We know you have a choice. Should you stay, or is it the right time to move?
To help you make these important decisions, we recommend these steps:
(1) Read this article! It is an approximately 7-minute read and well worth it.
(2) Schedule a tour of Grand Blanc Montessori
(3) Get the discussion going! Talk to a current parent, an alumni family, or an elementary teacher.
CURRICULUM IN THE CLASSROOM
Practical life is now integrated with the day-to-day care of the classroom and its inhabitants. Tasks may include preparation of snack and daily meals and watering of plants and care of animals.
Elementary children dust the shelves, organize and straighten the materials, sweep and vacuum, and keep the classroom neat and clean.
The language area includes a comprehensive spelling curriculum, word study (including antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, and compounds, as well as the parts of speech), creative writing, and research skills.
Reading of every kind is highly encouraged, as children are introduced to poetry, folk tales, non-fiction, and classic literature.
Children are also given many opportunities to read out loud - giving a presentation they have written or dramatizing the work of another author.
The math area begins with the Golden Bead where the Primary class leaves off,n with math concepts such as place value, quantity/symbol association, and concrete addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
The materials bring a "hands-on" quality to the classroom, with children learning through trial and error, self-discovery, and teaching from other children.
The materials quickly move the child to an abstraction of math concepts, including problem-solving, fractions, borrowing and carrying, volume, graphing, measurement, long division, and algebraic equations.
Geometry is a fascinating area of Montessori. Actual wooden shapes are used to master the terminology of all of the plane figures and solids. Matching cards are used to introduce types and positions of lines, types, and positions of angles, and special characteristics of shapes.
Experimentation with other materials leads children to their own discoveries of spatial relationships, including congruence, symmetry, and equivalency.
Botany and zoology encompass a wide field of biological study. Matching cards are used to learn the characteristics of many plants and animals, and charts aid in the classification of the plant and animal kingdoms. After this first knowledge is gained, children begin to research on their own, using their knowledge of specific plant and animal species.
Geography and history include the study of civilizations and countries. Wooden puzzle maps of each continent are studied, with children learning the names, flags, animals, cultures, and geographic features of each country.
History begins with the study of time, including clocks, calendars, and timelines. As various fundamental needs of people (like shelter, transportation, food, and clothing) are explored, the children research and chart changes in these needs over time and across cultures.
Children in an elementary classroom begin to keep a record of their work. This can take the form of a journal, a work plan, or a chart.
The child still has the freedom to choose their own work, as well as choosing to work with another child or in a group. Keeping track of their work helps them make good work choices, and lets the teacher see which presentations have been done and which are still needed.
Maria Montessori summed up the 6-9 classroom thusly: "The elementary child has reached a new level of development. Before he was interested in things: working with his hands, learning their names. Now he is interested mainly in the how and why...the problem of cause and effect." It is now the job of the elementary teacher to provide the child with the materials and information to discover the interconnectedness of the universe.
An elementary Montessori classroom is a warm community: a multi-age, stimulating environment with highly trained teachers and materials that invite exploration and research. Children learn to face challenges with confidence and begin to find their own place in the world around them.
We believe that all children are natural artists and have an artistic voice. By experimenting with materials, tools, and techniques, children learn to think creatively and to take risks with ideas and materials. Mistakes become opportunities to think again and try new directions. Art from many cultures and times inspires critical thinking and observational skills.
GBM teachers integrate visual art into all studies, and students’ artwork is exhibited throughout the school to celebrate creativity.
Yoga cultivates self-awareness, and self-acceptance. Yoga builds strength, flexibility, coordination, and stimulates new neural pathways. Simultaneously, yoga fosters both self-discipline as well as relaxation and inner calm.
Children practice and learn the importance of breathing slowly. Slow breathing relaxes the stomach, helps food digest, aids sleep and helps each student to be present in the moment. Being fully present helps children learn.
We are fortunate to have many bi-lingual families in our school. This gives our students the opportunity to hear languages from all over the world. We teach songs in other languages or teach children to count in languages such as French, German, Korean, Hindi, Polish, Japanese and Finnish
Children need to move while they are learning. The whole campus provides environments for movement, both purposeful and playful. From gross motor work in the classroom to running on the playground to music with movement, students can engage in physical activity throughout their day, promoting emotional growth and intellectual growth.
Physical education class teaches children more specifically about their bodies in space, how to work as a team, and how to be healthy physically.
Every child has musical potential and all children are able to learn and express themselves musically. Music activities are respected at the same level as any other form of learning.
Music education builds self-discipline; encourages cooperation, poise, and a feeling of self-worth. it provides a framework for personal, creative, expressive, emotional responses, and for simple enjoyment.
Music is incorporated into the Montessori curriculum in the daily classroom environment as well as through music classes and private lessons.