What is Montessori?
At Northstar Montessori, we follow the Montessori Method for educating young children within the context of a developmentally appropriate preschool.
Our curriculum can be broken down into 9 main categories.
Language is an all day, everywhere subject, so we use a variety of methods to teach basic skills. Children will learn to recognize the phonetic sounds of the alphabet through sight, sound and touch. After that they will move onto reading and writing.
Children also learn the alphabet by sight, with time to read independently each day as well as be read to by an adult or older child.
At Northstar, we have an entire room dedicated to the subject of math. We do simple counting exercises of everyday items and as the children master these, we expand into addition, subtraction, decimals, and currency.
We may begin the school year by using sandpaper numerals, numerical rods and spindle boxes, we will expand into the hundred board and the 45 layout. This opens many pathways for later learning of higher math skills.
We want children to be aware of and interested in the world around them and how others live. Geography begins with awareness of other places by talking about maps, singing songs, working on puzzle maps and reading stories about far away places.
We incorporate celebrations from all over the world to further educate the children about other cultures. We use dramatic play to encourage socialization and awareness of occupations as well as imagination.
This takes place everywhere all day long, starting when the children arrive and hang things in the cubbies. This encourages self-control, both mentally and physically.
The children hang their things, put lunches away, learn to zip, snap, tie, scoop, spoon ladle and pour liquids. They also learn to care for a garden, learn to care for themselves, the environment and each other.
Sensory & Motor Skill
Through manipulation of materials, children learn about color, sound, taste, smell and touch. They also learn relationship these items have with one another.
Materials such as:
- geometric solids,
- knobbed cylinders,
- trinomial cube,
- binomial cube,
- rough and smooth basket,
- sensory tables,
- and rectangular prisms
are just some of the items that help to enhance a child’s understanding of his/her physical environment. Sensorial activities are a great lead-in for math.
The children will be introduced to insects, plants and many other items. They will be able to learn names and specifics about things in nature. We will talk about life cycles and growth patterns.
The children may plant a garden, nurture the plants, then harvest the vegetables to eat. This activity will increase awareness of where their foods come from.
Staff and children go outside everyday, as weather permits. Our children are able to exercise their large motor skills outside and in the lower level of the school inside. This is also a great place to socialize.
Music & Movement
Our daily music and movement program teaches children the basics of rhythm recognition, “keeping the beat,” and simple dance. They also learn a wide variety of nursery rhymes and get a chance to be conductor of the day.
The creative process is very important in young children, so most of our art projects are “open”. This means that the child will only be restricted by his/her own imagination. Because of this, each child’s project will be different from others.
To honor your child and build self-esteem, we encourage you to display your child’s artwork in your home, as we do at school.