In the Montessori environment children experience order. Shelves are prepared with a variety of hands-on materials. The activities and work done in the classroom steadily progress from simple to complex, from concrete to abstract. Starting at age 3, classrooms are organized around a three-year cycle. Collaboration among age levels reinforces leadership skills and provides the opportunity for older children to mentor younger children.
Over the course of a three-year cycle, teachers are able to deeply understand their students and how they best learn. They report regularly on student progress and hold conferences with parents two times a year in fall and spring, or when deemed necessary by teacher or parent.
Music and Language
In addition to the Montessori curriculum, Orff music lessons are given one day a week. These begin with the primary classes and continue through the elementary years. The Orff method, developed by composer Carl Orff, uses a child’s natural, playful impulses towards movement and vocal expression to teach musical concepts. Students explore beat, rhythm and pitch through music, rhyme and movement exercises. Orff also promotes creativity through improvisation and composition. Children sing, use body percussion and play rhythm and percussion instruments, progressively attaining note-reading skills.
Our Spanish teacher visits classrooms once a week to teach Spanish lessons to the elementary and primary students. Appreciation for a second language and another culture is our main goal. The primary and elementary teachers reinforce both the Orff and Spanish instruction during their regular class time.