Sensorial

Maria Montessori observed that children learn through their 5 senses. The Montessori classroom supports this through many activities to enrich and refine children’s senses. Many of these activities are done with children  wearing blindfolds to isolate the particular sense. This allows them to focus more on listening, smelling etc.. The Sensorial area here at Farmview has many materials for the visual sense. Many of these materials are to help children with size discrimination. There are rods, cylinders, cubes and prisms all for ordering largest to smallest, thickest to thinnest and longest to shortest. Children enjoy these activities and can become very creative with these materials. There are also color tablets for matching and grading from darkest to lightest. For the sense of hearing, there are sound mystery bags with objects to listen to and sound cylinders for matching. Many other extensions to these materials are added throughout the school year. For the sense of smell, children smell spices, essential oils, and many other smells to match and identify. The tactile sense is introduced with rough and smooth. Many other activities are introduced such as fabric matching and discrimination between hot and cold. Of course there is always a daily snack for...

Practical Life/Art

The practical Life Area of the Montessori classroom is the area where the foundation for all learning takes place. The goal of this area is to aid children in concentration, coordination, independence and order. This large vinyl area at Farmview is filled with everyday tasks such as pouring, scooping, using tongs, tying, snapping, buttoning, mopping, sweeping, scrubbing and many other manipulative activities. It is through these activities that children develop large and small motor skills and strength. It is by gaining strength in his/her fingers that a child prepares for writing. Without this finger strength writing becomes more difficult. These works of interest also help increase and develop concentration. Children spend long periods of time focusing on these activities and repeating them. A sense of order and concentration is achieved through long process works with many steps to help with ordering a task, following through and completing the cycle of work. Although independence is the goal of Montessori education, it begins in the Practical Life area. Simple responsibilities are part of the development of that independence. If a child spills paint, he/she gets the mop (child size) and cleans it up. This independence and ability to do things for oneself leads to strong self esteem. This self esteem gives children the confidence to take on bigger challenges in the academic areas. Art Here at Farmview there is a very spacious art area with two shelves and several small stations dedicated to support the philosophy of art in the Montessori classroom. The goal of the Art area is to encourage and support the child’s creativity. Supplies such as scissors, colored pencils, paper, yarn, glue etc.....

Geography

One area of the Montessori classroom that is very exciting for the children is the Geography area. Maria Montessori believed that it was very important to give children a view of the whole world and where their place in it is. Here at Farmview we have a very developed Geography curriculum. The children spend three to four weeks studying each continent. Farmview also includes a study of the United States and Ohio. All 50 state flags are displayed along with Historical flags. Children learn about state birds, flowers, insects and trees. The school has a geography table where artifacts from other continents and countries are displayed. These may include animals from that continent, coins, pictures, books, flags, artwork, and clothing. Clothing from other countries for trying on is a highlight. Children love to try on “traditional dress” from different countries. Because of the wide diversity of children in the classroom, here at Farmview, parents from other countries send things in to display on the Geography table. Often parents will volunteer to come in and speak to the children about their native country and will often bring ethnic food for children to...

Science

Farmview has a small science room within the classroom. The children really enjoy this area. The school’s science room has an animal from each classification: birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and reptiles. A parakeet bird, a box turtle, an anole lizard, a gerbil, fish and water frogs all are residence this room. When studying parts of the bird, the children can actually see the live bird with all its parts. The animals are also used to help Kindergartners with responsibility. It is a “Kindergarten job” to feed the animals. Farmview also takes time to study plants as well. Parts of a tree, leaves, roots, flowers and pumpkins are all part of the science curriculum. Children are encouraged to bring things in from nature to display on the science...

Language

The language area in the Montessori classroom has many materials to support children in their development of writing and reading skills. Farmview teaches the children language with the Montessori method. Montessori’s philosophy is different from traditional education in the way language is taught. Maria Montessori observed that children learn writing and composition before reading. Children are taught writing skills first. This begins with helping children gain finger strength and developing a strong pencil grip. Once this  strength is in place,children begin tracing their name and words. This will eventually lead to writing their name and words on their own. A strong sense of self develops when children can see that they can put their name on paper.  When a child can write, then copying words in encouraged.  The next step is to refine the skills of writing by working more specifically the formation of letters, lower case and writing on lines. In teaching reading, the first important step is for children to be able to hear sounds out loud and discriminate them. A game of “I Spy” is played asking children to identify initial sounds of objects. If a child can “hear” the sounds he/she is then ready to move on to the letter of that sound and its name to make that association. Sandpaper letters are used in the teaching of writing skills as well as letter sounds. The process of reading begins with the sandpaper letters. Children learn the initial sounds of the letters and match objects and pictures to that letter sound. When a child is solid in initial letter sounds, they then move on to...

Math

The Montessori classroom is divided into 7 different areas. These areas include Practical Life and Art, Math, Language, Sensorial, Science and Geography. Every activity in the classroom is referred to as “work”. Children learn the value of work through simple and enjoyable tasks. Work is set up in the classroom to attract the child’s interest.  It becomes fun for them with a specific learning purpose. Children choose their own work under guidance, assistance, and direction from the teachers. They have freedom within the limits and ground rules of the classroom. Teachers are always observing the children in order to know where to lead them next. Supporting and nurturing the child in his/her own natural development is the priority of the...