The Kindergarten year at Farmview Montessori is usually the third year (four for some) for students whohave stayed throughout the entire program. Because Maria Montessori observed that children developed in three year cycles, she saw this year as the year that children reap the benefit of all their hard work from the past two or three years. This is the year where everything comes together for the children. It is also the year that parents get their return on their financial investment in Montessori education.
The Kindergarteners here at Farmview are the leaders and role models in the classroom. The younger children look up to them and look forward to the day when they get to be a Kindergartener themselves. They have special responsibilities and jobs. They feed the animals in the Science room, set the table at Holidays parties, have lunch jobs and help straighten up the classroom at the end of class. Farmview Kindergarteners go on three extra field trips through out the school year as part of the Kindergarten program. These field trips pertain to subjects that they have studied in the classroom.
The curriculum for the Kindergarteners is an enrichment of academics as well as a deeper level of understanding of all areas of the classroom. Kindergarteners still enjoy all the art and practical life activities. These “works” are calming and relaxing after spending a long period of time on challenges in the academic areas. At our school we want to retain the holistic approach to children’s development. At this level, children still need work on social skills, problem solving, confidence and self-esteem. A well-rounded child is always the goal. Academics for Kindergartener is truly the “icing on the cake”.
Farmview’s Kindergarteners get individual attention and work in small groups. Their work is often extensions of work that is already in the classroom. For example, if the class has been presented a lesson on “parts of a tree”, children will color the leaves and write the word leaves. The Kindergarteners will take it a step further and make a book writing a short definition of the word leaf. They gain a deeper understanding of plants and animals in the Science area.
In the Geography area the Kindergarten children make their own continent and United States maps, study many other countries and work on flag collections. These flag collections are books of flags from countries of every continent along with the United States flags.
Farmview Montessori Kindergarteners have a “me book”. This is a folder filled with pictures all about them, their family and their school. It also contains monthly calendars, Science and Geography work, handwriting practice, artwork and all of the hard work that they have done through out the school year. This book will be taken home at the end of the school year.
When it comes to academics, children get a lot of individual attention. Because they are all on different levels in these areas, teachers can meet each of their needs to support them at their own level of development and move them forward.
In the language area, most children leave Farmview reading on a First grade level or higher. They are composing simple sentences in their journals, have good word attack skills, knowledge of some high frequency words, and beginning spelling skills.
In the Math area, Kindergarten children are counting, ordering and recognizing numerals 1-100. Many children can do the counting chains up to 1000. They learn to count by 5’s and 10’s and become very solid in base 10. They also are beginning to gain an understanding of place value and can compose large numbers such as 4321 using the concrete materials from the decimal system. They also can do simple addition and subtraction and are on their way to becoming abstract thinkers.
The Kindergarten year here at Farmview Montessori Garden is a gift. It is truly remarkable for children to be able to complete the cycle of learning that was started. To move a child before their Kindergarten year, is not allowing him/her to bask in all their accomplishments, which they have made in the Montessori environment. This is the year they have waited for. To move a child before the Kindergarten year is similar to uprooting a flower before it has been given the opportunity to blossom. Children who are given this opportunity surely will grow and blossom!
The foundation is now solid and children will move on to the elementary grades ready to take on challenges with a true love for learning.