Crestwood Montessori Preschool Program
Montessori Private School
TODDLER PROGRAM (Ages 1.5 to 3.5 years)
Crestwood Montessori School is committed to educating our youngest minds following Maria Montessori’s motto ‘Follow the Child.’ Surrounded by highly trained, certified teachers, our environment is prepared to the highest standards in pre-school education. The carefully ordered classroom engages children in such a way as to ignite the innate spark within each child so that they are the active agent in the learning process.
We know that these early years are critical in brain development. Research reveals that this window of time to impart essential learning skills is indispensable. The child’s desire to learn and his ability to absorb information mark a finite period of time. Our exceptional team of loving teachers provide a socially, emotionally and cognitively appropriate environment in which your child begins his early steps on the journey to be a lifelong learner. Guiding the child to refine his everyday living activities and increase his concentration, coordination and independence are the goals of this unique environment. Keen observation and patience are two of the many skills the teachers utilize to help the children grow in self-esteem and self-discovery.
“The young child is a creature with special powers or ‘sensitivities’ unlike any found elsewhere in nature. The interval of life when they are at work is brief and decisive. While it lasts, the child appears, literally, to absorb its environment. Because the child ‘absorbs’ the environment, those responsible for its education have reason to be careful about what the environment is and what goes in it.” – Dr. Maria Montessori
Practical Life: This classroom area focuses on the Care of Self, Care of Environment as well as Grace and Courtesy. Spooning and Pouring works as well as independently putting on shoes and coats are some examples of Care of Self. Care of Environment teaches children to be responsible and respectful of their surroundings. Lessons such as learning to put their works away in addition to caring for plants and animals increase the child’s awareness of his role in both the classroom and at home. Grace and Courtesy lessons are fostered by consistent modelling of appropriate behaviour. In addition to showing respect to friends and teacher, children are encouraged and recognized when they offer assistance, kindness and compassion. Practical Life is the foundation of the Montessori classroom and teaches the life skills the children need to be an asset in their home and community.
Sensorial: The child begins to learn to discriminate between all five senses. The children receive these lessons in isolation and are given many opportunities to practice and repeat works uninterrupted. Some of the lessons include colors, shapes, textures, sounds and a variety of tastes from different cultures.
Language: Most children start school with limited vocabulary skills. Thanks to our multi-aged environment, the classroom is bursting with vocabulary. We enrich these blossoming minds with songs, wonderful read-aloud books, games and movement. The baskets on the shelves are filled with works to enhance vocabulary from basic everyday objects such as fruits, vegetables, animals, and parts of their body. The children learn to choose and repeat the works until they have mastered each category.
Math: The child is introduced to the numbers 0 through 9. There is strong concentration on numbers 1 to 3 with the abstraction of quantity added later. Math work includes a variety of matching simple objects to a number card which already has the object shown.
Cultural: The children are introduced to the 7 continents with a strong emphasis on North America. We use a continent puzzle as well as the Globe. The children are taught the continent song to give them the foundation for what will take place in the Primary Program. They will have a knowledge and recollection of the names of the continents when they are reintroduced in more depth in a Primary classroom.
PRIMARY PROGRAM (Ages 3.5 to 6 years)
In this environment, the children are introduced to various concrete materials that help in the development of their senses. Our Primary classrooms also comprise of five areas:
Practical Life: Practical Life is the foundation of the Montessori classroom. Children are drawn to this area because it most closely resembles home. The familiarity of home in the surrounding materials such as bowls, pitchers, utensils and dressing boards invite children between the ages of 3-6 to explore fully their most intimate environment and build the bridge between home and school. Thanks to the beauty and presentation of the materials, children develop intense concentration and focus on their work as developmental milestones are progressively reached: independence, dexterity, coordination of movement, small muscle development and hand-eye coordination. This area focuses on daily life skills such as pouring water into a cup, tying a shoelace, zipping a jacket, washing and drying dishes. The children learn Care of Self, Care of Environment, as well as Grace and Courtesy. Giving a child the uninterrupted time to master basic life skills in a carefully prepared environment and under the observing eye of the directress lays the foundation for the academic, social and emotional growth that ensues.
