Gore Range Montessori was an amazing chapter in our sons' early education. We saw them grow socially, emotionally and academically. We loved the neighborhood feel of the school!"
Gore Range Montessori Parent
The Montessori curriculum is built around purposeful guidelines based on how children naturally develop and learn. Each work is designed using the following principles:
· Direct and Indirect Aims: Each work intentionally teaches a specific skill that is key to a child’s development such as a three-fingered pincer grasp or following multi-step directions. Some works also have other non-essential skills embedded in them such as learning how to grate cheese or how to polish silver. Each work is designed using the following principles:
· Full work cycle: Each work has specific steps to be followed from start to finish. The full work cycle helps develop a child’s level of focus and ability to follow multi-step directions. The full work cycle also meets a child’s affinity for order and routine.
· Sequence of work: The entire curriculum follows a specific sequence in order to meet children’s needs at their individual levels of development and to ensure that each child builds the foundation of skills needed to move on to the next level of work. For example, a child must experience a number of the Sensorial works before moving on to the Math area as the Sensorial lessons build the foundation of knowledge and skills needed to be successful with the Math works. In addition, each curriculum area has its own sequence of work that builds upon itself. For example, the pouring work in the Practical Life area starts with vessels that can be held with the whole fist and refines the grasp to a three-finger grasp. Another sequence used is starting with the concrete and moving to the abstract. For example, a child works with the Number Rods to learn about numbers 1-10 where he or she can feel the increase in size as the numbers get larger. Once the child understands the concrete concept of 1-10, he or she then adds the numerals to the quantity in order to begin to understand the abstract representation of the quantities.
· Repetition: Each work is introduced to a child through an individual lesson given by the teacher. After the introductory lesson, the child is offered the opportunity to repeat the lesson. The child learns from independently experiencing the lesson multiple times. Children love repetition, and with each experience with the same work, a child learns more from that work.
Our curriculum revolves around a three-hour uninterrupted work time. During this time, a child may choose work from any of the six areas of the classroom:
· Practical Life: The Practical Life area focuses on activities of particular interest to children such as pouring water and preparing food. Each Practical Life work develops a child’s sense of order, concentration, coordination and independence. Younger children spend the majority of their time in the classroom in this area.
· Sensorial: The Sensorial lessons refine each of the five senses, stimulate cognitive development and help the child develop the ability to make judgments and comparisons thus developing his/her critical thinking skills. The Sensorial works also begin to build the foundation for work in the base 10 math system and geometry.
· Math: The Math lessons follow a carefully sequenced flow chart to help children develop a concrete understanding of the base 10 system. The math lessons begin with lessons with numbers 1-10 in order to build a strong foundation of math knowledge. The lessons then progress through linear counting, such as the teens, tens and counting to 100 and the decimal system, which involves working with ones, tens, hundreds and thousands. The Math curriculum utilizes hands on, concrete representations of numbers in order to facilitate a child’s understanding. The more advanced work helps the child transition from their concrete understanding of numbers to the more widely used abstract representations.
· Language: The Language lessons help even the youngest child prepare the hand and eyes for reading and writing. Works such as the Metal Insets and Writing Letters help develop a child’s fine motor skills and pencil grip. The language lessons also help each child develop an awareness of sounds and meaning of language. Through lessons like I Spy and the Sandpaper Letters, children build a foundation of letter-sound knowledge. They then move through a sequence of works based on phonetics to build and read words and sentences.
· Geography and Culture: The Geography and Culture works help each child learn about the physical world around him/her and develop an understanding of the different places and cultures around the world. The Geography and Culture lessons are presented in a sequence based on units of study including Land and Water forms, volcanoes, hemispheres, the layers of the Earth, the seven continents, and the World Map.
· Science: Children learn about physical science, biology and chemistry through hands on, experiential and experimental learning. With the Science works, children can independently explore science experiences such as Magnetism, Chemical Reaction, Magnification, and Displacement.