Primary Curriculum: Developmental Leaps
In a Primary classroom at Crabapple Montessori School, you might see a child building the cube of the trinomial with colorful blocks – a preparation for the algebra that will be learned at the elementary level.
You may see children tracing geometrical-shaped objects and coloring the inside spaces with a back and forth motion. This is to improve eye/hand coordination and develop the fine motor skills needed to learn handwriting.
You might see the teacher giving group lessons on how to interact with peers and adults with grace and courtesy. These very young students practice the training outside the classroom too! It’s often said that if you see a child in a restaurant sitting and eating food calmly, most likely he or she is a Montessori child.
The Sensitive Period is a Time of Remarkable Development
Ages three to six is the second phase of what Dr. Maria Montessori called the “sensitive period,” when children have a desire to learn basic skills that give them independence and an ability to live in the world. This is a time of enormous developmental leaps, when children are ready to expand their vocabulary, grasp math concepts, and develop habits for working with others.
The Crabapple Montessori School classroom is equipped with research-based materials, and the curriculum is carefully designed for children to delight in a dynamic process of learning. It’s also a calm, structured space constructed to meet a child’s individual needs. Here, the child experiences a blend of freedom and discipline in a space specially prepared for his or her optimal development.
The Montessori preschool curriculum at Crabapple Montessori School, for children ages three through six, is interdisciplinary and interactive, encompassing five broad areas:
- Practical Life exercises instill care for self, for others, and for the environment. Activities include many of the tasks children see as part of the daily routine at home such as preparing food and washing dishes. The exercises of Practical Life allow the children to learn to function independently by caring for their own needs and the needs of the class environment. They learn to complete these tasks by developing their powers of control and concentration. One group of Practical Life exercises referred to as “Grace and Courtesy,” aids the development of social relations such as greeting, serving, accepting, apologizing, and thanking.
- Sensorial Area focuses on the development of sensory perception. All five senses are engaged as children learn to differentiate among sizes, colors, weights, forms, textures, scents, tastes, and musical sounds. Aristotle said, “There is nothing in the intellect which was not first in the senses.” Writing and reading skills are generally developed consecutively. To further enhance reading development, grammar is taught in the primary class.
- Mathematics activities help children learn and understand the concepts of math by manipulating concrete materials. Various activities allow the child to internalize concepts of quantity, sequence, decimal system, place value and to explore the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This work gives children a solid understanding of basic mathematical principles, prepares them for later abstract reasoning, and helps develop problem-solving capabilities.
- Geography, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Art and Music are integrated in the primary class curriculum.
- Children learn about people and cultures in other countries with an attitude of respect and admiration.
- Art programs give children every opportunity to enjoy a variety of creative activities and gain knowledge of the great masters.
- To enrich the music program Dr. Montessori designed a set of bells corresponding to the keys on the piano. Teachers are trained to use “The Bells” to teach the children the pitch of musical notes. This type of ear training early in life is excellent preparation for any further pursuit in music.
- Each classroom has an adjacent outdoor environment where children garden and explore nature. Caring for a garden is a way of developing environmental awareness.
You’re invited to visit Crabapple Montessori School to see learning in action in a Montessori classroom! Call us at 770.569.5200 to schedule a time. We serve students in Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell, Canton, Woodstock, Cumming in north metro Atlanta.