Okotoks Montessori Programs
IN THE CLASSROOM
Children have equal access to all
of these areas at all times:
“The environment should reveal
the child, not mold him.” – Maria Montessori
Includes preliminary exercises for the
children (pouring, carrying, folding, sponging, wringing
a cloth, spooning, twisting, polishing, etc…).
These exercises aid the child in developing their
strength and coordination of their hands. Specifically
they are common activities that help the child learn
to survive as an adult in society (care of the environment,
care of the self, grace, courtesy and movement). Dressing
frames are used to teach: buttoning, snapping, zipping,
buckling, hooking, tying and lacing, just to list
a few. Materials include familiar objects found in
one’s environment – buttons, pitchers,
water, dishes, brushes, sponging, and beading. Creative
outlets include: needlepoint, sewing on a button,
watercolor, pasting, making a cord, weaving, and folding.
These activities also aid the child in the basic development
and logical sequence of reading and writing.
The Sensorial Exercises
“ A child sees through his hands.”
Specifically these materials help the
child refine their senses.
Each material isolates one of the child’s 5
senses to sort, grade or match.
Example materials used for each of the 5 senses:
Visual: the pink tower, the brown stairs, the red
rods, color boxes, geometry cabinet, geometric solids
etc…(size, shape, color, sorting and grading).
Auditory: Sound cylinders and sound games (matching
and grading pitch and tone).
Olfactory: smelling jars (matching).
Gustatory: Tasting bottles (matching).
Tactile: Touch boards, touch tablets, fabrics (textures)
(matching and grading)
The Sensorial Exercises guides the child
through a series of trial and errors resulting in
the development of self-correcting attributes. Additional
topics covered include:
Geometry- the learning of names, shapes and functions
of solids and 3-D figures.
Botany- the study of plants, leaves, trees and the
Geography- the study of physical forms of land and
water; study is focused on continents, locations,
life and community around the globe.
“A mind once stretched with a new
idea, is forever enriched.”-Maria Montessori
The children learn to speak with grace
and courtesy in a Montessori classroom. They learn
that this form of communication is very effective
and aids them in becoming part of the adult world.
A child first learns to relate the spoken word to
pictures on cards. In this process of learning to
read and write, the children learn the sounds of letters
while tracing them with their finger and playing numerous
games of finding the sound within words or objects.
With these basic sounds children then learn to put
together additional sounds to make words of objects
that surround their world. This is followed with the
process of decoding (reading).
Activities include: Classified cards, communicating
with other children, sandpaper letters, moveable alphabet,
small metal insets, phonetic words, phonograms, grammar,
sentence structure, reading comprehension, symbolizing
and cursive writing.
Once the student can create and spell small words,
can decode simple word patterns, they become involved
in our home-reading program. Now parent and child
can participate and prepare for what is going to be
expected of them once they enter Grade One.
Children learn the number name, symbol
and then quantity and then incorporate all three.
The use of different colored beads and number cards
aid the development of the base 10 hierarchies. Through
this understanding children learn to add, subtract,
multiply and divide in a self-correcting and motivating
environment. Work is also done in time, fractions,
measurement, and word problems.
Art and Music
It is through art and music that a child finds the
opportunity to express them self entirely. In art,
they have the freedom to create from within to share
with others feeling, expression and language. To have
the opportunity to create this and not compare their
work with others and be judged is the first step to
building confidence and self -esteem in all children.
Artwork is displayed around the classroom for all
Music is integrated into the day in
several different areas. Again, music a form of expression
is crucial for development of the whole child. During
our morning circle time, students bond with songs,
movement and dance. We focus on the fun of song, the
joy of chorus and the opportunity for the group to
come together this one time during the day and have
fun together as a whole.
Each class session begins with a short
circle time of introduction for the day, songs and
music, special announcements and attendance. This
is a crucial time as the class, mixed with all ages,
learns to sit together, listen to one another, raise
their hands to speak and most importantly learns how
to pay attention to one another’s words. Students
are encouraged to bring items for the Nature Table;
to encourage public speech techniques, which builds
self- esteem and confidence. Again, this time is a
preparation for the school years ahead where the teacher
will expect the student to be able to achieve all
the above mentioned skills.
All of these activities are located within
the classroom and are intertwined with one another
for the children to use. The classroom activities
and environment are Casa de Bambini (child sized)
whereby the children become the rulers of this space.
With all the materials made in such a way that it
is color coordinated, complete and accessible, the
children learn to respect their materials, their environment
and each other. Through the child’s eagerness
to learn and curiosity of endless ‘presentations’
of new material on the shelf the child’s own
inner discipline and work ethic is stimulated. This
is because a child chooses their own work, appropriate
to their present skill level, and works at it however
long they feel it necessary to perfect their inner
drive without being interrupted. Additionally,
since there is only one of everything in the classroom,
a child will have to wait until their desired activity
becomes available without disturbing the other child;
this develops their social skills.
Okotoks Montessori Preschool is pleased
to present Preschool and ECS/Kindergarten programs
for children from ages 3 to 6 years old.