As the first Montessori program in Cincinnati, we have a long-standing history of providing an excellent Montessori program. Our Montessori Room is a three-year program for children ages 3-6.
Language Arts – The Montessori language curriculum is based on phonics instruction. Phonemic awareness activities focus on rhyming, matching, sequencing, counting syllables, letter naming, letter sounds, and identifying beginning sounds of objects and pictures familiar to students. As letter sounds are mastered, students work to encode (compose) and decode (read) words by linking sounds together. When ready, lessons with the moveable alphabet give the child a hands-on experience isolating sounds to encode short vowel words. Written letters are introduced through environmental print, books, and the use of sandpaper letters. Through lessons with sandpaper letters, a child can feel the shape of a letter while learning the phonetic sound. Metal insets and a variety of writing materials are used to develop the fine motor skills needed for proper letter formation. The use of the “Handwriting Without Tears” program reinforces proper letter formation. Montessori Kindergarten students participate in Writer’s Workshop lessons, receiving direct instruction on the writing process.
Math – Students first acquire a visual and tactile concept of numbers by participating in activities that teach sequence, recognition, and quantity of numbers. Sandpaper numerals and counters, the spindle box, and the short bead stair provide children the opportunity for reinforcing numerical concepts and building number sense. Classroom activities and materials provide students with concrete, hands-on experience with each concept and help to encourage a sense of order and logic, as well as the practice of identifying and creating patterns. Students participate in lessons introducing concepts of time, money, fractions, and measurement. When ready, students explore the decimal system—ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands. The concepts of addition and subtraction are introduced, and in some cases, the more complex operations of multiplication and division. In the math area, as in all other areas, students progress at their own pace, according to individual needs and interests.
Science – The Montessori science materials present the subject in such a way that children can observe, experiment, demonstrate, and record what has been learned. Units of study are living and non-living, plants compared to animals, trees, the human body, food groups, nutrition, the five animal families, seeds, insects, simple machines, and magnets.
Social Studies – Montessori children work on becoming positive members of the classroom and school community and understanding the importance of sharing, manners, and respecting rules. The CCDS Character Virtues of compassion, courage, integrity, respect, and responsibility are woven into this curriculum area. Through walks on campus and cross-divisional events, children develop a sense of the CCDS community. Students are introduced to our planet’s rich diversity of people, through the study of the seven continents with an emphasis on region or population’s geography, history, music, art, and cultural traditions. Children experience concrete examples through globes, puzzle maps, and land/water forms. Students also study holidays, great Americans, the solar system, and layers of the Earth.
Practical Life – The Practical Life area in the Montessori classroom engages children in real-life activities and tasks common to our daily life. Practical life skills promote and develop independence and responsibility in the child, as well as order and concentration. Activities involve the care of the self (e.g., dressing, washing hands, buttoning), care of the environment (e.g. loading the dishwasher, dusting, sweeping), and lessons of grace and courtesy (e.g. greetings, thanks, apologies). Fine skills are built through a variety of pouring (dry and wet) and transferring activities (e.g. spooning, tongs, tweezers). The children enjoy the outdoors daily building gross motor skills. These purposeful activities prepare children for areas across the curriculum while promoting a positive and collaborative classroom environment.
Sensorial - Sensorial materials in the Montessori classroom are designed to develop and refine the five senses. Lessons include recognizing differences and similarities in size, length, shape, weight, color, and sound. Each lesson is designed with control of error, meaning that the child not only works with the material but can independently check their work rather than seeking help from the teacher. This method promotes independence and problem-solving skills. Children are refining their senses and building independence in preparation for language and math work.