Ages 3 – 4
4 or 5 day programs available to children ages 3-4
Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Before and After School care is available from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Our Lower School environment is a three-year program dedicated to nurturing the children’s inherent curiosity by enabling them to explore and discover. At Fraser Woods Montessori School, children learn through touch and motion and by observing and doing. Academics are introduced through manipulative materials, laying the groundwork for abstract thinking. Classroom materials are joyfully presented and designed to stimulate the children’s senses as well as respond to their need for order and a sense of mastery within their world. Children at this level will experience intense periods of change, both cognitively and socially. The teacher, always observant, responds with appropriate lessons to support each child’s individual growth and capabilities.
Skills of daily living
This bridge between home and school is designed to foster independence, a sense of order, concentration and coordination. Exercises include:
- Care of the person (buttoning, zipping, tying)
- Care of the environment (classroom, home setting)
- Small and gross motor development (pouring, cutting, balancing)
- Social development (interpersonal skills, courtesy, speaking and participating in a group)
Exploration of the world through the senses
Materials such as the pink tower, geometric solids, sound cylinders and color tablets help a child to understand and internalize the concepts of size, shape, color, taste, touch and sound. These materials build the foundation for developing skills in such areas as music, mathematics and language.
Journeying from the concrete to the abstract
Through manipulation and experimentation with the concrete Montessori math materials, the child first explores the concept of “how many”, then moves on to symbols or written quantities and finally begins to combine quantities for the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The materials build on each other in a natural progression encouraging the child to explore and discover.
The spoken word to the written word
We begin with oral language to develop listening, comprehension, vocabulary and the ability to express oneself with confidence. The letters of the alphabet are introduced and later words, sentences and whole stories are composed using the movable alphabet. Children experience all aspects of language development simultaneously as the teacher carefully monitors readiness for each new activity.
Geography and Science
Geography and science make up the cultural components of the Lower School program. Land forms, world cultures, dinosaurs, simple machines, the solar system, rocks and reptiles are all introduced.
The French Curriculum provides an engaging enrichment for this age level. Simple vocabulary and expressions are used and repeated often to become part of the child’s environment. The goal is simply to teach a variety of short subjects where the language remains uncomplicated. The child, in turn, feels curious to participate, and to enjoy the experience.
Within a group setting, the children are introduced to songs, chants, and games. Instrument playing in conjunction with movement engage our students in the full experience.
Lower School children participate in an “Art on a Cart” program. The art teacher arrives at the child’s classroom ready to help our young artists sharpen important skills through a variety of projects which also introduce and reinforce the Elements of Art and the Language of Art. The emphasis is on “process over product”.
Children meet with the Physical Education teacher for cooperative group games and activities in the school’s gymnasium. The goal of the program is to encourage positive cooperation. Group games help students learn how to work together and take turns. Students learn through movement, play and repetition. At this level, activities focus on motor development needed for running, hopping and the transfer of weight while building skills.
Ages 5 -6 Extended Day (Kindergarten)
Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Before and After School care is available from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Extended Day program is the culmination of the three year Lower School experience for Kindergarten students. Students in Extended Day divide their time between their multi-age morning class and an afternoon class comprised of five and six year olds. This “third year” is one of tremendous social, emotional and academic growth for children.
Extended Day provides the opportunity for children to continue with their Montessori work as well as study specific topics in more depth, work with the more complex, advanced Montessori materials and progress in many areas from concrete to abstract thinking. Extended Day is a time of new and increased expectations as well as affording the child privileges for being one of the “big kids”.
After completing their Extended Day year, children are filled with self-confidence and pride in both their ability and accomplishments, and are becoming lifelong learners.
The Extended Day student’s use of concrete mathematical concepts through the manipulation, experimentation, and intervention of the materials leads them to increasing levels of abstraction and a deeper understanding of how numbers truly function. The Kindergarten curriculum places an emphasis on developing each child’s understanding of number concepts and relationships (place value, numeral construction, number bonds), operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), estimation (estimate and compare quantities, construct simple graphs) and connections (an understanding of calendars and schedules, recognition of currency and time, use of informational measuring tools). An increasing number of in-depth group lessons are presented however, following the Montessori philosophy, teachers differentiate lessons to meet each child’s individual needs.
In Extended Day, the Literacy Program at FWM follows a Reading and Writing Workshop model. This research based, systematic, hands-on approach guides the teachers in helping children learn to read and write. There are additional in-depth and group lessons, however, following the Montessori philosophy teachers differentiate lessons to meet each child’s individual needs. There is an emphasis on developing each child’s phonological awareness, word work, handwriting and writing conventions as well.
Children study both Physical and Cultural Geography. Physical geography discusses the formation of the universe, the creation of the earth and all of it’s physical properties. The students gain an awareness of the world around them by exploring other countries, their customs, food, music, climate, language and animals.
Children learn scientific principals by absorbing information from the world around them through their senses. Through the use of concrete objects and hands-on materials, children will explore units such as astronomy, botany, chemistry, physics and zoology.
The French Curriculum provides an entertaining enrichment for this age level. Simple vocabulary and expressions are used and repeated often to become part of the child’s environment. The goal is to simply teach a variety of short subjects where the language remains uncomplicated. The child, in turn, feels curious to participate, and enjoys the experience.
Within a group setting the children are introduced to songs, chants and games. Children also learn to make and follow simple rhythmic patterns, sing rounds and play instruments.
Lower School and Extended day children participate in an art studio program. The art teacher helps our young artists sharpen important skills through a variety of projects which also introduce and reinforce the Elements of Art and the Language of Art. The emphasis is on “process over product”.
Three times a week, children meet for cooperative group games and activities. The goal of the program is to foster positive cooperation in an engaging atmosphere. Students develop agility, balance, coordination and speed while learning through movement, play and repetition
Extended Day students attend a weekly Makerspace class. Each week, students are encouraged to create, build, deconstruct, play, make mistakes, and explore numerous self-selected topics using real world tools and supplies. Extended Day students are exposed to a variety of programs and design challenges that foster creativity and collaboration. At this age, students are naturally curious about the world around them and are invited to investigate and explore on their own. Materials at this age include “unplugged” items, such as Keva Planks, play-doh, Legos, and pipe cleaners; and “plugged in” tools such as robotics, coding and programming applications, and green screen movie creations.