The Philosophy

Dr. Montessori believed that human beings learn from participating in productive activities.  They must do the work for themselves and only then does genuine learning take place. She felt that children learn best in a prepared classroom environment, which serves to make the child independent of the adult. The teacher, or Directress as they are known, allows the children to work at their own pace giving them an opportunity to explore and absorb what they learn. In fulfillment of the Montessori philosophy, we encourage parents to commit to the three year program and suggest families to carry the Montessori philosophy into their homes. This helps create a harmonious and mutually supportive atmosphere where children have a positive attitude towards school and receive lifelong learning skills.

The Environment

A Montessori environment is prepared for children three to six years of age, together in one class, with materials appropriate for each level. The classroom offers exactness, precision and an aesthetically pleasing environment in which the children learn respect for one another and the    materials around them.  The manipulative materials are purposeful, clean, neat and complete.  They must be accessible to the child with generally only one of each exercise.  This encourages children to be patient and wait for their turn or choose another activity, thus learning respect for others. The classroom is prepared to help children accomplish their goals and work mainly independently by gaining confidence and dexterity in a particular skill. Gradually the children reveal qualities for which they are not usually given credit for such as the following:

  • Concentration skills
  • Precision of movement (fine & gross motor skills)
  • A sense of order (orderly work habits)
  • Maximum effort, even by the youngest children
  • Self-discipline and a respect for others and the environment
  • Logical thought and responsibility
  • Peacefulness and kindness towards others
  • An obvious joy in “work”


Practical Life Exercises

The Preliminary Exercises develop movement and co-ordination. They form the foundation for other exercises and basic movement within the class.   The children learn self-control and enhance their awareness of the world around them. Through active Movement in the classroom, the children learn aptitude in listening and concentration. Care for the Environment both indoors and out, helps to create a full expression of love for their environment. Care of the Person fosters dignity and independence, not just of oneself but of others as well. Grace & Courtesy lessons are much deeper than manners; they teach us to live together with respect. Children thrive on knowing what to do and when to do it, giving them respect for others and their community. 


Sensorial Materials


The sensorial area in the classroom is a representation of a selection of materials using various colours, shapes, textures, and sizes. First, they help children refine their senses, thus widening human perception. Through the sequence of sensorial materials, the child is exposed to the various elements in the environment. Their work with these materials draws the child’s attention to differences in size, colour and shape, inviting the child to explore the world around them. Other advanced material in the sensorial area help children strengthen their tactile sense, their eye-hand coordination, and their sense of taste, smell and hearing.


Language Materials


Preliminary Language exercises teach the child to listen carefully to the sounds of which words are comprised. The child learns to listen to the “whole” word. Writing exercises, through the Sandpaper Letters, allow the child to visualize the letters through touch. The Moveable Alphabet gives the child the opportunity to see that sounds have symbols; symbols combined make words, which is a building block for reading. The Metal Insets help prepare the hand for writing. Reading exercises allow the child to connect words with the appropriate objects. Children are encouraged to expand their reading skills and are introduced to phonetic cards, phonogram booklets and puzzle words (or “sight” words). This helps the child expand their reading skills and work towards becoming a “total” reader. The advanced language materials teach children   the proper use of grammar and punctuation. They also help the child focus on reading analysis and comprehension skills. 


Math Materials

The child is prepared for mathematics from the foundation provided by Practical Life, Sensorial and Language materials.  The child is continually learning about the logical sequence of events, co-ordination, concentration and the precision with which they are carried out. Through exploration, the child can work freely with the materials and learn from the experience. Numbers to ten give the child the opportunity to see the symbols used from 0 – 10 and learn to associate the quantity that corresponds with them.  Next, the child is introduced to sequencing the numbers. The Decimal System helps the child to match the different categories and the quantities from one to nine thousand and beyond.  Teens and Tens Boards introduce new language to the child and fills in the “gaps” between ten and twenty – ten to one hundred.  The child learns that by adding a unit or a zero the number value changes.  Exploration and memorizing the tables gives the child, through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, the freedom and confidence to work with any and all mathematical problems. With the materials used, the child will learn to categorize and visualize numbers and can begin working towards abstraction. 


