Midland Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten
The three-year old, four-year old and Kindergarten classrooms are thoughtfully prepared educational environments where children are free to grow, learn, and explore their world in a “child-centered” environment. Under the careful observation and guidance of the teacher, the students receive group instruction, work in small groups, and work independently. The Montessori classrooms are calm, ordered, and brightly colored spaces filled with self-correcting learning materials that meet the child's educational needs. In addition to being a child-centered environment, Midland Montessori School offers a “prepared environment.” The classrooms contain a selection of carefully designed “works” from which a child may choose. As the children manipulate these works, they teach themselves through their senses, primarily the sense of touch. The preschool and kindergarten classroom materials provide four distinct areas of learning: practical life, sensorial, mathematics, and language. The students also work in the areas of science, geography, history, art, music, and Spanish.
Children who complete the full three-year Preschool and Kindergarten program will have the skills necessary for a successful elementary education.
Practical Life: The Skills of Daily Living
Montessori practical life materials and exercises allow children to take part in and master activities of daily living. As students practice, they gain fine and gross motor skills, as well as, a growing sense of independence. Practical life lessons include:
Care of Person (buttoning, zipping, tying, washing)
Care of Environment (cleaning, sweeping, gardening, care of animals)
Development of Social Graces (greeting, serving, apologizing, thanking)
Movement (developing manual dexterity and muscular coordination)
Sensorial: Exploring their World
Using sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell, the sensorial materials enable preschool children to order, classify, and comprehend their world. The Montessori materials help the children to discover concepts in relation to: length, width, height, temperature, texture, and color, etc. As the children work with their hands, they developed concentration and self discipline.
Mathematics: From Concrete to Abstract
Rods, spindles, beads, cubes, and counters are some of the concrete tools used to symbolize mathematical abstractions. The math materials allow the students internalize the concept of numbers, place value, and mathematical operations. Like all Montessori materials, these manipulatives build on each other and provide increasing complexity as the student masters skills.
Language: From Spoken to Written
The Montessori early childhood classroom emphasizes spoken language as the foundation for all expression. Throughout the class time, children hear and use precise vocabulary for all the activities, learning names of geometric shapes, parts of plants, mathematical operations, and so on.
The materials for written language first introduce the child to the twenty six letters of the alphabet and their sounds. In order to simplify the children's first experience with letters, they are first introduced to the phonetic sounds of the alphabet, rather than the names of the letters. After a child has begun to successfully sound out phonetic words, he/she may be introduced to word cards, sentence strips, and books, all of which emphasize a phonetic approach to reading.