Preschool - Kindergarten
Ages 3-6 years
At Cardinal Montessori School, we believe your child is a unique individual with his or her own interests and desires. We honor your child’s individuality, which is why we practice the Montessori method of teaching.
The beauty of the Montessori method is that it allows children to work to their own potential. They have the freedom to work at their own pace and explore what is of interest to them. Our trained, Montessori-credentialed teachers guide children in the development of practical life, sensory, language and math skills. Their education is further enriched through geography, science, art, Spanish, and music. Children need to run and play and are provided with ample opportunities to explore and play outdoors.
In our three structured, multi-aged primary classrooms, children from the ages of three to six work together as a community. Children learn to share, wait patiently, complete tasks, clean up after themselves, and help each other. Younger students learn from older students. (Older students are some of the best teachers!) Children choose to work independently or with friends; they learn to respect each other’s space and individual rights.
Children are guided in their development in the following areas:
Practical Life is a robust area of activity. Children work on practical life skills that revolve around caring for self, caring for the environment, and caring for others. Learning to tie shoes, button a sweater, zip a friend’s coat, and say “thank you” when someone helps you are all aspects of Practical Life. Sweeping up a mess, stringing beads, or using tweezers to transfer objects are also jobs we do. Everything we do helps us build our skills of concentration, coordination, order, and independence. We learn to be self-confident in our own abilities.
The Sensorial materials help us explore with all five of our senses. We may smell spices during a cultural unit, classify rough and smooth objects, listen to match sounds, sort by colors and shapes, or build a tower by ordering cylinders from largest to smallest.
We explore many geometric principles and build a rich vocabulary as we categorize, discriminate, and order concrete materials. This work helps us build our small muscle coordination, which is needed for writing.
Children use concrete materials to understand quantity and concepts behind operations. Three-year-olds don’t just learn to recognize the numbers from one to ten, they use concrete materials to visually and tactilely investigate the size of one number compared to the others. Building on prior knowledge, students learn the concepts behind numbers, i.e. 11 is 10 and 1, place value, and the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Dr. Maria Montessori believed that children possess a mathematical mind that is programmed to find patterns, sequence, and quantify. It is amazing what children can independently accomplish when using the Montessori math materials.
Children from three to six readily learn language, and the Montessori classroom provides ample opportunities to gain a robust vocabulary. Children learn the names of continents and countries in geography, the parts of a butterfly in science, and trace and learn the names of geometric shapes. Children use sandpaper letters and a rich array of language materials to learn phonetic sounds. Once sounds are learned, they are ready to write words, then sentences, which leads to phonetic reading.
Cultural Areas and the Arts
Cardinal Montessori School celebrates the diversity of our community. We explore the cultures of others along with our own through geography, science, music, and art. We use globes to learn about our planet, puzzle maps to learn about continents and countries, and participate in a variety of cultural activities from cooking to learning songs from different nations to inviting parents in to share their family’s cultural history.
Spanish lessons are part of the curriculum and music is used in a multitude of ways. Music not only helps us learn of others’ cultures it also helps us learn new information and bring us together as a community.
"Play is the work of the child." ~ Maria Montessori
"The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn." ~ Maria Montessori