Our Programs

Pre-K and Kindergarten

Overview

The Pre-K and Kindergarten program is for children about 4 to 6 years old. In this mixed-age environment children spend two years in the same classroom getting to know each other and their teachers well. The continuity of returning to the same room each year makes for a strong classroom community.

Four to six-year olds go through an intense period of change, including the transition to cooperative play and more complex social interactions, deepening writing and reading skills, understanding basic abstract math concepts, such as addition and subtraction to more complex concepts like multiplication and fractions, and great changes in physical development. The Montessori teacher responds to these changes in social and emotional, cognitive and physical development with appropriate lessons to support each child's growth and emerging capabilities. As in every Montessori classroom, teachers introduce lessons and skills to students as they are ready. As children grow, the classroom materials grow with them in the sense that older children use the materials to explore curriculum in new and deeper ways.

Pre-K and Kindergarten children come to school five days a week and enjoy a full day of school. Pre-K students are given homework once a week, and Kindergarteners are given homework daily.

The Kindergarten Year

Kindergarten is the culminating year of the Primary education cycle in a Montessori education. By becoming positive peer models for their younger classmates, Kindergarteners are given an opportunity to develop their leadership skills. Throughout the year they assume positions of responsibility that further strengthen their own capabilities and self-esteem. Everything that children have learned in previous years comes together in Kindergarten, which prepares them to meet new challenges and readies them for Elementary School.

Curriculum

The Montessori classroom is divided into separate work areas where children rotate through lessons on a daily basis. Although, the areas are separate and distinct, the information children learn from one area, helps them to integrate new knowledge and experience gained from another area. There is a dynamic interconnection between all the areas of a Montessori classroom, which aid the holistic development of each child.

Practical Life

Practical Life activities are central to the Montessori classroom and prepare the child for all other areas. Practical Life exercises allow children to refine their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, hand strength, balance, concentration and ability to do things for themselves, thus creating a sense of independence and confidence. Through the repetition of Practical Life activities, children develop practical skills that will serve them well in their lives, academically, socially and intellectually. Some of the Practical Life exercises in the Pre-K and Kindergarten classroom include Pouring, Sweeping, Food Preparation, Buttons, Hook and Eye, Buckles, Lacing and Table Washing.

Language

Language pervades the Montessori classroom and crosses all curriculum areas. Most children in the Pre-K and Kindergarten classroom have begun reading. Each week students are given one-on-one reading time and are sent home with book to practice their increasing literacy. Students at this age are capable of writing, and practice often. They first write their names and then continue to write words. Students begin writing Uppercase Letters then Lowercase Letters as their skills develop. Each student has a workbook where she practices writing and reading comprehension.

Sensorial

Every quality that can be perceived by the senses is explored in the Sensorial area. Unlike Practical Life, Sensorial materials are generally items the students has never before seen nor experienced. Sensorial materials enable Pre-K students and Kindergarteners to make finer discriminations of the many stimuli all around them. Sensorial activities assist children in refining this skill and becoming good observers of the world. Sensorial materials in this classroom include Knobbed Cylinders for practice with dimension, Color Tablets, Rough and Smooth Boards, Geometric Solids, the Pink Tower, the Binomial Cube and Trinomial Cube.

Math

Concrete materials introduce mathematical concepts in the Montessori classroom. Children in the Pre-K and Kindergarten class use tangible materials to understand abstract concepts like addition and subtraction, as well as multiplication, division, fractions and decimals. Math activities in the Pre-K and Kindergarten classroom include the Hundred Board to learn numbers and sequence between 1 and 100, the Bank Game, Bead Chains, Golden Beads to introduce the decimal system, Skip Counting which teaches children to count by numbers other than 1 and indirectly prepares them for multiplication, as well as practice workbooks.

Geography

Geography is an integral part of the Montessori curriculum. The curriculum becomes more detailed as children learn about continents and countries. A child in the Pre-K and Kindergarten classroom uses wooden puzzles as a guide as he makes his own maps, by coloring countries and continents and writing their names. Students are also encouraged to discuss places they have visited, play the State Game wherein they identify different states, as well as become aware of themselves as Global Citizens. A geography table in the classroom displays items from around the globe, like stones, plants, sand and mementos that teach the children about different cultures and climates around the globe. The children are encouraged to contribute to the table reflecting their own travels.

Science and Nature

Children are introduced to many topics in their Science and Nature activities. Children are introduced to concepts of Ocean and Island, Lake and Mountain as part of their Geography curriculum. Children first learn about the geography of their environment before leaning about others. In addition to local geography, children learn about volcanoes, the layers of the Earth and the solar system. They learn to classify things, predict the results of experiments and test their predictions. The Science and Nature curriculum teaches children facts about the world while maintaining their innate sense of awe and wonder. Activities include Sink or Float, Living or Non-Living, Magnetic or Non-Magnetic, Land and Water Forms, the Structure of the Earth, Astronomy and Botany.

Art

The Pre-K and Kindergarten classroom provides an engaging selection of traditional and recycled art materials for children. Children nurture their creative expression through guided lessons with an Art Educator as well as on their own. Children explore the connection between thought and image through the creation of collages, paintings, sculpture and more.

Grace, Courtesy and Care For the Environment

In the Montessori classroom, children and adults take care to be gracious and courteous toward one another and their environment. Children are encouraged to develop respect for oneself, for other members of the community, for the living things in the classroom, and for their environment. Carefully putting lessons away so others may use them, carrying things carefully, moving carefully, using polite and respectful language, showing consideration to others and good table manners all practiced in the classroom.

Judaic Studies

Students are taught Hebrew in words and songs, celebrate Shabbat on a weekly basis and learn about the holidays.

 
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