Bilingual Junior and Senior Kindergarten Programs - 3 to 6 Years
Montessori is a philosophy of education with the fundamental tenet that a child learns best within a
social environment that supports each individual's unique development. Dr. Maria Montessori, creator
of "The Montessori Method of Education", based this new education on her scientific observations of
young children's behavior. As the first woman physician to graduate from the University of Rome,
Dr. Montessori became involved with education while treating children labeled as slow learners.
In 1907 she was invited to open a child-care centre for desperately poor families in the San Lorenzo slums of Rome.
She called it a "Children's House", and based the program on her observations that young children learn best in a
homelike setting, filled with developmentally appropriate materials that provide experiences contributing to the growth
of self-motivated, independent learners. Dr. Montessori designed materials and techniques for self-contained hands-on
areas of the classroom.
Practical life, sensorial, math, language and geography materials are all within easy reach
and invite exploration. A child may work alone or ask another child to share in a project, read a book, or have a snack.
Within the environment a sense of community develops, based on respect for learning and for one another.
Introduction of the Materials
The main way children are introduced to the materials in the classroom is through careful presentation.
A presentation is a time when the teacher slowly and precisely uses the material in its intended way while an
individual or small group of children observe. During such a presentation unnecessary words and movements are
avoided and actions are broken into discernible steps in order to increase understanding and the chance for success
when the child uses the materials later. A particular point of interest may also be shown to attract the child to the
At times it is appropriate and desirable for the teacher to offer some instruction to the child.
This usually occurs at a separate occasion after times of repeated concentrated work with the materials has been observed.
The teacher may then re-present the exercise in order to show variations or extensions or to help the child learn the
Goal and Objectives
The primary goal of a Montessori program is to help each child reach full potential
in all areas of life. Our activities promote the development of social skills, emotional
growth, and physical coordination as well as cognitive preparation. Riverside Montessori
Pre-School will provide a carefully planned, stimulating environment, in which children
can make learning discoveries while working independently or in a group setting with
the various materials.
Our specific goals and objectives are as follows:
- To develop a positive attitude toward school and learning.
- To develop a positive interest in learning the French language.
- To develop high self-esteem.
- To build concentration for lifelong study skills.
- To develop and foster an abiding curiosity.
- To develop a creative imagination.
- To develop initiative and persistence.
- To foster inner discipline and a sense of order.
- To develop sensory-motor skills in order to sharpen the ability to discriminate and judge.
- To develop socially acceptable behaviour.
The Prepared Environment
In order for self-directed learning to take place, the whole learning environment -
room, materials, and social climate - must be supportive of the learner.
The teacher provides necessary resources, including opportunities for children to
function in a safe and positive atmosphere. The teacher thus gains the children's
trust, which enables them to try new things and build self-confidence.
The Montessori Materials
Dr. Montessori's observations of the kinds of things
which children enjoy and go back to repeatedly led her to design a number of
multi-sensory, sequential, and self-correcting materials which facilitate the
learning of skills and abstract ideas.
The pre-school offers an individualized curriculum that is "child-centred".
This allows each child to learn and develop at his/her own pace, all the while
obtaining a sense of order, developing coordination, reaching higher levels of
concentration thereby, becoming more independent mentally and physically.
All of these developing characteristics result in the child gaining much more
self confidence in his/her own well-being. The above characteristics are given
opportunities for development through the following areas of lessons found in the
Early Childhood Classroom
The Montessori classroom is a "living room" for children. Children choose their activities from open shelves with
self-correcting materials and work in distinct work areas - on tables or on rugs on the floor. Over a period of time,
the children develop into a "normalized community" working with high concentration and few interruptions.
The classroom includes the following components:
- The practical life exercises enhance the development of task
cognitive order through care of self, care of the
environment, exercises of grace
and courtesy, and refinement of
physical movement and coordination.
- The sensorial materials enable the child to order, classify, discriminate, and
describe sensory impressions in relation, length, width, temperature, mass,
colour, etc. The Montessori math materials, through concrete manipulative materials,
allows the child to internalize the concepts of number, symbol, sequence, operations,
and memorization of basic facts.
- The language work includes oral language development, written expression, reading, the
study of grammar, creative dramatics, and children's literature. Basic skills in
writing and reading are developed through the use of sandpaper letters
(loose alphabet letters), and various presentations allowing children to
effortlessly link sounds and symbols and to express their thoughts in writing.
- The child is also presented with geography, history, life sciences, music, art,
and movement education.
The classroom has an elliptical line on the floor. This is generally used for "walking on the line" activities that help
children develop gracefulness and for the "silence game" where children can practice sitting without making a sound.
The line is also frequently used for a large group meeting area. It is here, or in some other designated area, where the
class meets as a whole. Often a class will have on or two large group meetings each day. One will usually serve as an opening
meeting and precede a more individualized work period, and another will serve as a closing or transitional group time preceding
the next activity (i.e., time out doors, lunch, dismissal, etc.) The group meetings may be used for large group presentations of
materials, movement, and music activities, group celebrations, snacks, games, and discussions.