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Preschool

Practical Life

Practical life activities are devised to refine fine-motor development and help a child learn to focus, concentrate, follow a sequence, foster independence and develop good work habits. These exercises satisfy the child’s need to imitate adult behavior and achieve increasing levels of independence. As time goes by, practical life exercises evolve from care of self into care of others and care of the environment, which lead to activities such as science experimentation and discoveries.

  • pouring
  • sorting
  • polishing
  • sewing exercises
  • hand washing
  • fruit slicing
  • vegetable slicing tracing
  • magnets
  • pairing
  • buttoning tying
  • snapping
  • zipping
  • table scrubbing sweeping
  • flower arranging
  • cutting/pasting
  • folding
  • shell grading
  • social graces
  • perceptual motor skills

Sensorial

The hands-on materials isolate one concept at a time and guide a child to discriminate sound, color, size, weight, texture, shape, taste and smell and are direct preparation for academic learning.

Your child will discover the world through their senses at the sensorial stations in the school. Color tablets are matched, identified, and graded from darkest to lightest. Children match familiar smells such as cinnamon, perfume, and vinegar using smelling cylinders. Different gradations of sound are matched using the sound cylinders. Later the cylinders are put in order from loudest to softest. Knobless cylinders are put in order from thickest to thinnest, tallest to shortest, and largest to smallest. This precise ordering and perception of the world is a skill that is used later for math work.

  • Pink Tower
  • knobbed cylinders
  • red rods
  • geometric cabinets
  • geometric solids
  • binomial cube baric tables
  • bell material
  • smelling bottles
  • broad stair
  • knobless cylinders
  • color tablets constructive triangles
  • trinomial cube
  • fabric matching
  • thermic bottles
  • sound cylinders
  • rough and smooth boards

Language Arts

The language program begins with readiness activities. It is imperative that each child be allowed to progress to a state of physical and mental readiness before formal language exercises are introduced. The child experiences matching cards, stories, poetry, listening games and other preparatory activities.
As the teacher ascertains the child’s readiness, he/she is introduced to language through our phonetic approach. Language is taught through a variety of multi-sensory activities: visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic. This ensures success by providing the appropriate experience for each child’s individual learning patterns. Children are introduced to letter sounds through the sandpaper letters. They trace each letter as they say its sound (“mmmm” for “M”). As the child differentiates and recognizes sounds, he/she begins the process of word building using a moveable alphabet (set of wooden letters) and then blending sounds into meaningful reading.

Readiness Activities:

  • gross motor skills
  • fine motor skills
  • practical life activities

Reading Activities:

  • sandpaper letters
  • object boxes
  • classified cards
  • ringed cards
  • ensorial activities
  • metal insets
  • perceptual games
  • movable alphabet
  • language baskets
  • grammar studie
  • matching activities
  • sequencing cards
  • spelling sequences
  • phonetic
  • non-phonetic

Science and Culture

In addition to the core curriculum, your child will be engaged in delightful activities that instill a lifelong love of sciences, history, cultures and the arts. Our school is infused with music of many varieties and peoples. Foreign language curriculum is presented through songs, stories, games and activities that introduce students to other cultures.
Children learn about physical and political geography, people and flags of distant countries, and the cultural similarities that unite all people. Music, art, architecture, and food are also a part of this experience. Children work with wooden puzzles and matching picture/word cards to learn the parts of flowers, trees, animals and insects. They also learn about growth cycles and plant seeds and observe the growing process.
Animals of the world (the Fish, the Frog, the Turtle, the Bird, and the Horse) are studied with a new animal introduced on a monthly basis. Children will also have the opportunity to participate in engaging hands-on activities such as: building a bird feeder and identifying the birds eating from the bird feeder.
Guest speakers will also visit the school to introduce a variety of animals to the children.
Students will learn how to care for a variety of animals through our school pet lab.

