Toddler through Middle School
Ages 15 months through 8th grade
Montessori believes that children develop in planes, not in a linear sequence, and our classes are arranged to accommodate this. In mixed age classes, students and individual teachers may work together for up to three years. This creates a bond which enables trust, mutual expectations, shared joy, and increased confidence.
At every level great care is taken at Fraser Woods Montessori to allot a large uninterrupted block of time—usually two to three hours—for work each day. Students are given assignments with the freedom to pursue them in the order that best motivates them. This affords the students time for individual help if needed or to delve into subjects that have caught their interest. Students quickly learn to accept responsibility for their education and to revel in the process.
Primary through Upper Elementary
Primary through Upper Elementary students are given lessons and exposure to the French language and culture. The younger students are taught with pictures, music, and song. Image-based vocabulary presentations introduce thematic context and provide a reason and motivation for using the language. Grammar presentations, accompanied by animated grammar explanations, helps the students achieve accuracy in their communication.
Older students are taught the conjugation of the present, past and future tenses, the possessive adjective, all other adjectives, adverb placement, negation, partitive and regular articles and sentence structure.
Once at the Middle School level, students can choose to continue in their studies of the French language and culture, or they may choose to begin to study the Spanish language and culture. Whichever selection they make, students are taught the present, past and future tenses, possessive adjectives and all other adjectives, adverb placement, negation, articles and sentence structure are part of everyday lessons. Many games are also part of the program to help the student enjoying the experience of speaking the language. The SMART Board is used to reinforce the vocabulary and the digital textbooks allow the students to work both at the school and from home.
Middle School students also participate in the Latin program, which provides the students with an insight into the structure of an inflected language and encourages them to make comparisons with their own language. These same students also develop a strong basis for the study of all the romantic languages, such as French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
The curriculum gives the students an opportunity to learn about the past through written evidence and archeological remains.Students explore the life of Lucius Caecillius, in the city of Pompeii during the 1st century AD. Students learn this curriculum through practice in reading different texts about the life of Caecillius and his family.
The objectives are to study Latin mythology, featuring gods and goddesses, the history of Pompeii and the Roman Empire. Students interconnect English and Latin expressions,and look for derivatives that follow the spelling.
Within a group setting the children respond to a variety of musical stimuli through song, instrument playing and body movement. Our curriculum accommodates the children’s responses and allows class materials to evolve accordingly.
Lower Elementary / Upper Elementary
The Orff-Schulwerk philosophy is the foundation for elementary music classes. Students build on the musical skills and experience musical concepts through singing, movement, speech, chanting rhymes and playing a wide variety of percussive instruments using Orff orchestrated musical pieces. The use of the Orff instrumentarium helps to develop the student’s skill, musicianship, and growing sense of musical aesthetics. All children are encouraged to respect each other’s efforts and learn to listen, observe, and evaluate their own efforts and musical growth. The study of music is vital to the appreciation and understanding of our culture and the cultures of the world. Through listening, performing, and composing, we create opportunities for our students to have a deeper understanding of music.
Our music lessons follow the 9 guidelines of National Standards for Music Education.
Taiko drumming is the format we offer to the Middle School students in music classes. Our classes involve Taiko terminologies, discipline, posture, basic rhythm, traditional Taiko rhythms and Taiko choreography – capability to performing on stage. This unique format provides our students not only with instruction in Taiko but also with opportunities for building creative expression, self-esteem, cultural awareness, and group cooperation.
There are four basic elements in Taiko that must come together as one unit throughout class. They are:
- KARADA: Discipline of body strength, power, and stamina
- KOKORO: Discipline of mind, self control, and spirit
- WAZA: Musical skills, physical expressions, and rhythmic expression
- REI: Communication, manners, courtesy, respect, harmony, language, and unity of spirit
Our music lessons also follow 9 guidelines of National Standards for Music Education.
Ensemble and Chorus
Children in Upper Elementary through 8th Year join Chorus or Ensemble as an elective. Through weekly practices students learn the discipline of voice and instrument and perform throughout the year for their school community and at various local institutions.
Kindergarten through Middle School
Students make weekly visits to the art studio and experience the works of master and contemporary artists, as well as lesser-known artists from other cultures. Visual Arts students learn about techniques and styles in art through examples or reproductions. They are then encouraged to use the inspiration to create their own unique projects. This develops a true appreciation for the elements of art as well as the artists studied.
Students are encouraged to experiment, encounter the concepts of balance, space, texture, form, color and line.
The Montessori philosophy allows for individual exploration in learning. Our art classes are set up to provide experiences that follow this philosophy. We also are mindful to follow the six National Standards for the Visual Arts.
Primary through Middle School
All Primary through Middle School students participate in physical education classes.
For younger students, The program’s goal is for students to feel good about themselves while learning about health-building activities and their bodies. At this level, activities focus on motor development needed for running, hopping and the transfer of weight while building skills.
The PE program for the Elementary students is focused on developing an awareness of team sports, rules, spatial and positional awareness. At this level the students are introduced to a mildly competitive after-school sports program in which they play against other small private schools in the area. The sports include soccer, basketball and softball. The objective of class is to encourage and develop respect and awareness of others during individual and group cooperative activities. All students are encouraged to develop leadership skills through the cooperative games and team-building activities. Good sportsmanship and the development of a healthy approach to competition are stressed throughout the curriculum.
The Middle School students meet twice a week for 55 minutes at a time. The students learn about respectful interactions between peers while learning coordination during fun activities and games such as capture the flag and dodgeball. They are able to expand the capabilities of their bodies and learn how exercise can greatly benefit their growing bodies.
Students participate in an annual fitness test and learn about flexibility, endurance and strength exercises, which can be improved upon throughout the year.
Athletics meets 5 days a week and prepares students for team sports. The teams are co-ed and multi-age to fit the Montessori philosophy. To meet the needs of all athletes, intramural and competitive sports teams are offered during each season and include a variety of sports such as: basketball, softball and soccer. Emphasis is placed upon promoting a positive self-image, reciprocal teaching, peer-leadership and development of a healthy approach to competition. All students are able to play at a level that is comfortable for them and have the benefit of improving their skills by playing with students of varying abilities.
As a Montessori school whose mission is to cultivate self-confidence and a joy of learning, a MakerSpace is perfectly aligned with these goals.
The MakerSpace offers students a collaborative working environment for making, learning, exploring and sharing. Through the use of technology, robotics, Lego blocks, coding, and other materials, students can exercise problem solving, analytical ability, imagination and adaptability. The space inspires students to create something by exploring their interests in a stimulating hands-on way. A MakerSpace helps to prepare students with critical 21st century skills in science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM).
Student Support Program
The Student Support Program is designed to help two sets of students: those gifted and those with learning differences.
A team consisting of the Student Support Coordinator, the Head of School, and staff work with gifted students.
Team responsibilities include:
- Identifying those students who may be gifted and recommending the appropriate evaluation
- Working with classroom teachers to ensure a differentiated curriculum that promotes the right blend of challenge and support
- Coordinating applications for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and the Summer Institute for the Gifted.
- Consulting with staff at all levels to ensure the effective exchange of information within the school and with other schools, particularly for transfer and transition
A team consisting of the Student Support Coordinator, Head of School and staff work with students with learning differences.
Team responsibilities include:
- Identifying students proactively for signs of potential learning differences
- Providing referrals for diagnostic evaluations
- Developing individualized student intervention programs for students identified with different neuro-developmental profiles
- Supporting the classroom teachers and families