At North Star we are surrounded by nature and use our play yard to explore. We have many different types of trees, birds, and a butterfly garden for the children to enjoy. Inside we cover an extensive curriculum which includes life cycles of frogs, plants, and butterflies, the botany cabinet, insects, ocean life, woodland animals, the human body, weights and measurements, liquids and solids, the planets, magnetism, living & non-living to name a few. Children use hands-on materials to engage in learning. When a child becomes curious and wants to know more about the world of science the teachers at North Star have the freedom and knowledge to individualize learning to extend, expand and encourage children's desire to learn.
Let's count to ten in Spanish, Italian, French, Hindi, Chinese, or Swahili, depending on what country we are studying your children will! At North Star Montessori we study a continent a month. We learn about the culture, language, animals, music, traditions and geography of different countries of the world.
World Cultures & Geography
In small groups children are introduced to new vocabulary such as colors, numbers, farm animals, fruits etc. using hands-on materials from the Spanish shelf. The teacher shows a group of 2-3 children each object and names it in Spanish and the children repeat it, then each child has an opportunity to hold and name the object themselves. Short phrases, picture cards and games are added to the lessons to add to the fun!
The preschool years are a sensitive period for language. The child must develop good listening skills.
The child is given many opportunities to use and experiment with language in the classroom. In addition, many activities incorporate early reading and writing skills. The placement of materials on our rugs beginning at the top left of the rug introduces the child to left-to –right sequence used in reading. Sorting exercises help to refine the fine motor skills necessary to hold and write with a pencil. Sorting also helps the child differentiate between likenesses and differences- a skill necessary to the recognition of letters and words. Through the repetition and refinement of language skills, the child discovers the world of written language through the written and printed word.
In the preschool classroom the first three areas are integrated in a variety of activities. Each area blends together to give the child a clearer understanding of mathematical concepts.
The objectives for the math curriculum include a sense of order, concentration, predictability, exactness, concreteness, logic and reasoning, problem solving, decision-making, and the development of a mathematical mind.
There are six sub-areas of math in the classroom:
- the base ten system
- linear counting
- the four operations
- materials leading to abstraction
The preschool years are a period of rapid physical development and a time whereby much is assimilated through sensory activity. Children at this age have a great interest in manipulating objects, and through this manipulation they become aware of the characteristics of objects.
Sensory education prepares directly for the intellectual education perfecting the organs of sense and the nerve paths of projection and association. Indirectly, sensory education facilitates the adaptation of the individual to his/her environment.
Coordination develops through using one’s body to complete the work. The sequence of Everyday living activities allows for the refinement of motor skills. Independence is also encouraged in this area. Activities are prepared that allow the child to do the work himself with success, leading to greater self-confidence, independence and a sense of order.
The purpose of Everyday living activities is to help normalize the child. Normalization is a process, which eventually leads the child to a state of being comfortable with him/herself and his/her abilities. Order is very important and most activities meet his goal by following certain steps for completion. The shelves, the works, the classroom and the teacher express order, as physical order brings about order within the child. Concentration develops as a child chooses what he will do and manipulates the work.
Children use a variety of tools such as beans, beads, feather, sand, colored pencils, stencils, crayons, paper, water colors, tempera paints and much more to create original art. Some art is done in large groups and some is done as an independent choice.
Spanish | Everyday Living | Sensorial | Science | Math | Art | Language | World Cultures & Geography