Our Curriculum

The AMS Montessori Classroom is a carefully prepared environment divided into subject areas designed to meet the social and academic needs of children ages two through six. The Montessori child acquires enhanced knowledge and skills in these curriculum areas. This knowledge establishes a foundation for true comprehension on a more abstract level for the future.

Sensorial

The Sensorial area of the classroom is designed to bring order to a child’s sensory impressions, allowing a child to establish relationships between objects, compare and contrast, refine movement, recognize truth and reality and refine their observations. They are stimulated by materials that engage their vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Think of this as math preparation for 3 and 4 year olds. The materials are visually interesting to children, and they yearn to manipulate them. They encourage fine motor skills and provide a foundation for writing and reading. Order and sequence lead a child toward independence, which in turn leads to further exploration with new materials.

Practical Life

The materials and exercises encountered in the practical life area of the classroom are like those found in all homes, cleaning materials, sewing materials, kitchen goods, etc. It is difficult to realize how these materials could possibly benefit the developmental growth of the children, but these serve the whole child, the physical, mental and moral. Because the materials are familiar to them, there is a bond between them and the practical life area. This is where the children will center themselves, a sort of comfort zone, and a favorite area for many reasons. Many children entering the classroom at a young age have parents that tend to do everything for them. In this environment, the child is finally allowed to work these materials, be successful, raising self-esteem and providing a foundation for moving on to other areas of the classroom.

Mathmatics

Maria Montessori felt the roots of mathematics are planted in the absorbent mind, and that an innate mathematical mind only needs to be developed through various life experiences. An example of this innate drive toward mathematical discovery would be the creation of a base ten system, using fingers and toes to calculate area, space and time as a means of survival. Through this Maria reasoned that mathematics is also about space, structure, and measurement. She reasoned that history is paralleled in the child’s capacity to learn mathematics, going from the very simplistic to the sophisticated. Children are first presented with quantity, then symbol, and lastly, the symbol and quantity concurrently. The classroom provides materials to stimulate the child not only with “arithmetic” and geometry, but also to encourage problem solving skills.

Language/Reading

Language and Reading have their foundation in the Sensorial and Practical Life areas. There are many stages of development in the language curriculum, the first being oral/auditory. This moves to fine motor skills (providing mechanical preparation for writing) and sand paper letters for letter sound recognition. Then comes word reading, and the majority of language materials will fall under this category. Sentence reading is the next stage, where word recognition leads to reading and comprehension. The final stages are grammar and classroom language and language in units. Most importantly, we provide a variety of materials and ideas for the children so that they can develop at their own pace and in their own style.

Art

Art is a favorite for many Montessori students. Like the sensorial and practical life areas, the art area awakens and stimulates the senses. Art materials are often provided as a reinforcement of what the children are learning about in circle, for example, when children are learning about the human body, the art area might provide materials for a child to cut out and assemble a paper skeleton. Children make things for themselves, and each other. Here a child is free to touch, draw, cut, tear, staple, tape, glue, paint… create. The child is supplied with the raw materials to create their masterpiece.

Science, Botany, Biology, Geography & History

Science, Botany, Biology, Geography, and History are represented throughout the classroom. At different times of the year these subjects are focused on during our circle time. These are reinforced by related art projects, puzzles, reading materials and song.

Spanish and Sign Language

Also during our circle time and reinforced in the classroom is the use of Spanish and Sign Language. Twice weekly Spanish lessons are given as a group. Sign language is incorporated during circle time and in music. The children love learning new ways to communicate their feelings and describe the world around them.

Music, Movement and Drama

Music, Movement and Drama are favorite activities; stimulating and engaging. Often, songs and drama are used to reinforce classroom concepts, and to engrain things like the planets, states and presidents in the children's memories. Instruments, sign language and movement are regularly a part of this activity. Organized movement is also utilized to help focus the children after periods of stationary learning.

"A child is an eager observer and is particularly attracted by the actions of the adults and wants to imitate them. In this regard an adult can have a kind of mission. He can be an inspiration for the child's actions, a kind of open book wherein a child can learn how to direct his own movements. But an adult, if he is to afford proper guidance, must always be calm and act slowly so that the child who is watching him can clearly see his actions in all their particulars." Dr. Maria Montessori – The Secret of Childhood
"By absorbing what he finds about him, he forms his own personality."
Dr. Maria Montessori

Cirriculum