Sensorial: The Sensorial area of the classroom invites the child to explore all of the senses with alluring, colorful materials that urge the child to touch. By experiencing each individual lesson in a concrete and isolated manner, mastery occurs. Children build on this base by learning to compare the differences within the lesson; for example, long, longer, longest. Further critical thinking skills are also supported. When having worked extensively with the Sensorial materials, a child makes the connection to geometry. Children learn to discriminate between textures, musical pitches and temperature. The possibilities are endless.
Math: Fascination with Math begins as soon as a child enters the Primary classroom. The delicate beads, in an array of gorgeous colors, propel children to work with the materials and drive them instinctually onward through the increasingly abstract concepts. Through the three year cycle, children effortlessly learn their numbers, the abstract concept of odd and even and then progress through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Language: The Primary classroom is embedded with a rich source of language due to the multi-age environment. Just during Circle time, children are exposed to numerous genres of language including traditional and contemporary songs, favorite read aloud books, poetry and alliteration. Nestled within the shelves of the Language environment, the children embark on a journey identifying pictures in their environment and nature, increasing their vocabulary awareness, sorting objects and building simple words. As the children gain knowledge and confidence, they are exposed to increasingly complex blends, phonograms and the Dolch words. Writing comes naturally as the child now has a solid foundation working in the areas of Practical Life and Sensorial. Focus and concentration become part of the child’s intricate personality. The result is a beautiful tapestry created by the directress’ observations and beautiful, engaging materials in the prepared environment.
Cultural/Sciences: The Montessori classroom comprises a community of parents, teachers and children from around the world. We unite with a common goal to impart knowledge about world culture. By laying the foundation of compassion and cooperation for humanity, we hand the keys of peace to the next generation. Our friends learn to appreciate the capacity and differences among the children around them. Our curriculum encompasses Botany, Zoology, Human Anatomy, Geography and History. Culture and Science would be introduced as a whole topic and then broken down into more detail for study. An example of teaching from whole to part would be the Land and Water Globe, the Continent Globe, the World Map, the continent on which we live, the country in which we live, the state in which we reside, and the city or town where we attend school. The goal for our friends is to teach them how to be contributing member within their group and to take a more active role within their community.
LOWER ELEMENTARY PROGRAM (Ages 6 to 9 years)
The Lower Elementary program in a Montessori classroom teaches children to be meaningful, active participants in the complex world in which they live. To achieve this, the curriculum starts with the presentation of concepts and ideas as a whole and then divides them into parts for a more thorough understanding. The program continues to be based on the unique system of catering to the developmental needs of the individual child rather than a whole class approach. At Crestwood Montessori School, the children are not just prepared for their intellectual need alone, but also to their social, emotional and spiritual needs, each of which are significant components of the whole individual. The curriculum that we offer is both broad and deep in content which fully integrates all areas of academic interests and provide opportunities for team work and public speaking.
Children aged six to nine years of age work with vigorous energy and curiosity to learn new things. The excitement of having mastered the basics of reading and writing now open the door for the next phase of learning. Complex skills like time management, research based projects and exploring areas of personal interest challenge and nurture their thirst for knowledge in their community and our global world. Working within this intimate community of learners and growing in a safe, supportive setting creates the nectar for a nurturing, harmonious working community. Children spend their day working both individually and in small groups on a variety of highly engaging projects and materials in the core subject areas of Language, Math, Sciences (History, Geography, Botany, and Zoology) as well as Geometry. As they move along this broad and deep curriculum, the teachers act as their guides helping them to delve deeper into subjects of their choice by doing research activities, using the technology resources and reaching out into the community.