Curriculum of North Garland Montessori School
The primary classroom consists of twenty-four to twenty-five children ages three to six with one trained Montessori teacher and an assistant. Children in a multiage group learn how to get along with others, respect their rights and share where there is only one set of every material.
When the children first start primary classroom they start working with the:
practical life materials to develop their concentration, coordination and order. They learn grace and courtesy. The teacher shows how to walk or carry a tray or set it down quietly. They copy the teacher's behavior.
The second area of Montessori education is sensorial They are designed to convey an abstract idea in concrete form. Knobbed cylinders give the experience of widest diameter to the narrowest diameter, largest to the smallest, shortest and widest to the tallest and thinnest. Sandpaper tablets give the experiences of rough, rougher, roughest and smooth, smoother, smoothest. Pink tower demonstrates volume and size, red rods, show the concept of length, etc.
The materials involve use of hand. In the process of working with sensorial materials children acquire a broad knowledge in language and use it spontaneously in their life: dark, darker, darkest, etc. There will be substantial vocabulary enlargement in this area.
The next area of learning is language and then mathematics Children are being introduced to numbers and sounds of letters. The prepared environment with the materials in an ordered progression make learning possible for the child. They also learn so many other facts of geography, land and water forms, name of continents and countries.
In mathematics, the children are introduced to numbers and establish a solid basis for understanding the decimal system.
At the end of primary stage the children should have good knowledge of addition, subtraction, and multiplication and division.
The prepared environment and the trained teachers are provided for the child's self-discovery, however, learning is not forced upon children, they learn according to their own pace.
In a multiage Montessori classroom older children will develop their self-esteem by helping the younger ones, they also learn social responsibility. The younger children will learn tremendously from the older ones.
The multiage classroom strengthens social development. Montessori is a distinct and unique alternative to other school programs, both public and private. Perhaps the most prominent difference is the mixed age grouping. The teacher shares his or her role as educator with the older children in the classroom.
The older students help the younger ones with materials and work that they have already mastered. This process, in turn, helps the older children solidify their own knowledge, as the repetition reinforces the learning process. Maria Montessori says in The Child, Society, and the World, pp. 60;65 :
The material is a help because we have only one set of material in a class and if one child is using the piece that another child wants, the latter must wait until the first child has finished with it and put it back in its place…The children do not give the material to each other but always put it back in its place when they have finished. So they have an exercise in patience and respect for others. All these little things help. They bring sympathy and understanding. It gradually brings a real harmony which could not be given artificially. Maria Montessori says in The Child, Society, and the World, pp. 60;65