Okotoks Montessori PRESCHOOL PROGRAM

The Casa Montessori Program

The word “Casa” means “child-size. Upon entering the classroom this is what parents and children alike will notice, everything is child-sized. The tables and chairs, shelving and materials are all small enough for children to carry and manipulate. The room is bright, clean, organized and cheery. All materials have their place, and to the amazement of most adults, there are no toys.

When children attend the preschool for the “Casa” program, they are under the impression that because the materials are hands on and they get to work with them as many times as they like, based on their skill level and interest at the time; they actually think they are playing. When parents ask, “what did you do at school today?” most kids say “play” others say “work” as the teachers refer to it. When parents spend time in the classroom observing they are amazed to see their three or four year old completing the map of Canada, doing fraction circles, organizing smallest to largest cylinders, practicing small metal alphabet sounds, or just simply observing other students working.

Students are able to work independently, or with a small group within the classroom. Teachers act as facilitators, directing children to appropriate work, based on each of their levels. In a Montessori classroom, we don’t believe in frustrating or pushing a child. We watch for mastery of a previous building skill and then move a child forward to the next skill. We don’t base our teaching on a child’s age; we base it on what he or she is able to do. We do not compare children, as each child is unique and special. Because the Montessori program is basically a three year program; two years in preschool and one year in Kindergarten, we see our window of mastery as three years. All students end up completing the program successfully in the end, but master different skills at different times. This is one of the best things about Montessori, the children do not feel stressed, performing ahead or behind of their peers.

The classroom is set up in different areas with foundations using fine motor skills, organization, sequencing, building and process. You will see a large Math section that ranges in skill levels from pre K to grade three, with multiplication and division materials. In the language section, you will see a lot of emphasis on the phonetic alphabet where sound is taught before letter name, to encourage the natural step of putting sounds together to spell, for example “a (ahh) t(tuh) – spells at. A science area is changed regularly where children can use magnifying glasses, magnets, the incubating of chicks, the worm aquarium, the plants growing as they learn the different parts, and many other interesting things for them to do. The sensorial area is popular with the brown stairs to be built and the pink tower. The students love to create large, tall towers and use their imagination of a towering city with the color tiles below acting like a raging river!

Whatever stage a child is in, whatever peaks their interest, your child will find something to cause creativity, satisfaction and a love for learning in the Montessori classroom. Our circle times are fun, entertaining and enjoyable for everyone. The children are given the opportunity to listen to stories pertaining to the theme for that week, learn songs and actions, and just an opportunity to build relationships with everyone around them.

Besides the benefits of the academics, most importantly, children are taught to respect their environment and each other. Teasing, bullying, running and disrespect is never tolerated, and rarely an issue. All children are treated equally, and our staff have always been commended for their compassion and love shown towards the children. The administrator, Mrs. Brown, often tells new parents when they are enrolling their child, “ if you are not comfortable with hugging, then this isn’t the place for your child, for if your child needs a hug, we will hug!” It is an atmosphere rare in this world today, one that is safe and caring, for your most precious, your child!

Preschool School Sessions:

AM 8:30 or 9:00 - 11:30 am
PM 12:00 or 12:30 - 3:00 pm

 

 

 

Please request registration form here for program fee and time options.

Please request a registration form here.