Readiness Activities:

  • globes
  • maps art
  • food clothing
  • music
  • Music and Movement
  • musical instruments
  • rhythm instruments creative movement parachutes
  • Botany
  • parts of a plant
  • needs of plants flower discetion
  • leaf shapes seasons
  • Zoology
  • living vs non-living
  • vertebrates / invertabrates fish
  • amphibians reptiles
  • birds

Mathematics

Mathematics is introduced individually as the child demonstrates interest and readiness. We match each child’s ability to the appropriate materials so that his/her learning experiences are positive, rewarding and provide optimum learning at each stage of development. Introduction to mathematics begins with a clear, sensorial impression derived from manipulation of objects, movement and activity on the part of the child.

Children learn to identify the numbers 1-9 using sandpaper numbers, just like the sandpaper letters that are used for letter sounds. Many different “manipulatives” such as chips, buttons, and lids are used to count and to match quantity with the written numeral. As children become more skilled in counting objects they are introduced to addition and subtraction where they use these manipulatives to figure out their answers. The child uses real objects (such as number rods and bead material) to figure out the answer so that they are understanding the process that is taking place, not just memorizing formulas.

As each math concept is internalized, the child weans himself/herself naturally from concrete objects and progresses to the abstract level that is required for advanced math curriculum.

Activities

  • red and blue number rods
  • sandpaper numerals
  • spindle boxes
  • cards and counter
  • golden bead material
  • teen and ten boards linear counting with beads
  • skip counting with beads
  • stamp game excercise
  • addition strip board
  • subtraction strip board bead frame
  • multiplication boards
  • division board
  • fractions
  • equivalencies

Art

A variety of materials are always available for creative expression including crayons, paints, papers, markers, collage materials, glue, scissors, etc. Along with the less structured art choices, different materials and skills are simultaneously presented as specific exercises for more focused exploration. Classic artists, art forms, medias, and history are learned about and explored throughout the year.
Children engage in activities which help to develop and refine motor skills and creativity (gluing, cutting skills, hole punching, tying and taping).
Children will have the opportunity to work with their classmates on 3 D projects (building a volcano from clay and papier mache, the Great Wall of China with popsicle sticks, the Leaning Tower with toilet paper rolls).

Music

Children will participate in a weekly music program which explores beyond the expected nursery songs. Our students have the opportunity to incorporate movement and music as they explore folk songs from around the world.
The students will work hands on with a multitude of instruments to learn about the uses of different instruments. They will also learn about the fascinating global instruments that are used around the world to make music.

Mini Computer Lab

Technology skills begin in Preschool and build throughout the Elementary years. There are computers in the school, equipped with age-appropriate software. At the Preschool level, computers are used to teach keyboard and mouse skills and to reinforce math, logic and language lessons.

Reading Program

The reading lounge area is a designated area of the school with comfortable couches and well stocked book shelves. Children are free to visit the reading lounge area anytime they wish to look at/read books. There is also a listening center with head sets and educational tapes available. Story time is also integrated to our daily “circle group” time.

Physical Education

For Preschool children, movement is as natural as breathing. They can make a walk to their cubbies as exciting as a tumble on the gymnastics mat. Add to that a rich understanding of cooperation, teamwork, body and space awareness, as well as the importance of living a healthy life. Your child will learn how to control their motion with basic gymnastics, throwing and catching, and to work with each other in our unique cooperative games curriculum. Children will refine their balance, eye hand coordination, and depth perception through our indoor and outdoor gross motor activities.

Spanish

Students are introduced to Spanish through songs, movement, games and group activities which reinforce vocabulary and themes. The class begins with the students reviewing the calendar (day & month) and weather in Spanish.

The goal of our Spanish Language program is to reinforce the fun of Spanish language in song, movement and games.

Research shows that when children learn a second language before the developmental window closes, they enhance their own native language skills as well. They also increase their creativity, enhance their verbal and mathematical problem solving skills, and acquire advantages in concept formation (“Early Childhood Bilingualism in the Montessori Children’s House,” Montessori LIFE, Spring 1998).