Montessori Curriculum

Children in the Montessori program learn through experience with hands on material. Each of the three Montessori classes is composed of children age’s three to five. In the spirit of Maria Montessori, emphasis is placed on training in independence and self-motivation, as students are encouraged to choose and complete various learning activities. The program provides for the emotional and intellectual needs of each child and fosters the child's growth in self-awareness as well as an understanding and consideration of the needs of others. Group activities are designed to help the child see herself as a member of the school community.

The Montessori program seeks to develop the child's sense of self-worth as an active learner and member of the school community. Each child learns to assume responsibility, master skills, and solve problems. The classroom environment is designed to stimulate the child's natural sense of wonder and curiosity through opportunities for fun, friendship, vigorous activity, adventure, and quiet reflection. A rich and varied curriculum, including language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, supports and promotes students' intellectual development.

The major areas in the program are practical life, sensorial, language, mathematics, science, social studies, geography, music, art, religion, physical education, and Mandarin-Chinese.

List of 12 items.

  • Art

    The art program in the Montessori classroom has been designed to complement and reinforce the lessons and teaching philosophy developed in their curriculum. Each art project begins with an introduction to a new material and artist or art movement. The students use environmentally conscious materials to learn about each material's origins and uses. Each student is encouraged to independently explore the materials with a particular focus on the sensorial experience and process application rather than the end product of their work. Our students explore color, texture, different materials, and nature with hands-on materials. The learning experience will emphasize the process rather than the product of their work.

  • Development

    Students will learn about feelings and the varying degrees of emotions. Through storytelling and role-playing, the students will learn how to recognize, name, and explain changes in their thoughts, feelings, and body. The students will learn and practice different breathing exercises to help regulate their emotions to feel calm and in control. They will begin to understand that our feelings are unique gifts from God, and it is essential to handle them in helpful and healthy ways.   In addition to learning about emotions, the students will learn essential values such as respect, love, gratitude, kindness, cooperation, unity, humility, and compassion.
  • Language

    The Language Area is divided into two main parts – Reading and Writing. Reading is a slow, complex process involving a logical and orderly series of steps. Each is an outgrowth of a previous one. The child undertakes specific exercises that teach the alphabet phonetically and lead the child to read phonetic words or phrases. Additional concrete exercises allow the child to learn grammar rules outside the phonetic code, such as nouns, verbs, and adjective. These skills enable the child to begin reading simple short stories with understanding. Handwriting is a developmental process. The child is initially prepared for handwriting through specific Practical Life and Sensorial Areas activities. For example, pouring water from Practical Life and holding a piece of apparatus by its knob in Sensorial. As muscular dexterity is developed, a child learns to hold a pencil properly for writing. Lessons in the Language Area are taught so that the child may memorize the shape of the letter and learn its corresponding sound. Once these indirect preparations are in progress, purposefully structured activities are prepared to facilitate handwriting. For instance, a child is taught how each group of lowercase letters is positioned on their respective lines. Upper case letters are introduced later.
  • Mandarin - Chinese

    Mandarin Chinese is offered to the five-year-old students two times in a six-day rotation to educate our students as global citizens.  As one of the three major world languages, Chinese introduces children to communicate through verbal and auditory methods of instruction. During class, simple comparisons will be made between Eastern and Western cultures to introduce the students to expand their social diversity experiences.
  • Mathematics

    The Mathematics program begins with lessons that use concrete materials and manipulatives, which the children handle to grasp the mathematical idea. The Math and Sensorial equipment lay the foundation for knowledge of numerous geometric theories and concepts. These include manipulatives of various sizes, shapes, and colors.  The Mathematical Area introduces the child to numbers 1 – 100, the decimal system, units 10’s, 100’s, 1000’s, and all operations of arithmetic; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  All concepts are introduced with concrete materials, which gradually lead the child to perform arithmetic operations more abstractly or without the aid of manipulatives.  Concepts related to the numbers 1 – 9, in addition to number sequencing 1 – 100, are presented at a concrete level and then progress towards abstract applications.  Concrete ‘hands-on’ experiences are provided for understanding fractions and their unique patterns.
  • Music

