The primary classroom is an environment prepared for the young child (2 to 6 years); the furniture, the shelving, the sink, etc. are all built to the child's physical size. The exercises, cleaning materials, paper, pencils, snack foods, etc. are all within reach and available without adult assistance.
Preparing the classroom in this way provides the opportunity for the children to do things themselves, thus building independence and self-confidence.
"Help me to help myself."
The exercises and activities in the classroom are designed to satisfy specific developmental needs of the child, needs that are specific to this age. There is the need to move and develop muscular coordination; the need to explore and discover new things about the world; the need to use materials and repeat in order to perfect a skill; and the need to be independent of the adult and experience that they have control over what happens in their own lives.
The children learn the names of things in their classroom, the names and classifications of animals, the parts of the body and the sounds of the letters. As they discover the excitement of reading, they begin to participate in literature's function of passing on man's wealth of knowledge. The children learn the numbers, and the symbols and quantities for each. They learn about 10's, 100's, and 1000's and how to "put together," to "take away," to "share equally."
The children learn about the continents and the different countries, their flags, their customs, their housing, transportation, food, clothing and the languages of the people who live on our planet.
The Prepared Environment
The young child has definite needs to fulfill in the process of "growing up." The Montessori classroom is specially prepared to meet these needs at each plane of development.
The work the children do is real and sensible. The classroom is the children's: they wash a chair when it is dirty, they polish a mirror, they prepare and serve food, they set up and clean up their lunch, they sponge up spills and sweep up dirt.
"The classroom is an extension of the home."
This enriched classroom provides a place where the child can work with specially designed materials that help them fulfill these needs. The children learn about the world and prepare themselves to live as well rounded, self-assured citizens of the community.
Synopsis of Program
The elementary class is composed of students ages 6 through 12 years.These students are subdivided into two groups: 6 to 9 years (lower elementary) and 9 to 12 years (upper elementary).
The elementary child is an imaginative explorer, and the elementary program is designed to stimulate the child's imagination.
The teacher is a story teller, enticing the child through allegorical stories to explore the cosmos with mind and heart.
These cosmic stories of the Earth, humanity, language and mathematics lead the child on a wondrous journey.
Throughout the journey, the child selects those subjects that inspire learning. CMS encourages collaborative work since the child at this age learns best in groups.
This collaborative environment allows the child to prepare for taking an active role as a member of society.
"Going Out" is part of the Montessori environment and helps the students develop relationships beyond the family, and beyond the classroom into the local and world communities. It begins in the primary with simple social responsibilities, grace and courtesy, helping to keep the classroom clean and in order.
In the elementary, "Going Out" begins with responsibility in the classroom. Excursions to local libraries, museums, and places of special interest that relate to a current classroom study are arranged by the students. Students are responsible for organizing all aspects of "Going Out" events including scheduling, transportation arrangements and collection of admission fees.
"Going Out" also includes invitations to guest lecturers to come to the classroom to talk on a special topic of study, and these events are also arranged by the students.
The upper elementary students go on week long excursions to science and marine life camps. Under the teacher's watchful eye, the student takes on the responsibility of becoming a member of society.
The Performing Arts Program is designed to meet the needs of the elementary child for group collaborative work. It is just as important as the academics, and is stressed during the summer months.
Through the Christmas holiday program and summer play, the children are guided to have a respect for the stage, be responsible to others, be on time, sing or speak clearly, and maintain their concentration throughout an involved performance. At the completion of this work, the confidence gained by each child is well worth the effort.
Synopsis of Program
Performing Arts Program
The Performing Arts Program is part of the Montessori classroom experience and includes music, singing and staging a Christmas Program and a summer play. The Christmas Program involves all the students and creates the spirit of the holiday season. The summer play involves the elementary students staging the performance while the younger children are audience for the rehearsals, learn the songs, and look forward to their turn.
Private piano lessons are offered for children age five years and up. Lessons are given at the school after the school day once a week and it has an enrollment and fee separate from the regular school program.
Summer Arts & Crafts
The Children's Montessori School Arts and Crafts Program runs over a seven week period during the Summer Vacation, emphasizes art and craft skills such as cutting, gluing, folding, painting, music etc. and is open to children aged 2 through 5 years.
With the completion of a major art project each week, each session includes story time, snack (school provided) and playtime.