The prepared environment is Maria Montessori’s concept that the classroom environment can be designed to facilitate independent learning and exploration by the child.
The Montessori classroom invites activity and participation appropriate to each child’s age and maturity. It is active, yet calm.
Here, the child experiences a blend of freedom and discipline in an orderly space designed to meet his needs.
Practical Life Skills
The Practical Life exercises found on the pink shelves are an essential part of the Montessori curriculum. The young child is given the opportunity to be spontaneous while fulfilling his natural curiosities and developing self-esteem and self-confidence.
The child learns basic fundamental activities such as: care of self, grace and courtesy, control of movement, care for the environment, basic nutrition and food preparation, and order. This area also promotes the fine motor skills in preparation for writing along with independent thinking, logic, problem solving skills and an understanding of sequence, order and natural limits.
The sensorial area found on the peach shelves consists of Montessori’s materials that are designed to help the child sort out the many varied impressions perceived by the senses.
The child gains visual and muscular knowledge of geometric forms with use of the geometric cabinet, geometric solids, constructive triangles, and binomial and trinomial cubes. The materials give our students a foundation for the later study of mathematics and geometry.
The language avenue found on the blue shelves has a wide range of activities to develop pre-reading skills. Language begins with nomenclature exercises that teach the names of things in the child’s everyday environment.
At GMA, phonemic and phonological awareness skills are strongly emphasized through a variety of materials and activities. We also introduce basic grammar lessons with fun, concrete, attractive material. Our program believes in bringing classical literature and poetry into the classroom by reading aloud stories from the Junior Great Books Series and other original sources of beautiful literature.
The Montessori math materials found on the yellow shelves provide beautiful lessons that move from the concrete to the abstract in teaching math concepts. We start by introducing quantity, then the symbol and, finally, the association between quantity and symbol.
Mathematics is taught by giving the child objects to hold, count and manipulate. In small sequential steps, each learner develops a mathematical mind. These activities help the children learn fundamentals of the four mathematical operations (simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), as well as measurement, fractions, time telling, and exercises in the value of money to ensure a solid mathematics foundation. The children do not merely learn to count, they are also able to visualize the whole structure of our numeration system.
Science and Nature Skills
The science program covers topics in Biology, Botany, Zoology. Included are the studies of: living things and how they are affected by the environment, plant and animal life, health practices, and nutrition.
In order to stimulate their minds and curiosity as well as to prove the basic concepts of various disciplines of science, the students are given the opportunity to conduct experiments and utilize many hands on materials.
History and Geography
In geography, students learn about the solar system, land and water forms, globes, maps, flags and multicultural awareness. In history, they will learn time, calendar, seasons and personal family history. The children gain an awareness of the world around them by exploring other countries, customs, food, music, climate, language, and animals.