    Music is introduced through singing, listening, and playing rhythm instruments. Basic music theory and sight singing are also incorporated into music class. The children learn how to breathe correctly and use solfège while they warm up their voices. They learn about the different instrument families and how they are played. Rhythmic exercises involving percussion instruments are also a part of the curriculum. They know a variety of religious, holiday, and seasonal music.
  • Physical Education

    The physical education program offers many opportunities for skill development. The facilities include a swimming pool, tennis court, and large grassy area. The girls have Physical Education twice a week for 30 minutes. Each class participates with their age level, and the average class size is one teacher per ten students. Swimming, creative movement, gross motor skills, running and ball handling activities, and gymnastics are emphasized in the curriculum. Swimming lessons are taught during the school year. Starting with the four-year-old group, the Physical Education teacher, with an assistant guarding the pool, teaches the fundamentals of swimming. By age 5, all students are swimming and are mastering new skills such as diving and stroke development.
  • Practical Life

    The Practical Life Area contains practical and relevant exercises to the child’s daily life. They are separated into four topics: 1. Grace and Courtesy – activities such as greeting a visitor and learning how to interrupt 2. Care of the Person – exercises such as a button, bow, or lace dressing frame 3. Care of the Environment – performing tasks such as shoe, silver, brass, and wood polishing; water pouring and plant care 4. Control of Movement – experienced daily by walking on the red line or around a mat. The successful accomplishment of these exercises promotes the child’s (1) interest and care for the world around her, (2) confidence, (3) concentration, (4) sense of responsibility, and (5) self-esteem. These exercises also form the basis for intellectual development (a) because of the orderly and sequential manner in which each exercise is carried out and (b) because of the increasing complexity of each exercise as the child progresses through the Practical Life Area.
  • Religion

    At Carrollton, we offer the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, initially developed in Rome by Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi 50 years ago. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is not a curriculum but rather an approach to the religious formation of children and adults that is rooted in Sacred Scripture and Liturgy and compatible with the inherently dignified educational principles and philosophy of Maria Montessori. It seeks to create and facilitate a hands-on space for children called an atrium, in which the children and their catechists can hear, ponder, and celebrate the essential mysteries of the Christian faith as revealed in the Scriptures and the Liturgy. At Carrollton, in the Montessori classrooms, there is an area designated for the lessons of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd that is presented to the children according to the liturgical season.
  • Science

    The Montessori science program allows the children to use apparatuses that they manipulate to learn basic scientific concepts. It aims to enable children to learn about the world around them and encourage them to use all of their senses when exploring. In addition to using the materials that Maria Montessori developed for the classroom, children are introduced to scientific concepts such as buoyancy, magnetism, and living and nonliving. Throughout the year, the children explore and discuss different life cycles that coincide with the seasons. Simple lessons about the earth are taught, emphasizing weather, air, water, and respect for our environment. This program goes hand in hand with studies about geography and different landforms on earth.
  • Sensorial

    The Sensorial Area contains exercises that aid in training the five senses. These exercises assist in refining the senses by enabling the child to clarify and classify all sense impressions to the finest degree. The training of the senses also indirectly provides a solid foundation for intellectual growth.
  • Social Studies and Geography

    Social studies lessons are part of the geography program. The social studies lessons emphasize awareness and respect for the different cultures worldwide, people, places, and customs. The children are exposed to various items that characterize the continent or specific country being taught during these geography lessons. The students love this imaginary traveling around the world. They get involved by bringing pictures, food, books, personal anecdotes, or items from home representing that area of the world. Parent participation is highly encouraged. The curriculum presents students with historical figures who have impacted the lives of many through their perseverance and courage to follow a dream. The curriculum deepens a geographical and universal understanding, a sense of global responsibility, ethnic tolerance, and admiration for diversity.
"For the sake of one child, I would have founded the Society."
-Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat