Preschool and Kindergarten
Early Childhood MPA classrooms are divided into mixed-age groups of children, ages 3 to 6 years old. Classroom space is peaceful, and children are free to move about and choose to work with materials to which they have been introduced, either by the teacher or by an experienced peer. Materials or "works," as they are referred to in the Montessori classroom, are categorized into the five areas of learning. In addition, enrichment such as Spanish, music, art and physical education are offered to Early Childhood students.
The 5 Areas of Learning
The Montessori classroom is arranged spatially and by content into 5 areas of learning. Dr. Montessori conceived of these 5 areas as interrelated facets of a child's total learning experience. Taken together, they encourage the child to prepare his or her whole intellect, body, and personality for a lifetime of learning.
This area is unique to the Montessori classroom and presents skills for independent, daily living. Below are just a few examples:
- Care of the self--lessons in hand washing, nose blowing, dressing frames
- Care of the environment--lessons in care of plants and animals, table washing, sweeping, window washing
- Care of others (Grace & Courtesy)--lessons in manners, respect for personal space, appropriate conversation
- Control of movement--such as walking the line, the "silence game"
Practical Life exercises provide opportunities to think sequentially, pay attention to detail, gain independence, refine coordination, enhance concentration, establish a sense of order and develop poise. These form the foundation for other learning areas, especially math and language. Furthermore, the children gain a sense of pride, independence and self-discipline; qualities that are the essence of Dr. Montessori's philosophy. In turn, they help foster the children's development into responsible, caring, self-actualizing adults with the necessary tools to achieve life-long success.
Dr. Montessori designed sensorial materials to develop cognitive skills, and to help children classify and order their impressions by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, listening, and exploring the physical properties of their environment. She recognized that learning must be concrete before it can be abstract. Therefore, the sensorial area consists of specific didactic materials, such as the red rods and the pink tower, that not only stimulate a specific sense, but also isolate a specific quality and degree of difficulty. These will provide the necessary concentration to inspire the child's "mathematical mind."
Language development is vital to all human development. The Montessori classroom is rich in oral language opportunities, allowing the child to experience conversation, poetry, and stories. It also provides them with tactile support for language and literacy acquisition. For example, the children effortlessly link sound to symbol--concrete to abstract--while tracing sandpaper letters with their fingers, following the natural progression of fine motor skills to written expression and the cognitive act of reading.
Mathematical activities help children learn and understand the concepts of math by manipulating concrete materials. The work helps children acquire a solid understanding of basic mathematical principles, including all four mathematical operations, place value into the thousands, and prepares their minds for later abstract reasoning.
Dr. Montessori believed that children possess an instinctive curiostiy about the outside world; therefore, she did not limit her curriculum to Language and Math. MPA students learn about the world around them through history, geography, geometry, botany, art, zoology, cultural subjects and Spanish language.
- 5 Full days, 8:30AM to 3:30PM (All Kindergarten students are full day.)
- 5 Half days, AM, 8:30 to 11:30AM (Available for 3 and 4 year-olds only)
- 5 Half days, PM, 12:30 to 3:30PM (Available for 3 and 4 year-olds only)
- 3 Half days, AM, Mon., Tues., Wed., 8:30 to 11:30AM (3 day option available only to 3 year-olds)
- 3 Half days, PM Mon., Tues., Wed., 12:30 to 3:30PM (3 day option available only to 3 year-olds)
Before and aftercare available 7:30-8:30 AM and/or 3:30-5:30 PM (at an extra rate)