The Primary Montessori classroom for children ages 3-6 is simple, beautiful, and ordered to meet children's needs. Montessori teachers create an environment that fosters independence, self-discipline, and concentration.
The classroom is organized into six different learning environments. Children are free to choose works from the various area after they have a received a lesson from their teacher.
Connection with the home, introduction to the classroom, fine motor development, life skills
Practical Life is the area of the classroom where a child is introduced to basic skills such as carrying a tray, pouring, transferring, folding, food preparation, and more. It also involves learning grace and courtesy skills, caring for the classroom, and caring for one’s self. The skills learned in Practical Life are life-long skills and are not restricted to the shelves. They help prepare the child for their “Great Work” and for life.
Learning through the hands
and senses, visual and
Learning is acquired through the hands. Sensorial introduces the children to all things connected with their senses. Through the Sensorial materials the children can physically feel and touch differences in length, height, weight, temperature, color, and texture so as to explore and understand their environment. They also build a mathematical foundation for later learning.
Pre-literacy games, letter sounds, writing, reading, literature, grammar
Before directly teaching sounds and writing the children are consistently exposed to language in the whole classroom. This is done through games (I Spy, matching, rhymes, etc…) songs, and the many presentations
of each area. To teach language we begin by introducing the sounds in the English language. Next we introduce writing using movable letters. Once a child can write or “build” a word, he is ready to read. From there we introduce grammar concepts, sentence building, and many more presentations.
Number recognition, decimal system, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing
The Math area of the classroom follows a precise order. The children begin by learning the concrete representations of numbers (tangible quantities), then the abstract symbols, and finally combine the concrete and abstract. Once a child has a strong foundation with number 0-10 we introduce the decimal system (1,000, 100, 10, 1) using the Golden Beads. From there they will learn addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division in a
Science, geography, botany,
zoology, other cultural, becoming citizens of the world
The Cultural area of the classroom introduces the children to the world and God's creation. There they will be presented to geography,
science, zoology, botany, art appreciation and music. We also study other countries and cultures so as to become Citizens of the World. Through cultural studies children learn vocabulary and become more curious about the world around them.
Divine Liturgy, prayer,
the lives of the Saint,
feasts and celebrations
At Sophia Montessori Academy, our daily life revolves around the revelation of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The children pray together, learn about the lives of the Saints and the life of Christ, they attend Divine Liturgy at St. Francis de Sales from the pastor of Holy Protection of the Mother of God parish, and grow in their love for God and each other through our daily activities.
The Elementary Montessori classroom for children ages 6-9 is simple, beautiful, and ordered to meet children's needs. Montessori teachers create an environment that fosters independence, self-discipline, and concentration.
The Elementary Montessori classroom invites the children into what Montessori called Cosmic Education:
"...the fundamental principle in education is correlation of all subjects, and their centralization in the cosmic plan.".
The exploration of communication begins in elementary. The child has begun purposeful writing, speech and is now capable of reading. The focus is now on grammar, word study and writing. A variety of stories, both old and new, spark the imagination and propel the student toward expression. Grammar boxes which focus on noun, verb and other parts of grammar allow for concrete exploration of language. The children record words and their meanings through the study of synonyms and antonyms, compound words and word families. Sentence analysis helps the children to see how the parts of grammar fit together. The language rich environment allows the child constant engaging context to the world through reading and writing of stories, group work, singing, poetry, listening, and speaking.
The elementary child is now ready to
explore the largeness of the world. They love to explore in extremes! Concrete exploration of the number system and the hierarchy of numbers into the millions, are shown through Golden Beads. Further exploration with operations occurs as the child manipulates materials such as the stamp game, bead frame and checkerboard to prove addition, subtraction,
multiplication and division problems. Fractions are introduced through metal insets that provide concrete representations of a whole through a tenth. Measurement, time, and space are all studied by a combination of story and material. The Elementary classroom allows the child to journey from the concrete quantity to the abstract algorithm.
Through the Great Stories the children journey from the creation of the Universe to modern man. Timelines are introduced as a method of measurement. They demonstrate the passage of vast ages from the beginning of Creation through the modern age. This includes the study of Dinosaurs!
Correlation of one event in time to another begins as they research topics of their interest. Presentations of their topics of research instruct all of the children in a variety of subjects. A key aspect of history is the appreciation for those who came before us! Thus the children are introduced to the idea of Needs of Man. What did they do and how did they do it? The classroom cannot contain all of the answers, therefore “Going Out” or “Coming In” gives a child the opportunity to explore the world to find answers to their questions.
