Montessori Classroom "Prepared Environment"
We are committed to small classrooms so children not only have a more successful language immersion experience, but also will be provided more physical space within the room. The materials, or "work" as the teachers and children call it, are used as tools for children to learn at their own pace. Many of these materials present abstract ideas presented in a very concrete, three-dimensional way, laying the foundation for more advanced learning.
This area of the curriculum is designed to invite the young learner to act and work on real life tasks that foster independence, coordination, order and concentration. It is the “doorway” to the Montessori curriculum.
The sensorial materials are designed to aid the child in training and refining his/her five senses. Dr. Montessori discovered that by helping children to order, compare and classify sensory stimulation, their intellectual development was greatly assisted and all future learning became more meaningful and useful.
The central purpose of the Math materials in the early years is to lay the foundation for later cognitive development and to prepare for the gradual transition to abstract thinking. The primary values of these earlier activities in mathematics are found in the way they transform ideas into actions on concrete materials.
Language development, and specifically immersion, is a concern of the entire Montessori classroom. Many activities in other areas, as well as with a large group, foster vocabulary development, communication skills, writing and reading readiness.
Science is an integral element of the Montessori curriculum. Among other things, it represents a way of life: a clear thinking approach to gathering information and problem solving.
Grace and Courtesy
Grace and courtesy lessons are presented daily. Children are especially drawn to these activities because of their sensitive periods for learning precise movements and social skills, as well as their need to adapt and belong to their particular culture.
Music, Movement, and the Arts are also important parts of the La Casa curriculum. They offer children ways to express themselves, their feelings, experiences and ideas.
We introduce history and geography as early as age three. The youngest students work with specially designed maps, specifically beginning to learn the names of the world’s continents and countries. Children gain an awareness of the world around them by exploring other countries, their customs, food, music, climate, language and animals.