Sarodgini Elementary School
Our Primary curriculum goes beyond reading, writing, math, and science; we prepare children for life. As a whole-child approach to education, we place equal emphasis on each child's social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and cognitive growth. We work to build fundamental skills and create a foundation for lifelong learners for students five to six years old. Our goal is to help your child develop a love of learning and grow their abilities and experiences while learning to live fully and responsibly. Our Primary program is the equivalent of one year of Kindergarten and half a year of first grade, including the ESL program.
Your children love to show off their independence, and Practical Life is one area that directly supports it. We build the foundations of life skills through works aimed at caring for self, the environment, fine and gross motor development, grace and courtesy, and social skills. Work in Practical Life builds a strong foundation in concentration, coordination (including pincer grip), independence, and order (including left to right and top to bottom progressions), which sets children up for success in all areas both in and out of the classroom.
Young children in our program learn by using their senses and refining their ability to discriminate through their senses, which enhances their learning in everything from art to math and language. Sensory learning develops all seven of a child's naturally occurring senses: tactile (touch), visual (sight), auditory (hearing), gustatory (taste), olfactory (smell), vestibular (balance/movement), and proprioceptive (body awareness in space). We do this through set recognition, repetition, and exactness in perception and sequencing. Many Sensorial materials integrate an element of base ten, which helps prepare your children for their work in Math.
Your children will explore verbal expression, build their vocabularies, and grow their comprehension of language. Through multifaceted storytelling, they'll learn to love literature and stories, which is their greatest motivator for learning to read. Young children start with foundational skills in pre-reading, sensitizing their abilities to discriminate the nuanced differences of letters visually, and pre-writing, building hand muscles and developing a pincer grip. They'll learn the phonetic sounds, which leads to composing and reading short words and eventually longer words and sentences. Formal handwriting leads to the written expression of ideas on paper as children learn to put together the pieces of their own stories.
Later, they finally, are learning how to compose a short essay for multiple topics.
We feel it is essential for our children to build a firm foundation of math and numbers through hands-on activities long before moving into abstract computations. Our children learn about numbers through touching, moving, and quantifying physical objects. We introduce them to place value in the decimal system, and they use that for math operations, including addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division. Children also work with physical manifestations of fractions, geometric shapes, and pre-algebra.
Sarodgini Montessori children build a basic understanding of the world they live in through group and individual experiments. Science cultivates their natural curiosity and thirst for exploration as they develop the skills of observation, experimentation, and critical and creative thinking. We introduce them to the Scientific Method.
Your child will learn about:
* The solar system and the universe
* The earth's origins and inner structure
* Classification of vertebrates
* Life cycles of animals
* Plantlife: the tree, leaf, seeds, and flowers
* Human body and what keeps it healthy
* Weather and seasons
* States of matter
* Sound and light
Geography and Cultural Studies
Our children begin to explore geography with an orientation to their environment and then move on to the world map, the continents, land and water formations, and geology. Through our cultural studies, they will study history and build their concept of time (past, present, future). Children also get their first taste of social studies with an introduction to the concept of culture.
Social and Emotional Skills
We believe in teaching children about core academic subjects and how to build interpersonal skills and be good citizens. That is achieved through guided practice in self-awareness, emotional awareness, emotional regulation, respect for self and others, self-control, cooperation, and team building. Social skills come from understanding what to do with others and through awareness of why we do things and what their effect is on others and ourselves.
Through exercise and play, your child will develop gross motor skills and proficiencies. They'll build their hand-eye coordination through various sports and games and develop their balance, stability, coordination, and body awareness through yoga and dance. Outdoor time on our nature-inspired playground and in the forest is an integral part of our daily schedule.
Your child will explore art as a process. They'll develop their artistic expression using various mediums, including paint, collage, crayons, pencils, and textiles. They also will learn about basic elements of art, including shapes, lines, textures, and styles, with the study of various famous artists to support these concepts.
Sarodgini Montessori children learn that music is not only fun to sing but that it also makes use of various structural components, including tempo, rhythm, dynamics, echo, and pitch. Choreographing songs with movements refines children's fine and gross motor skills while supporting memorization and group participation. These skills are all demonstrated each year at our annual Winter Performance.
Our core curriculum is based on Montessori practices and principles, but we customize it with our own unique styles that have been proven successful in our school for many years.
The Montessori Method of Education, developed by Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children. Montessori's method has been used for over 100 years in many parts of the world.
The Montessori method views the child as the one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It attempts to develop children physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively.
Although a range of practices exists under the name "Montessori," the (AMI) and the (AMS) cite these elements as essential:
* Mixed-age classrooms.
* Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options.
* Uninterrupted blocks of work time, ideally three hours.
* A "discovery" model, where students learn concepts from working with materials rather than direct instruction.
* Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators are often made of natural, aesthetic materials such as wood and glass rather than plastic.
* A thoughtfully prepared environment where materials are organized by subject area, within reach of the child, and are appropriate in size.
* Freedom within limits.
* A trained Montessori teacher who follows the child and is highly experienced in observing the individual child's characteristics, tendencies, innate talents, and abilities.
