The Montessori Primary is a three-year program of child development. It is individualized because no two children grow in exactly the same way. There are five areas of the curriculum:
PRACTICAL LIFE - Work in this area develops concentration, order, coordination, and independence.
SENSORIAL - The sensorial materials enable the Primary child to clarify, classify, and comprehend his/her world.
MATHEMATICS - The child builds the foundation for mathematical concepts through manipulation and experimentation with Montessori mathematics materials.
LANGUAGE - The child learns language phonetically using concrete materials that include sandpaper letters, object boxes, and moveable alphabets. Reading and writing develop simultaneously as the child "strings sounds" together to make words.
CULTURAL SUBJECTS - Key concepts for physical and cultural geography are learned with the use of continent puzzle maps which the child traces while hearing the name of the country. Biology, Botany, Zoology and Geology are learned through the classification of cards and manipulation of puzzles designed to interest the child in the study of science.
Typically, the three-year-old gives much attention to the Practical Life and Sensorial areas, gaining skills that later are applied in the learning of Mathematics, Language, and Cultural Subjects. In Montessori, the four- and five-year old experiences a time of rapid, self-directed progress in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.
Brush Creek Montessori School has two Primary classrooms, Amber and Redwood. Our program begins with the understanding that children have a natural instinct to learn. The Primary years are known as the time of the absorbent mind, a time of peak receptivity. This receptivity is periodic in nature and is selective as to forms or styles of learning. The Montessori Method is a scientific study of these changes in receptivity, resulting in an exceptionally effective program.
Children in the Primary classes learn through hands-on use of materials, carefully designed for a wide range of needs, interests and abilities. The teacher, as keen observer and guide, directs the child to a material that is right for the individual at that moment in development and gives a lesson on how to use it. The child may use the material again and again until the lesson is fully absorbed, at which time the teacher will introduce the material that comes next. Brush Creek classrooms are fully equipped with materials designed by Maria Montessori for use at each level. Materials are of the highest quality and made according to the guidelines set by the International Montessori Association.
The Primary classrooms are designed for the child. Students may work at child-size tables and chairs or on floor mats. The work is individualized, each child choosing the specific task he/she needs to help explore and define the world. There is also daily work on socialization, when children learn to work in a group, to be considerate of classmates and adults, and to be polite toward each other. Younger children may enroll in the Primary School for full or half days, four or five days per week. At age five, children are expected to be enrolled full time.
MATHEMATICS - Classification, quantification, patterning, comparing; linear counting, skip-counting; decimal system concepts, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing with concrete decimal system material, exchange (carry and borrow); math fact practice, introduction to fractions.
GEOMETRY - Discrimination of shape; experience with basic plane and solid shapes and their names; sensorial concepts of length, weight, volume; introduction to polygons; study of triangles.
READING - Auditory , visual and symbolic development; phonics beginning with consonant and vowel sounds and continuing with blends, digraphs, phonograms; sight words, phrase and sentence building; use of phonetic readers with increasing comprehension; reading aloud.
LANGUAGE - Use of the materials for visual and auditory discrimination; vocabulary through labeling; three-period lessons for learning nomenclature; song, poetry , recitation, listening to stories, sharing, vocabulary of grace and courtesy, role-playing.
GRAMMAR - Introduction to parts of speech through use of the Montessori farm and through use of the solid symbols for parts of speech.
WRITING AND SPELLING - Fine motor preparation exercises; spelling with the moveable alphabet; printing, phrase and sentence composition.
RESEARCH - Adult guidance to child's expressed areas of interest; various forms of work in those areas; introduction to alphabetization; research folders and booklets on many areas of cultural study including needs of people, botany, zoology , and geography puzzle maps.
LITERATURE - Reading for comprehension; listening to well-known authors' single-spaced works for young children; library trips; oral story telling; lessons on the author- of-the-month; choral poetry (group presentation of poetry); dramatic presentation of word and nomenclature meaning.
SCIENCE - Living/non-living; parts of plants and animals; classification of living things (mammal, etc.); habitat; experiments in the needs of living things; care of classroom pets; sink/float; magnets; balance; magnification; basic chemistry; classification of rocks.
GEOGRAPHY - Parts of the Earth; continents; countries of the continents; physical geography nomenclature; land and water forms; relationship of geography to needs of people; study of flags.
HISTORY - Timeline of one day; birthday celebration including carrying the Earth around the Sun; seasons; personal timeline in pictures and words; early life forms; days, months, holidays, calendar formation; clock study.
PRACTICAL LIFE - Grace and courtesy in all areas of movement and work; grasping, sorting, pairing, cleaning, spooning, crushing, tonguing, tweezing, eye-dropping, dressing, grinding, sweeping, washing, cutting, pouring and other similar activities; care of self; care of the environment.
SENSORIAL DEVELOPMENT - Refinement of senses of color, form, mass, tone, texture, smell, temperature, length and taste through specific exercises of comparison and classification.
SOCIAL SKILLS - Independent activity in a dynamic environment; manners and courtesy in groups; inner discipline through independent activity; conflict resolution processes; respect for the activity and work of others; courteous wording; encouragement of stating one's needs; care for others as a natural development of curriculum and process.
INDEPENDENCE - Use of space-defining mats and rugs for work; learning to make good work choices; learning to make good behavior choices; teacher respect for child's choices; flexible curriculum and rate of development; education of the will through various forms of feedback; joy in self -chosen activity.
SERVICE - Preparing and serving snack to classmates.
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT - Activities in body-image awareness; practice in graceful movement; balance activities; engaging in practical living and sensorial exercises or works; dance; nutritious snacks and lunches; adequate time for outdoor play.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE - Spanish language experience in speaking, song, games, math, cultural subjects, literature; counting and peace words in various languages as they relate to cultural work in the classroom.
ARTS - Use of crayons, oil pastels, charcoal, pencils, pens, fabric, cutting, weaving, color mixing, clay and other media (usually set up); easel work as desired; stories of great artists; study of well-known artists; listening to excellent music, study of musicians; introduction to drama through emulation, acting out words, sentences and feelings; short skits; study of musical scale with Montessori bells.