The Primary Montessori classroom is designed to meet the developmental needs of children between the ages of 3 and 6 years old. Children of this age are motivated from within by a natural curiosity and a love of knowledge. In our carefully prepared Primary classrooms, children are guided by AMI trained teachers in their exploration of new concepts and ideas. The goal of the Primary program is to cultivate the child’s own natural desire to learn.
- Half day program for 3 & 4 year olds
8:45 AM to 12:00 PM
- Full day program for 5 year olds
8:45 AM to 3:00 PM
- Extended day option for 3 & 4 year olds
12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Each Primary classroom is staffed by one lead teacher and one assistant. The teachers are joined by specialists in Spanish, art, and music each week. Each student child in these multi-age classrooms follows a unique education plan, tailored to meet his individual needs. The classroom is a vibrant social community, with younger children benefiting from the experience of the older students. The older students grow socially and intellectually while developing leadership skills and reinforcing what they have already mastered by sharing their knowledge.
There are five distinct areas that allow the child to develop his character as well as his academic interests:
This is the first area of the classroom presented to and explored by children as they enter the Primary environment. These activities, including table washing, silver polishing, hand washing, plant watering, and food preparation, enable the child to care for himself and his environment. The young child is drawn to the ordered, purposeful presentations of these lessons, and repeat the work frequently, leading to increased concentration.
Students are introduced to the Sensorial materials concurrently with the Practical Life exercises. This area, featuring materials designed to isolate concepts of size, color, shape, temperature, smell, sound, and touch, helps children begin to classify the world around them. These materials, which are scientifically and mathematically accurate, allow for countless amounts of exploration and manipulation by the students.
The Primary classroom is bursting with language, from stories told by the teacher to lessons in scientific vocabulary. Children are introduced to the phonetic sounds of the alphabet through work with the sandpaper letters. As they begin to learn a number of the phonetic sounds, the children are introduced to the concept of writing as a means of self-expression. Through the use of the Montessori language materials, children later begin to read, noticing that reading is a new way to explore their inquiries about their world.
The math area of the Primary classroom is full of “hands-on” materials designed to give the young child a sensory experience of mathematical concepts before the enter into developing an understanding of abstract concepts. Children use the math materials to explore quantities, mathematical operations, squaring and cubing numbers, and fractions.
This area of exploration includes world geography, physical science, zoology, biology, botany, history, art, music studies, and Spanish language. An optional after-school Chinese language and culture class is offered to children ages 4 and up.