Dr. Maria Montessori
The Montessori method is a quality method of teaching young children, founded by Dr. Maria Montessori. Dr. Montessori was an Italian educator and physician, and the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy (1894). Keeping her principles in mind, we focus on guiding and encouraging each child to reach his/her greatest potential. The Montessori materials and activities we have chosen make learning irresistable.
A) Montessori Method
This method has proven that a child will learn naturally if put in an environment containing the proper materials that foster the thirst for knowledge. The Montessori environment is carefully created to provide the child with the necessary tools to excel at each stage of growth.
Maria Montessori’s method of education was designed to stimulate the child’s desire to learn. At Reach for the Stars Montessori Learning Academy, we focus on developing a child’s concentration, co-ordination, independence, self-discipline, orderliness, initiative, persistence in completing tasks, and creative self- expression.
One of the key results is self- motivation.
B) Enhanced Expression Components
There are several additional elements that we include in our curriculum to enrich the child’s learning. These include, but are not limited to, music, science, and cooperative learning. All of these provide a unique form of stimulating learning. Each element has positive influences on other areas of study.
1. Practical Life
This area focuses on concentration, muscle coordination, order, independence, and self-discipline. These qualities are developed and enhanced through practical tasks, such as pouring, washing, polishing and general care of themselves and their environment.
These exercises are introduced with grace and courtesy.
2. Sensorial Activities
This area focuses on senses. Movement and gravity, large motor skills, tactile (touch), visual and auditory skills are developed. This is accomplished by listening, seeing, touching, smelling, tasting, and exploring the physical properties of their environment through the mediation of specially designed materials.
3. Language Development
This area facilitates book and print awareness, phonetic awareness, decoding and encoding, reading and language comprehension, writing and spelling.
Language is developed through the phonetic sounds and further developed through the use of tools such as sandpaper letters. The child then progresses through more complex language materials.
The focus here is on quantities and symbols; the decimal system of numeration; linear counting; memorization of tables, and the passage from concrete forms to abstract concepts. Mathematic concepts are learned by working with concrete materials. This provides a structured grasp for abstract reasoning.
Your child will be introduced to the linear, numerical, geometric and algebraic forms of mathematics.
Your child will learn to challenge, accomplish and master one objective at a time. The confidence will instill self-motivation to encourage movement to the next challenge.
5. Science and Cultural Studies
Geography, Biology, Botany, Zoology, History and Art are presented as extensions of the sensorial and language activities.
Being located in this facility, Science World, enables us to provide a unique science experience, not offered anywhere else. With the cooperation of the experts at Science World, we will incorporate several areas of hands on science programs, customized for our students.
A variety of activities and materials will stimulate your child’s interest in the natural and cultural world.
Globes, puzzle maps, land and water forms introduce geography. The concept of history is introduced by means of an events chart and time line. Your child’s interest in living creatures will be stimulated by pictures and models of birds and animals. He/she will also gain knowledge of the natural world through caring of plants. ‘Field Trips’ that come to the classroom will present intriguing creatures through exciting and interesting means.
Music is a key tool for learning. Whether it is through instruments, singing or dance, self expression is a vital part of every child’s development.
Educators have observed that student involvement in music has a positive impact on other areas of their lives. Musical involvement improves a student’s self-discipline, self-esteem, dexterity, coordination, thinking and listening skills, creative abilities and personal expression.
Furthermore, music opens a child’s mind. It has been demonstrated through several studies that music instruction, along with group singing at the pre-school level, has improved the kind of intelligence needed for high level math and science.
We are proud to offer your child the Montessori Music Bells Program as part as part of our integrated curriculum. The children will also benefit from different forms of music activities each day . Some of the areas of interest that are discovered include, rhythm, beat expression, listening skills, voice discovery and improvisation.
The children will also enjoy sing-along time at circle time, each day.
7. Second Language
We are fortunate to bring you second language options as part of our program. We have Spanish, French and Cantonese specialists that work with the children at our three locations.. Between the ages of three and six, children are particularly sensitive and receptive to spoken language. This is an ideal time to introduce a second language.
Over the course of their three years at Reach For The Stars, students will progressively develop their vocabulary, gaining confidence in speaking words and sentences and understanding a second language. They will also be introduced to special highlights of Spanish and Cantonese culture; including its music and art. Our instructor will use a multi-sensory approach often incorporating the Montessori materials, as well as songs, puppets, games and stories.
8. Cooperative Learning and Team Work is a focus that is important at Reach for the Stars Montessori Learning Academy.
Many Montessori schools tend to primarily focus on individual learning. However, at Reach for the Stars, we strongly feel that the individual child needs to be encouraged to explore and learn to problem solve with their peers as well. The teacher supports and facilitates specific activities that are introduced to encourage group participation.
We encourage cooperative learning at many levels of the learning process. Through such things as group discussions, sharing, organized team activities, group singing, etc.
Social standards of behaviour are set within the classroom. Respect is an integral part of our classroom atmosphere. In order for the child to learn proper social skills, we emphasize grace and courtesy. This includes such things as greetings, politely asking for objects, excusing oneself, handling objects safely, and asking others to work quietly.
This not only prepares the child for a world that demands teamwork and ability to work with peers, it also teaches the child to socialize in a polite and mannered environment.
As a unique tool to reflect teamwork, each student will be required to wear a school golf shirt. This will remind the students and parents that each individual is part of a larger team that is working towards the same goal. We believe that this will also instill pride and morale.