From Primary Teacher Claudia Caihuara, some tips on how Montessori works in school and how you can make the rest of your child's world work seamlessly with the prepared environment.
At Aidan a Primary class is a joyful, peaceful community of children from 2 and 1/2 to 6 years.
For children under 4.5 the program is half-day, ending around 12 noon. For children 4.5 and older the program is full-day, ending around 3:00 pm. Aidan has four Primary communities. The classroom environment is carefully designed to meet the needs of students this age, who are described by Dr. Montessori as possessing “absorbent minds.” The teacher acts as a nurturing guide and facilitator. Children are given sequenced lessons designed to increase their skill and independence. Once they have been introduced to the activities and materials, children enjoy choosing their own work.
The three year Primary program focuses on these areas:
- Practical Life—activities such as polishing, buttoning and pouring strengthen motor skills and concentration.
- Sensorial—hands-on materials such as the Pink Tower, Color Boxes and the Sound Cylinders help children refine their senses and classify their world.
- Mathematics—concrete materials such as the Number Rods and Golden Beads teach about size and length and prepare chilren for more abstract concepts such as decimals.
- Language—materials such as the Sandpaper Letters and the Moveable Alphabet lay the foundation for reading and writing. There is an emphasis on communication and children explore all aspects of spoken and written language.
- Cultural Studies—maps, flags, water and land forms and book bring to life the world’s geography and peoples.
- Art, Music and Movement—drawing, painting, singing and dance are incorporated into daily classroom activities.
- Grace and Courtesy—respect and empathy are practiced daily in the Primary community.
During a three-hour block every morning Primary children are engaged in a wide variety of work. They may practice skills to care for themselves or the classroom or work on writing words or stories. Some children may work together to solve a large equation with manipulative math materials. Others may care for plants by watering or washing the leaves. The Montessori materials, joyfully presented and freely chosen, create a strong foundation for reading, writing, creativity, critical thinking and participation in an active, diverse community. By the time children have completed three years in Primary they have become poised, proud, and compassionate leaders for the younger children. They have learned to think for themselves, approach learning with joy, and self-regulate their emotions for social harmony.
Director of Education Denise Merkel talks about how love of reading develops in early childhood, both in school and through your modeling, reading, and parenting at home.
Montessori work, abundant artistic self-expression, an Assembly, community service, and more star in our latest album of Aidan at work.
Primary Program Hours
8:45am - 12:00pm
8:45am - 2:45pm
Meet Our Primary Faculty