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Montessori Academics

The Montessori math materials are perhaps some of the most beautiful things to look at and to touch in a Montessori classroom. Students and visitors often gravitate towards them and want to learn how to use them and know more about them. The materials build off one another, starting in preschool all the way to upper elementary. For example, the pink tower in a 3-6 room is laying the foundation for squaring and cubing in a 9-12 classroom.

            In creating the math curriculum, Montessori followed what humans had always been doing. Humans first used fingers to count and keep track of things and then they gave the numbers symbols. Eventually, humans gave the numbers and symbols rules.  Montessori starts with this in preschool, while the child is in the first plane of development. The child learns quantity through the red and blue rods. Once mastered, a child begins using the sandpaper numbers to give the quantity a symbol. The child begins to use quantity and symbols together and after much practice, they are introduced to the rules, using beads. As students move up to lower and upper elementary, they use the materials and begin to see the patterns. After practice and repetition, they are able to find the rule on their own. This allows them to work abstractly with math and move away from the materials and do more written work. Montessori students are introduced to new concepts the way that is natural for humans. They are allowed to think, discover, and look for patterns through repetition and concrete materials.

 

            “When he sees and recognizes, he reads; when he touches, he writes.”

 - Maria Montessori

            The language materials in a Montessori classroom are colorful, hands-on materials that make sense to the child. Each shape has it’s own color and meaning and therefore, we are making the students aware of grammar and how words function in a sentence. Dr. Montessori said that 6 to 7 year olds must begin to learn grammar because it will help them develop their language.  In teaching grammar, we are taking it out of the subconscious, and making them conscious of it.  This builds the foundation of language and the parts of speech.  Once the child understands the parts of speech, they are able to manipulate the materials and understand how the words function in a sentence.

            As student’s enter upper elementary, the curriculum is very comprehensive and focuses on all the rules and exceptions in the English language.  This curriculum will help a child who has an interest in learning a new language. The students look at and analyze how the word works in the sentence: the function of the word.  In doing this, the children become more effective speakers and more creative in their writing.

            Teachers at Towles find a balance in teaching the Montessori Language Curriculum with the FWCS Language Curriculum.  Teachers are able to use both curriculums and integrate them within our cultural areas to make sure we are educating the whole child with our language curriculum.

            Our elementary students attend one related arts class a day.  We offer Art, Music, Instrumental Music, Gym, Media Center, and Spanish.