Pre-Primary (3-6 years)
The Montessori Pre-Primary environment includes children ages 3 through 6 years (preschool and kindergarten). Central Montessori Academy offers two Pre-Primary rooms, each with a Montessori certified lead teacher, and a Montessori trained assistant. The teacher-student ratio in the Pre-Primary classrooms is 1:12, which gives teachers the opportunity for individualized attention and self-paced learning.
The Pre-Primary classrooms are:
- Star Room: Lizzie Roth and Rachel Weber
- Earth Room: Mollie Peters and Sara Thomas
Developmental Notes: Preschool to Kindergarten
The three-year cycle is an essential part of Montessori education. Children stay in the same room with the same teacher and group of children for 3 years. During the Montessori three-year cycle, children experience different roles, responsibilities, and perspectives.
Young children learn by observing and interacting with the older children. Older children gain a true understanding of concepts by teaching it to their younger peers. Each year, children become more independent, leading up to their 3rd year (Kindergarten) where they have the unique opportunity to be community leaders and role models.
Benefits of mixed age grouping:
- Allows for strong relationships to be built amongst teachers, parents, and children.
- Supports children’s moral development as they learn and practice respecting others, develop sensitivity towards others’ needs, and build a community who love to learn.
Our Pre-Primary Classrooms
Our Classrooms have:
- A variety of motivating and educational material
- Multi-hour, uninterrupted work time, which supports the young child’s development of concentration and attention span.
- Individualized and small group lessons
- Peer-to-peer learning
- Lessons in cooperation and working together
- Class pet
- Food experiences
- Field trips “in school” where community programs, such as firefighters, are invited into the classrooms
Curriculum in the Classroom
The Montessori Pre-Primary classroom consists of different areas, each containing shelves of works. The shelves are organized with the simplest works at the beginning and the most advanced works at the end. This organization helps set each child up for success.
Montessori materials are self-correcting, and this encourages children to feel a sense of accomplishment from the very beginning of their educational journey.
Each area of the classroom has specific concepts/goals for children to learn and achieve.
- The Sensorial area is unique to the Montessori environment. This area “refines the senses” by allowing children to explore works using their sense of touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. This area also supports the development of key concepts such as shape recognition, discrimination of size (big/little), and color recognition.
- Practical Life contains “everyday living” works such as sweeping, pouring, washing dishes, preparing a snack, sawing at the workbench and sewing. These works support the young child’s development of concentration, order, coordination, and independence while also refining their fine motor skills.
- Art exposes children to various famous artists in addition to learning skills such as cutting, drawing, painting, sculpting, and collage. There are many opportunities in the Montessori classroom for creative artistic expression.
- The Geography area supports their understanding of the world around them. Young children are fascinated about the world and love learning about different cultures, holidays, traditions, foods, etc. Pre-Primary children are exposed to maps, flags, landforms, animals, language, etc. from all 7 continents.
- In the Science area, children learn about the different classifications of animals (birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, dinosaurs, etc.) as well as perform science experiments and learn about botany (flowers, trees, leaves, plants, etc.). Through these hands-on, interactive experiences, children are allowed the opportunity to explore the world around them at their own pace.
- The Language area supports the development of pre-reading skills such as patterning, sequencing, and classifying as well as sound recognition and awareness. Children also learn the phonetic sound each letter makes and composes (writes) words with the Moveable Alphabet.
- Handwriting skills are supported throughout the entire classroom via hand strengthening works, but also in the Language area through works such as tracing at the light box, writing letters in the cornmeal tray, and journal writing.
- Reading is supported phonetically and through memorization of non-phonetic words. There are a variety of reading materials available for all levels and interests. Books can be found all over the classroom but there are other reading opportunities found in the Reading Corner and at the CD Listening Station.
- The Math area of the Montessori classroom consists of works that support counting quantity (0-9999), number recognition (0-9999), graphing, fractions, money, and time, in addition to learning all four mathematical operations (addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division) in concrete, hands-on ways. Like all areas of the Montessori classroom, the Math area has works that can be used in small groups, individually, with a friend, or with a teacher.
- The Montessori Pre-Primary classroom also has areas devoted to Music, Spanish, and Peace Education.
A Typical Pre-Primary Day
- The children arrive to school and, after taking care of their belongings, they join their friends on the Natural Playground.
- After the children come in they are welcomed into their classroom and join their community meeting.
- During the community meeting time various activities take place, such as learning a new lesson, calendar time, singing a song, presenting the morning snack with a quick nutrition lesson, etc.
- After the meeting, the children work either independently, with a teacher or a friend, or in a small group. Children choose their own work from the various shelves, get a lesson from a teacher, or return to a work they were previously working with. This multi-hour work time is uninterrupted, which supports the young child’s development of concentration and their attention span.
- During their morning work time, children choose a variety of works, such as enjoying a nutritious snack, painting a picture at the easel, coloring a map of the world, building with the Pink Tower, playing a rhyming game with a friend, doing a large floor puzzle of a penguin, or tracing the Sand Paper Numbers.
- Following the work time, children prepare and set up lunch as a classroom community and all sit down to eat their packed lunches together.
- After lunch all the children head outside for recess (weather permitting) and enjoy Central Montessori Academy’s Natural Playground which features a large sandbox, musical instruments, a slide built into the hill, sensory boxes, trees, and many other opportunities for imaginary, free play.
- If outdoor recess is not available, the children enjoy a meeting time filled with stories, musical instruments, songs, movement, dancing, and games.
- After recess, the day is over for half-day students. Full-day students go on to nap (Kindergarten students do not nap, but instead participate in studios such as art, gym, music and kindergarten work time), and then have another recess before heading home for the day or going on to aftercare.
Central Montessori Academy offers half-day programs for preschool 3-4 year-olds. Pre-Primary Students may attend school 5 days a week, or attend three half-days on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
Visit Our Classroom
The best way to learn about Montessori and Central Montessori Academy is to come spend some time at the school. We offer a flexible tour schedule where you will get a chance to visit each classroom and level.
Seeing the children work in their environments is priceless! The Montessori environment is alive with movement and filled with materials that are appealing and designed to meet the developmental needs of each child. The enrollment process consists of a tour, submission of an application, and then an interview of the child that’s conducted by a Pre-Primary teacher.