Okotoks Montessori Programs

ACTIVITIES IN THE CLASSROOM

Children have equal access to all of these areas at all times:

Practical Life
“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.” –Maria Montessori

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 cycles involved.
Geography- the study of physical forms of land and water; study is focused on continents, locations, life and community around the globe.

Language
“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.


Math
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 to enjoy.

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.


Circle Time
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.


Classroom Structure
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.