activities such as pouring, sweeping, cleaning and sorting are examples of Practical Life activities. Children are presented with lessons on each activity when they demonstrate an interest and readiness.
These activities help children to be more independent and develop small muscle coordination, excellent preparation for writing skills and improve fine motor skills.
The purpose and aim of Sensorial work are for the child to acquire clear, conscious, information and to be able to then make classifications in their environment using specialized Montessori Sensorial apparatus.
Activities are designed to provide the child with opportunities to explore their environment through their senses. Sensorial exercises cover a wide range of qualities that can be perceived by the senses; soft, hard, cold, hot, large, small, wide, narrow, rough, smooth etc.
The purpose of the Language area is to develop the child’s acquired verbal skills and explore written forms of language. Their sensitive period for language permits the children to fully articulate thoughts, express themselves in writing, read with ease, and have a full comprehension of the thoughts of others.
Using the Montessori materials, children are exposed to the recognition of sounds, the development of words, the formation of sentences, the concepts of rhyme, spelling, reading, parts of speech and more. The degree at which a child progresses is only limited by their individual readiness and interest.
The Cultural area of the Montessori Casa curriculum includes science, geography, history, art, music, and movement. The study of Cultural subjects provides the child with the opportunity to explore their place in society, understand similarities between their own culture and others, thereby developing tolerance and respect for differences.
Learning these concepts by working with their hands contributes to a development of the intellect and increases curiosity about the world around them.
Children gain an appreciation of biology, geography, science and history. They learn easily not only the simple, but also the technical names of the new things they were introduced to.
Young children are attracted to numbers which are all around them. The Montessori mathematics curriculum explores concepts such as pattern, sequence, order, quantity and symbolism through the use of the Montessori materials.
When ready, the child will be exposed to the mathematical functions of addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division. As each concept is grasped from a concrete level, the child transitions to the abstract.
Language development is at its peak during the early years, so learning other languages comes quite readily to children. Toddlers raised in bilingual homes happily babble away in both languages.
In order for students to get a feel for another language, we offer activities and strategies that make learning French fun. Our French sessions include games, songs and stories. We cover the family, manners, colours, numbers, the months of the year, the days of the week, fruit, items used for a table setting, parts of our bodies and transportation, to name a few.
Our music sessions provide an excellent opportunity to explore rhythm and movement as well as the opportunity to learn the many different fundamentals and elements of music. This includes pitch, beat, tempo, rhythm, melody, harmony, vocal expression and articulation.
At a first glance, the calm Montessori classroom may not look like the most social of environments but Montessori students can and do learn to behave politely, to interact respectfully, to problem solve, and to work together within their community.
Children who are getting their developmental needs met are joyful learners and respectful members of their communities.
As the child gets older, they develop more of an interest in learning collaboratively. The Montessori Method respects these natural inclinations of the developing child. Children have the freedom to choose to work by themselves when they need to. Likewise, children can choose to work in groups and to help one another.
ART AND CREATIVITY
Children are allowed to be individuals, free to express feelings and emotions and free to enjoy worlds of movement, sounds, colors and sensation.
They have an opportunity to work creatively using a variety of materials to create an expressive piece of art, including gluing, painting, scissors, tape, stamps, stencils etc