What is Montessori?
The Montessori method of education was developed by physician Maria Montessori. Emphasizing independence, it views children as naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a sufficiently supportive and well-prepared learning environment.
Language is explored through our senses using concrete materials. We do not memorize the alphabet, but rather the phonetic sound and shape of each letter and provide materials (such as the Metal Insets which we trace that help to develop the tripod grip and strengthen the hand for writing.
In our Sensorial area, we work with our senses to develop our sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Once we’ve explored these concepts sensorially, such as with our smelling bottles where we match smells, we add language to these concepts.
Grace & Courtesy
This exists throughout the classroom. Grace & Courtesy lessons are taught in a variety of ways and include lessons in how to pass by a friend, how to interrupt, and how to help a friend in need (often by offering a tissue or pat on the back).
This is typically the first area that a new child explores. We introduce familiar materials to the child to help them feel comfortable in the new environment as well as demonstrating such things as sweeping and watering plants to help them care for their new environment.
In Math, we again begin with concrete and sensorial explorations for the numbers 1-9. We introduce 0 and 10 after this and ensure that the children have a sensorial understanding of quantity before adding the abstract concept of the symbolic numbers.
In a Montessori environment the children are almost always moving. Children walk around the classroom to find work and to interact with other children and adults. The refinement of movement is also explored by walking on the line and learning to line up and walk together as a group.