Toddler with Work

In the primary classroom, students are taught practical life skills from three categories: care-of-the-self, care-of-the-environment, and physical skills. These skills include hand washing, snack preparation, cleaning the classroom, and pounding, scooping, pouring, and lacing activities.

Students have a great deal of freedom in terms of following their own academic interests. With the guidance of their teachers, students may select appropriate learning activities. Students use traditional Montessori materials, such as number boards, counting beads, and fingerboards, to learn basic math facts. In science, students study plants and animals, learning basic classification skills, such as differentiating between organic/inorganic, plant/animal, and living/non-living.

It is through listening that children learn to differentiate one sound from the next and begin to recognize necessary linguistic details. Activities such as puzzles and matching games prepare the child’s eyes for reading. Once these audio and visual skills are developed, the child is ready to combine these skills and start writing.

Students learn about the parts of the earth, landforms, the continents and the solar system. Art projects are open-ended and encourage students to experiment with different artistic mediums. Music is taught at “line time” through singing and also through an introduction to rhythm. Children also have the opportunity to learn the basics of Spanish and Chinese vocabulary and pronunciation when the foreign language teachers make their daily visits to the preschool classrooms.

The primary program provides children with the necessary foundations in mathematics, language, and the sciences to succeed in the elementary classroom. Children leaving this classroom typically can read simple words and can also write in cursive. Teachers ensure that the child has the necessary social skills to develop friendships and to learn at the next level.

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Key Points of Development Transitioning from Primary to Lower Elementary

  • Language Arts

    • Know both the phonetic and named alphabet
    • Introduce of double consonant letters (th, sh, ch, ph, etc.)
    • Introduced to double vowels (ou, ai, oy, etc.), when applicable
    • Blend letters into words
    • Introduce the use of complete sentences in writing
    • Introduce two parts of speech—noun and verb
    • Master appropriate pencil grip
  • Math

    • Introduced to hierarchical place value through thousands
    • Mastered all the ways to make 10
    • Introduce facts for subtraction, multiplication and division
    • Understanding of skip counting (5, 10, 15…) for the numbers 1 through 10
    • Understand the concept of even and odd numbers
    • Mastered counting (sequencing) numbers 1 – 100
    • Introduce the nomenclature of currency, especially coins
    • Introduce the nomenclature for geometric planes and solids
  • Science

    • Be able to categorize things as of living or non-living
    • Be able to categorize things as animal or plant
    • Know the parts of plants
    • Introduce the names and order from the sun of the planets in the solar system
  • History/Geography

    • Master the concept of morning, afternoon, and night
    • Introduce telling time by the hours (digital and analog, a.m. and p.m.)
    • Know the concept of before and after
    • Know the names of the days of the week in sequence
    • Introduce the names of months
    • Know land, air, and water
    • Know the seven continents
    • Introduce the four oceans
    • Know address and phone number
  • Social Development

    • Regularly use please, thank-you, excuse me, hello, goodbye
    • Articulate needs with words
    • Be pro-active with problem solving and conflict resolution with the assistance of an adult
    • Be able to follow directions
    • Develop a sense of fair play
    • Be able to wait until their turn to speak, not interrupting others
    • Be able to sustain a 15 minute lesson without interruption
  • Physical Development

    • Be able to walk a mile without stopping
    • Be able to stand on one leg for 5 seconds with closed eyes
    • Backward and forward walking heel-to-toe
    • Be able to skip, hop, jump, and walk on a line holding an object
    • Be able to pass an object
    • Be able to carry objects on a tray
    • Be able to pedal
    • Have experience with water/swimming
    • Be able to throw and/or kick a ball
  • Self-Care

    • Daily hygiene and grooming, which includes completely independent toileting
    • Know healthy nutrition (the food group) and be aware of healthy servings
    • Store personal belongings appropriately
    • Tying shoes
    • Sweeping
    • Washing dishes
    • Folding
    • Pushing in chairs and carrying chairs