Casa – A Children’s House

Casa – The “Children’s House”

Lunch in Casa

The Montessori classroom is a world specially prepared for children. It is a nurturing, bright and spacious environment. All the furniture is child-size to support the child’s natural inclination and need to “do for one’s self”. This social, interactive and hands-on environment allows children to explore and expand their knowledge at their own pace. Children move about and choose activities that are accessible on low open shelves. The class consists of a mixed aged group of children either working individually or in a group. Some children may be preparing a snack; one child may be reading; others may be working in a group while the directress is giving a lesson. The younger children learn from the older children; and the older children are encouraged to develop an awareness of the needs of the younger children. This community of children offers the children the opportunity to develop social skills.

The day is a balance of independent work, group work and presentations (lessons). Presentations are made individually or to small groups by the teacher called a Directress. Using methods and materials developed by Dr. Montessori, the Directress provides a sequence of tasks sufficiently challenging and interesting to engage the child. These tasks or exercises are broken down into four areas of learning which make up the curriculum. The Directress is a Montessori trained teacher who has thorough knowledge of the Montessori materials (also called tools of development) and their purpose.

Casa Curriculum

Exposure to a rich variety of experiences is a vital part of the curriculum. The curriculum consists of: Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, and Language. Cultural subjects are integrated into the curriculum.

Practical Life

The activities of Practical Life resemble the daily activities that children see in their home. Sweeping, dusting, pouring, cutting vegetables and fruit for snack, arranging flowers, and sewing are just a few of the Practical Life activities. Children learn to care for their environment, themselves and others. Through these activities, children develop motor skills, independence, confidence, self-esteem, social skills and concentration.

Sensorial

Montessori materials are designed to refine the child’s senses of sight, touch, sound, taste and smell. Children’s senses are a key to understanding and classifying the environment. Children learn to discriminate colour, size texture and sound through activities of comparing, sorting, exploration, language and games.

Language

The Montessori classroom provides rich opportunities to develop and enhance vocabulary and language appreciation. The language materials are phonetically based. They help the child develop skills needed for verbal communication, reading and writing. Children learn the shapes and sounds of the letters with the sandpaper letters. They join letters to make words and then sentences with the movable alphabet. Reading naturally follows word building. To further the development of reading, children explore the function of words and the structure of sentences.

French

Each casa class has a French speaking assistant who speaks only French, allowing for a natural second language development. French lessons are also presented to children in small groups.

Mathematics

Materials in our primary classrooms emphasize the concepts of number recognition, quantities, linear counting, the decimal system, simple fractions and beginning lessons in the four operations. The children work together counting the chains, sharing out quantities and creating large numbers with the “golden beads”. Children’s understanding of basic mathematical concepts emerges from using this concrete material.

geography featured image

Culture

Geography, Botany, Zoology, History, Art and Music are referred to as cultural subjects. Children learn about people, their countries and the world through food, music, pictures, flags, maps, artifacts, holiday celebrations and other cultural observations.

We welcome you to explore our website to get further insight into what Montessori education can offer your child. Please contact us to book a tour and speak with us to learn more about what we can offer your child at Odyssey Montessori School.

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