Geography

The children learn about the world around them through various Montessori materials such as globes, atlases, puzzle maps, or other Cultural materials. This allows children to study the   continents, names and capitals of countries, their flags, etc. Children are introduced to land and water formations, space, weather, and many other facts about the world we live in. 


Botany & Zoology & Science

The botany program follows the concept of “Earth Kinder”, a Montessori philosophy that   emphasizes the natural processes and harmonious living on our planet. Children are introduced to plants, water and the sun; learning about the delicate balance of our ecosystem and how it affects their everyday lives. Zoology and science are also studied where animals are introduced and their needs, characteristics & habits are examined.  Numerous age appropriate science experiments are also carried out.


French

French is offered to the children, starting with common verbal skills, learning items such as colours, numbers, songs, fruits & vegetables, animal names etc. As the children’s skills develop they learn specific pronunciation, writing skills, spelling, verbs, nouns, poems and stories.


Arts and Crafts & Music

Self-expression through art is an important part of the weekly program. Children are encouraged to develop their creativity and self-esteem through arts and crafts. Music is an important form of self-expression, allowing the child an ongoing exploration of themselves. Through different types of music, children develop listening skills and an appreciation for different styles of composing. We introduce the children to singing, movement, rhythm, beat and playing various percussion instruments.


Physical Education

CMS offers weekly activities such as gymnastics, yoga, obstacle courses, “Rainbow Fun”, basketball, bowling etc. Through these activities, children develop balance, co-ordination, flexibility, posture, rhythm and “team spirit”. The children are encouraged to increase their physical limits which in turn allow them to develop confidence in their abilities.

Circle Time

This is a time for children to develop their listening skills, self-confidence (while sharing at Show & Tell) and learning about current school related events. This is a most enjoyable time for children as they share ideas and express their thoughts through stories, poems, songs and finger plays.  Weekly themes are also discussed at Circle Time, giving children an opportunity to focus in depth on a particular topic of interest.


Extra-Curricular Activities

A variety of extra-curricular activities (types of programs may differ from campus to campus) are  offered during lunch break or after school hours by experienced instructors in their respective fields. These may include the following:

           Gymnastics                 Drawing and Painting             Ballet
           Chess                         Sports                                    Dance 
           Piano                          Taekwondo                             Yoga               
           French                        Rhythmic Gymnastics             
           

Field Trips

Field trips offer “hands on” experiences to children outside of the classrooms. We often choose our field trips to complement the curriculum. Casa children usually go on up to three field trips per school year, one per term. We have visited many different places such as the City Playhouse Theatre, the Kortright Centre, Pioneer Village, as well as museums and places of historical interest. Parent volunteers are always welcome!


PHILOSOPHY AND AIMS OF OUR CASA & TODDLER PROGRAMS
  • Providing a happy, secure, stimulating and trusting environment
  • Encouraging independence and self-help skills
  • Fostering “CREATIVITY”
  • Promoting language development as per the sensitive period the child is in
  • Enhancing fine motor and large motor skills
  • Allowing the child to explore and learn according to their full potential
  • Providing children with many different materials to express and explore in their own way
  • Having age appropriate activities
  • Providing children with opportunities to help themselves and to encourage and praise their accomplishments
  • Providing experiences in which children are encouraged to explore their environment and    feelings freely
  • Encouraging children to interact with peers in large and small groups. We try to establish and maintain an environment in which positive relationships develop
  • Encouraging children to verbalize with peers and others what they want and how they feel
  • Maintaining consistent schedules, activities, and redirection, allowing children to understand and accept the routines and limits of the classroom
  • Modelling caring and respect for others regardless of race, colour, sex, religion, nationality or social origin


GO TOP