Glebe Montessori School’s Bilingual Preschool (Casa) Program for children ages 3 to 6 years addresses the young child’s eagerness and enormous capacity for learning. In our preschool classrooms, children enjoy an enriched environment, providing them with unlimited opportunities.
3 to 6 years old
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that, “the most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. The more fully the needs of one period are met, the greater will be the success of the next.”
Through “hands on” learning and multi-age social interactions, GMS preschool children enhance their general knowledge, social skills, concentration, independence, coordination and sense of order. The multi-age classroom enables the younger child to observe and learn from the older child, while the older child enjoys sharing knowledge and skills with younger classmates.
The Montessori Preschool Curriculum:
The Practical Life area develops the child’s sense of order, concentration, coordination and independence. For young children, the mastery of every day tasks is an important step toward building self-confidence. Simple tasks are essential for young hands to accomplish, and these tasks teach children to concentrate and refine their skills. Students grow to care for themselves, as well as others, by learning the importance of organizing, completing a task, and returning materials to the appropriate place, ready for the next person to use.
Dr. Montessori credited the sensorial equipment for helping the child explore his/her environment and for developing the mathematical mind – providing the structures necessary for the order, sequencing and precision of mathematics. Montessori materials in our classrooms help children isolate the use of each sense, and in doing so, enhance its development. Children experience similarities and differences and learn to classify and grade these experiences.
A basic tenet of Montessori education is that understanding is a matter of seeing and touching. This is most evident in the Montessori mathematics curriculum, which moves from the concrete, to increasingly abstract mathematical concepts. Specially designed Montessori materials enable children to gain a deeper understanding of mathematical principles.
The comprehensive Montessori language program, with its vast selection of Montessori materials, facilitates reading and writing at an early age. The child’s vocabulary is constantly stimulated in classroom activities. Teachers encourage students to participate in discussions, tell stories, and give presentations, in which they practice organizing and communicating their thoughts and ideas.
Cultural Studies and the Arts
Cultural studies are explored through history and geography materials such as maps, and land and water forms, in addition to presentations, projects, field trips and festivals. Art and music instruction heighten our students’ appreciation for these important components of the curriculum.
The Montessori science curriculum is based on hands-on exploration and investigation of scientific principles. Science is emphasized in the classrooms and in our special science laboratory, where four and five-year-olds pursue in-depth scientific study and experimentation.
The development of motor skills is an essential bridge to an excellent self-image. A carefully planned curriculum, under the direction of a specialist gym teacher, ensures that our children participate in skill building exercises through games and aerobics.
Music and Movement
Music plays an important role in the preschool curriculum. Children learn songs, rhythm, chants, musical notation and dances. While children engage in music and movement activities on a daily basis, a specialist music teacher conducts weekly music classes based on the Orff and Montessori methods of music instruction.
French is an integral part of the program at Glebe Montessori School. French lessons are given daily. In addition, the classroom is equipped with French language activities, which reinforce skills acquired during French lessons. To create a bilingual atmosphere in the school, specialist classes, such as gym and music, are taught in French. French speaking instructors also assist children in building their French language skills during the work cycles.
Preschool Daily Schedule
9:00 – 11:00 ~ Morning Work Cycle: Individual and group lessons are given in the main classroom. One morning per week, second and third year students conduct experiments and scientific investigations in the science laboratory.
11:00 – 12:00 ~ Special Activities: French (daily), gym, music, special themes and celebrations take place on specific days of the week.
12:00 – 12:30 ~ Lunch
12:30 – 1:30 ~ Recess
1:30 – 2:30 ~ Napping children take a 1 hour rest period in the afternoon.
1:30 – 3:30 ~ Afternoon Work Cycle in the Main Classroom
Extended Day Program:
3:30 – 5:30 ~ Casa children engage in a wide selection of activities including games, outdoor play/gym, arts, crafts, model construction, story telling, baking, and special projects.
“Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence.”
Dr. Maria Montessori