Geology, Botany and Zoology are presented and studied as purposeful and beautiful gifts from God. Through observation and study, inside and out of the classroom, children are encouraged to explore their world. They learn to categorize and classify plants, animals and rocks. How was the Earth formed? What is the impact of the Elements upon it? Observation of plants leads to exploration of the parts and their functions. Animals are classified, their parts are named and the children
realize the amazing characteristics through research and observation. Language, Math, Geometry and History are all intertwined into the
investigation of Biology
The study of the Earth and its formation piggybacks with the study of History and Biology. Stories ignite their curiosity and produce questions that are in need of answers. The children are presented with a variety of experiments that allow them to see first hand how the various formations began. Volcanoes come alive! Concrete examples of mountain formation or ocean currents allow the child to see and manipulate a vast concept!
The measurement of the Earth
(“Geo” and “metron”) is presented
with concrete materials to explore very abstract concepts. Through stories, the children hear how humans created solutions to their very real problems. Geometry is all around them!
Children are given concrete
materials in 2 and 3 Dimensional examples to explore. Lines, angles, polygons and circles are presented to the children through concept, story and material. Nomenclature, measurement and relationship are presented in a variety of ways to the child to capture the idea of the very vital role they play in our world.
Music is a need that God has put on Man’s heart to soothe, and to stir, the soul. Singing daily connects the children to their Faith as well as History. Language, through song, allows for manipulation of words and sound. Children are connected to music and it becomes a part of them! By listening to and creating music children are forming concrete relationships with each other. It is the fabric which brings cultures together! Study of various types of music, of the nomenclature of the parts, of genres of music and their composers, children are able to dive into a deep and beautiful subject.
Another Pillar of our culture and need of Man is beauty. Artistic study through genre, artist, or by exploration of material happens in the elementary classroom. The children are given a vast menagerie of artistic materials to discover the ways in which humans create art. Beginning with early humans the children see how Man needed art to communicate. This was one aspect of Man’s first Language! From Cave drawings to Monet the children are given various encounters with the creation of art.
The elementary child is now focused on justice, morality and “right or wrong”. In Catechesis of the Good Shepherd the Second Plane Child is given ways to follow The Good Shepherd through Maxims. The twelve short sayings from Jesus such as “Love one another” are food for thought and prayer. The children will copy them using calligraphy, illustrate and even memorize them. Some of the presentations in Level II are History of the Kingdom of God, Prayer, the Mystery of the Incarnation, the Mystery of the Kingdom of God Parables, the Paschal Mystery, the Holy Bible, the Sacraments of Eucharist and Baptism.
We are proud to introduce our students to Montessori Computers!
Montessori Computers was born of the collaboration between a software engineer, parents, Montessori teachers, and public school educators. Bringing in expertise from the aerospace industry, we worked alongside teachers of a variety of backgrounds to create materials that would take children step by step through the inner workings of a computer, using language and materials that are accessible to elementary aged students. All materials are designed with the primary student's needs in mind. Repetition is encouraged, and the materials can be revisited again and again.
CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is available each day to the students of SMA in the Byzantine Catholic tradition. We are also able to visit St. Francis de Sales Church for prayer and learning. The pastor of Holy Protection of the Mother of God joins us at St. Francis de Sales’ to celebrate Divine Liturgy.
Sophia Montessori Academy is recognized as an independent Catholic School in the Archdiocese of Denver.
Sacramental preparation is conducted with each child’s specific parish.
“My dad carries me just like the
Good Shepherd carries the sheep.”
Children are deeply spiritual
and their relationship with God comes to them easily.
To foster this relationship we learn about the great love God has for us.
We do this using the
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Through hands-on materials and presentations the children
learn the vocabulary of the Church, ponder the question
“Who are you Jesus?”,
and learn to pray. Our faith is part of every day through prayers, stories, songs, learning about virtues,
Divine Liturgy and the Mass,
THE BENEFITS OF THE CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD AT SMA
Invites the children into the life of the Church by using materials on the life of Christ, the parables, and the articles of Divine Liturgy
Reflecting upon the parables and scripture
Invites the child to meditate and listen to God
Invites the child to meditate and listen to God
Learning about the geography of Israel, the liturgical year, the nomenclature of the Church, and more
Nurturing the child's natural connection to God