What is taught in a Montessori Preprimary or 3-6 year old classroom?
Montessori schools educate the whole child- body, mind and spirit. Academically, the Montessori classroom is usually divided into approximately five basic areas: In PRACTICAL LIFE the children work with materials and activities that are part of daily life to experience mastery of themselves and the environment, become more independent and better able to concentrate. Children subsequently develop their concentration, coordination, order and independence by working with these initial activities. In the SENSORIAL area the senses are sharpened and refined by having the child experience color, shape, form, sound, smell, etc. In the LANGUAGE area the child is immersed in all aspects of the language; listening, speaking, reading and writing. Beginning with the sandpaper letters and an introduction to the sound symbol relationship, the child truly experiences language and discovers the varied systems of communication. Basic skills in writing and reading develop almost effortlessly. In the MATH area, the mathematical knowledge is brought from the abstract to a more concrete level. Since the child learns by activity as well as mental exercises, the abstract functions of mathematics are transformed to exercise of purposive play. In a Montessori class children explore the whole of the universe. The CULTURAL area includes science, geography, history, music and art. Montessori teachers are varied and talented individuals who bring into the classroom their own unique expertise in many other areas as well. In a Montessori classroom the AFFECTIVE Curriculum is equally important. Within the context of the classroom community, children learn to become aware of self, understand others and learn how to be in positive relationship with each other. They learn to cooperate and collaborate, to appreciate diversity and to resolve problems peacefully. Children become compassionate and creative global citizens who understand themselves and seek to contribute to the world.