Grace Montessori​​​​
​School
Quality Education and Childcare

Primary Curriculum

Children at the Primary level are in their first plane of development, considered the most formative and, possibly, the most critical stage of development. The first plane of development is also known as the plane of the Absorbent Mind, which means these children are soaking in all of the information around them. Children at this stage of development have the need for Order and Orientation, therefore, the prepared environment is ordered, attractive and simple. These children also have the need to sensorially explore, especially with their hands, they learn by touching things around them. They begin with the concrete and work towards the abstract.

At the Primary level, from the ages of 3 years through kindergarten, the children are exposed to the following six areas.

Practical Life
Practical Life includes those activities performed in everyday life to maintain the surrounding environment and the person in adequate living conditions. The work of the child with Practical Life exercises cannot be underestimated as these exercises lay the foundation for everything else the child will do in the Montessori environment. Practical Life activities are those essential activities that make the child independent, self-sufficient, help him or her to achieve order, learn to follow action sequences and provoke concentration. Lessons in the Practical life area focus on care of the environment, care of self, grace and courtesy, coordination of fine and gross motor activities

Sensorial
The Sensorial exercises help the child to develop the five senses. This is achieved by exposing the child to Sensorial material during the sensitive periods the child goes through. The sensorial exercises enable the child to discriminate, order, classify, and describe sensory impressions with relation to length, width, temperature, mass, color, pitch and smell. Lessons in the Sensorial area focus on:

  • Pairing or Matching
  • Size, shape and form
  • Identify shapes
  • Identify colors (Primary and secondary colors)
  • Grading material in ascending or descending order
  • Exercises which extend the child's work and keep him interested in initial lessons
  • Memory Games which reinforce the knowledge the child has gained and are critical for development of the executive functions of the brain
  • Language Games to further explain concepts
  • Variations and Discoveries to encourage the explorations of the child
  • Application of the Concept happens when the child has internalized a concept and is able to apply it to the outside world.

Language
There is a specific period during the child's development in which a child naturally and spontaneously learns the language in an unconscious manner. Utilizing the Montessori material, the teacher indirectly helps the child to enrich and perfect his language. Language exercises are targeted to teach to read, write, and obtain an awareness of the meaning of words. Lessons in the Language area focus on:

  • Phonetic Reading
  • Recognizing sounds of the alphabet
  • Sequencing the alphabet
  • Concept of Print (capital and lower case)
  • Understanding upper and lower case letters
  • Development of oral language skills
  • Phonograms
  • Puzzle Words
  • Introducing new vocabulary words
  • Classified Reading such as labeling the environment, cards with labels and definitions
  • Writing short stories using the moveable alphabet
  • Word Study
  • Listening skills, through read-aloud activities
  • Comparing/contrasting stories
  • Sequencing stories
  • Listening to stories and answering questions (comprehension)
  • Spelling three and four letter words fluently
  • Participating in group projects and book studies
  • Reading Analysis - Guided Reading : short stories
  • Writing - Writing and reading three and four letter words phoneticall 
  • Regular publishing of student writing

Mathematics
Montessori math material helps the child begin at the concrete level and progresses to the abstract level. Mathematics material is concrete, solid. Each exercise encompasses a specific experience that is the basis for the child to develop his/her own abstractions in the future. Lessons in Math focus on:

  • Counting quantity and sequence of numbers from 1 to 10 using materials such as the Sandpaper Numerals, Number Rods and spindle boxes
  • Rote counting and sequencing - 1 to 100
  • Decimal System introduces the child to the function of the decimal system and the concepts behind addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using materials such as the Golden Beads and the Stamp Game
  • Place value continuation of counting and identifying units and tens using materials such as the Teen Board and Teen Beads
  • Memorization provides opportunities for exploration and memorization of math fact tables with materials such as the Addition Snake Game and the Unit Division Board
  • Passage to Abstraction helps the child make the transition to abstraction using materials such as the Small Bead Frame and Stamp game
  • Fractions introduces fractions and how to work with fractions in terms of the four operations
  • Money - Identifying penny, nickel, dime, quarter
  • Two and three digit addition and subtraction (without regrouping)
  • One digit multiplication – using the bead material
  • Time using the Montessori clock
  • Graphs
  • Measurement

Science & Geography
An important element in the development of the child's personality is the actual contact he or she has with reality and his or her ability to involve himself or herself in it. It is because of the prepared environment that the child enjoys the freedom to experiment, observe, manipulate, explore, discover, and classify things found in nature and around him. Lessons in the Science and Geography area focus on:

  • Making predictions; using curiosity
  • Identifying their own environment
  • Learning about all the 5 vertebrates and their habitat
  • Learning about parts of the body; senses; all about me (body parts)
  • Understanding different Seasons: Fall, winter, spring and summer
  • Understanding animal and human behavior in different seasons
  • Foods; health/unhealthy, personal hygiene
  • Vertebrates and invertebrates - Fish, amphibian, reptiles, birds and mammals and Life cycles of insects and bugs
  • Animals & their babies: habitats, hibernation, migration, camouflage
  • Dinosaurs
  • Parts of a tree, leaf and flower
  • Parts of vertebrates and invertebrates
  • Classroom and playground safety; all about me
  • Fire safety
  • Holidays
  • Planets
  • Earth as a planet
  • Volcanoes
  • Rocks and minerals
  • Continents and oceans
  • People in different parts of the world: Cultural boxes
  • Holidays
  • Map of United States
  • Introduction to flags of different countries
  • Land and water forms

Art 
In Montessori, art is viewed as a process and a means of self-expression. Children are allowed to create their own personal interpretations of what art means to them. During this process they develop the fine and gross motor skills they will use in all the other areas of the classroom:

  • Creative thinking
  • Drawing
  • Painting 
  • Molding 
  • Sewing
  • Color wheel
  • Using primary and secondary colors
  • Identifying shapes: triangles, quadrilaterals and polygons
  • Exploring colors and shapes through painting and collage work
  • Mixing colors
  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Nomenclature of artists and their artworks
  • Different dimensions and shapes