Here at Chestnut Hill Montessori School we provide a solid foundation in the early stages of a child’s education using the authentic Maria Montessori Method.
There are 9 areas that form the Montessori curriculum:
Music is an important part of a child’s education. It can refine their listening skills, build on their concentration and can be used to relax or rest from work. The children have fun learning nursery rhymes and songs. They will learn about the different instruments and will be introduced to various types of music including Classical, Opera, Irish, Salsa, Jazz etc.
Arts & Crafts
The Montessori classroom includes an ever changing selection of art and creative activities for children. Fine motor practice, colour work, and imagination all come into play in the Art area. Lessons on great artists, matching activities with fine art prints, collage and glue, cutting with scissors, hole punching, markers, crayons, paint and our own playdough are all part of the Art curriculum.
Grace and Courtesy
In the Montessori classroom, children and adults take care to be gracious and courteous to one another. This area of the curriculum encourages respect for oneself, for other members of the community, for the living things in the classroom, and for the environment. Carrying things carefully, returning them to their place so others may use them, moving gracefully and carefully, using polite and respectful language, showing consideration to others, good table manners, properly introducing oneself, and interrupting politely are all part of the lessons in Grace and Courtesy.
Science and Nature
Children are introduced to many topics within this subject. It takes advantage of the children’s natural questioning, they learn areas such as various parts of animals and the lifecycles of butterflies, bees, frogs, plants etc. Children also learn about Volcanoes and the Solar System. They go on nature walks and then research the leaves, seed or flowers they have found. The Science and Nature curriculum is designed not only to help children discover facts, but to honour the sense of wonder they have about the world. Activities include Sink or Float, Living or Non-Living, Magnetic or Non-Magnetic, Land and Water Forms, the Structure of the Earth and Botany.
Concrete materials are used to introduce mathematical concepts in the Montessori classroom. They learn how a numeral represents an amount. These exercises cater to children’s developing sense of order and sequence. Maths activities include Sandpaper Numerals, the Spindle Box for counting, Numerals and Counters, the Hundred Board, Bead Chains and Golden Beads to introduce the decimal
Sensorial materials are designed to help children learn about qualities like colour, size, shape, length, texture and sound. Sensorial activities assist children in refining their 5 senses. Sensorial materials in the classroom include Knobbed Cylinders for practice with dimension, Colour tablets, Rough and Smooth Boards, Geometric Solids, the Pink Tower and the Binomial Cube.
Practical Life activities are central to the Montessori classroom and prepare the child for all other areas. The emphasis is on practicing skills. Practical Life exercises give children the opportunity to refine their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, hand strength, balance, concentration and ability to do things for themselves. Through the repetition of Practical Life activities, children develop practical skills that will serve them all of their lives. Some of the Practical Life exercises include pouring, lacing, scooping, use of kitchen utensils, flower arranging, food preparation, putting on a jacket, washing hands and various other self-care needs.
Language involves everything from vocabulary development to reading and writing. Every child is introduced to the names of things, sounds and letters, while the older child may be beginning to understand letters and words. Language materials are often tactile, taking advantage of the 3 and 4 year olds sensitivity to learning through touch. Language Materials include Sandpaper Letters, Language Objects for initial sounds practice, word and picture Matching Cards, a Farm activity to develop vocabulary and Early Reader books.
Children are taught the various continents of the world and then narrows to countries, oceans, lakes and rivers. Montessori Cultural studies include the people and culture of different nations, animals and plants, climate and the environment are laid out in the lesson plans.