A Montessori Education
Mel-O-Dee Montessori offers three programs of Montessori education for children 18 months through six years.
Our Toddler Program provides small, intimate classes for students age 18 months through 2 1/2 years. The focus is on carefully guiding each student into the new environment of the classroom and introducing the Montessori lessons and materials. Children at this age crave independence and are eager to learn. We stress social interaction with the other students, as well as the development of language and practical life skills. The Montessori curriculum at this level emphasizes fine and gross motor coordination through the use of sensorial materials. These materials are kept at the child's level and students are invited to move about the classroom freely and choose among a variety of activities. The children participate in group activities that encourage socialization and opportunities for outdoor play are provided every day (unless the weather does not permit it). This program prepares the student for the Pre-Primary classroom.
Our Pre-Primary classrooms (2 1/2 to 6 years) provide the mixed-age environment that is a fundamental tenant of a Montessori education. Younger and older children work together — the younger children learn by observing and working side-by-side with the older children, who in turn have the opportunity to reinforce skills previously learned as well as become role models. During the school day, teachers provide lessons using Montessori materials and methods that allow children to increasingly acquire a deeper understanding of how the materials can be utilized and manipulated. The focus is on providing a well-rounded education in the following areas — Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, and Cultural Subjects.
For information regarding our Kindergarten classroom, please click here.
The purpose of the Montessori classroom is to enable children to develop and expand their natural ability to learn through self-directed activity. Throughout the day, each child is allowed to work comfortably at a table or on a mat on the floor, and is able to choose an activity suited to their individual interest.
The children work in a prepared environment with attractive materials, which are arranged on low shelves within easy reach of even the smallest child. The materials designed for use in the Montessori classroom enable independent activity and self-teaching. By using these materials under the guidance of a Montessori-trained teacher, each child is able to work at their own pace, thus accommodating many levels of ability in a single classroom.
A full range of Montessori materials are provided in the following areas:
- Practical Life: The Montessori materials used for these lessons help children develop a sense of order, concentration, coordination and independence. The activities associated with these materials prepare children to care for themselves and the environment, and give each child a sense of mastery and self-confidence.
- Sensorial: These activities help children learn to make accurate judgments, and focus on comparison of size, shape, color, sound, texture, and taste. The materials are specifically designed to heighten the child's sense of sight, touch, sound, taste, and smell.
- Mathematics: The lessons here develop an understanding of mathematical abstractions including numeration, place value and operations of addition and subtraction. The child's burgeoning understanding of math concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division emerges from the use of manipulative materials such as rods, beads, sandpaper numerals, cards, and counters, which allow the student to visualize the abstraction of numbers.
- Language: The materials used in these lessons develop reading and writing skills, emphasizing both oral and written expression. Using simple alphabet and sandpaper letters, children learn the sounds of letters, form words, then use words to make sentences.
- Cultural Subjects: Geography, science, art and music are included in these lessons. In geography, children learn about people, their countries, and the world through food, music, pictures, flags, maps, artifacts, holiday celebrations and other cultural observations. In science, students are encouraged to explore the natural world and are provided opportunities for hands-on simple experiments. Art and music are an integral part of the Montessori environment and are incorporated into the school day as often as possible. In addition, the children are provided lessons in Spanish on a daily basis.