Montessori education is fundamentally a model of human development and an educational approach based on that model. The model has two primary principles. First, children and developing adults engage in psychological self-construction through interaction with their environments. Second, children, especially under the age of six, have an innate path of psychological development. Based on her observations, Montessori believed that children at liberty to choose and act freely within an environment prepared according to her model would act spontaneously for optimal development.
Montessori saw universal, innate characteristics in human psychology, which her son and collaborator Mario Montessori identified as "human tendencies" in 1957. There is some debate about the exact list, but the following are identified:
* Manipulation (of the environment)
* Work (also described as "purposeful activity")
In the Montessori approach, these human tendencies are seen as driving behavior in every stage of development and education and should respond to and facilitate their expression.
Montessori education involves free activity within a "prepared environment," meaning an educational environment tailored to basic human characteristics, to the specific characteristics of children at different ages, and the individual personalities of each child. The function of the environment is to help and allow the child to develop independence in all areas according to their inner psychological directives. In addition to offering access to the Montessori materials appropriate to the age of the children, the environment should exhibit the following characteristics:
* An arrangement that facilitates movement and activity
* Beauty and harmony, cleanliness of the environment
* Construction in proportion to the child and their needs
* Limitation of materials so that only material that supports the child's development is included
* Nature in the classroom and outside of the classroom
Montessori observed four distinct periods, or "planes," in human development, extending from birth to 6 years, from 6 to 12, 12 to 18, and 18 to 24. She saw different characteristics, learning modes, and developmental imperatives active in each plane and called for educational approaches specific to each period.
The first plane extends from birth to around six years of age. During this period, Montessori observed that the child undergoes striking physical and psychological development. The first-plane child is seen as a concrete, sensorial explorer and learner engaged in the developmental work of psychological self-construction and building functional independence. Montessori introduced several concepts to explain this work, including the absorbent mind, sensitive periods, and normalization.
Montessori described the young child's behavior of effortlessly assimilating the sensorial stimuli of their environment, including information from the senses, language, culture, and the development of concepts with the term "absorbent mind." She believed that this is a power unique to the first plane and that it fades as the child approaches age six. Montessori also observed and discovered periods of special sensitivity to particular stimuli during this time which she called the "sensitive periods." In Montessori education, the classroom environment responds to these periods by making appropriate materials and activities available while the periods are active in each young child. She identified the following periods and their durations::118–140
* Acquisition of language—from birth to around six years old
* Interest in small objects—from around 18 months to 3 years old
* Order—from around 1 to 3 years old
* Sensory refinement—from birth to around four years old
* Social behavior—from around 2½ to 4 years old
Finally, Montessori observed in children from three to six years old a psychological state she termed "normalization." Normalization arises from concentration and focus on activity that serves the child's developmental needs and is characterized by the ability to concentrate as well as "spontaneous discipline, continuous and happy work, social sentiments of help and sympathy for others."
The second plane of development extends from around six years to twelve years old. During this period, Montessori observed physical and psychological changes in children and developed a classroom environment, lessons, and materials, to respond to these new characteristics. Physically, she observed the loss of baby teeth and the lengthening of the legs and torso at the beginning of the plane, and a period of uniform growth following. Psychologically, she observed the "herd instinct," or the tendency to work and socialize in groups, as well as the powers of reason and imagination. Developmentally, she believed the work of the second plane child is the formation of intellectual independence, moral sense, and social organization.
The third plane of development extends from around twelve years to about eighteen years of age, encompassing the period of adolescence. Montessori characterized the third plane by the physical changes of puberty and adolescence, but also psychological changes. She emphasized the psychological instability and difficulties in the concentration of this age, as well as the creative tendencies and the development of "a sense of justice and a sense of personal dignity." She used the term "valorization" to describe the adolescents' drive for an externally derived evaluation of their worth. Developmentally, Montessori believed that the work of the third plane child is the construction of the adult self in society.
The fourth plane of development extends from around eighteen years to around twenty-four years old. Montessori wrote comparatively little about this period and did not develop an educational program for the age. She envisioned young adults prepared by their experiences in Montessori education at the lower levels, ready to fully embrace the study of culture and the sciences to influence and lead civilization. She believed that economic independence in the form of work for money was critical for this age and felt that an arbitrary limit to the number of years in the university-level study was unnecessary, as the study of culture could go on throughout a person's life.
In short, four core aspects of Montessori school include practical life, sensorial, math, and language arts. Some smaller aspects that could be integrated into Montessori schools include geography, art, and gardening.
As Montessori developed her theory and practice, she came to believe that education had a role to play in the development of world peace. She felt that children allowed to develop according to their inner laws of development would give rise to a more peaceful and enduring civilization. From the 1930s to the end of her life, she gave a number of lectures and addresses on Peace and the Montessori Method of Education. "Averting war is the work of politicians; establishing peace is the work of education." Maria Montessori
Montessori Peace curriculum begins in the classroom of ages 3-6. They study Continents and Peoples of the World. This provides a global view of life and humanity's part in it.
In the 6-12 year classroom, children continue their study of Peoples of the World, learning about The Fundamental Needs of Humans. Emphasis is placed on the family of humankind and the interrelationship of all life. Children begin to realize they are not separate from the rest of the world but are an integral part of creating a harmonious world.