Primary Curriculum

Primary Overview

This program provides a peaceful and secure environment for children 3 to 6 years that fosters intellectual development through independent exploration. The younger children in this group are encouraged to work with activities in Practical Life to instill independence and confidence, and activities in Sensorial area to refine the sensory perceptions of touch, sound, sight, etc. Once the child becomes confident in these areas, the lessons from sensorial area are applied to development of mathematical and language concepts. The child’s awareness of the world around him is enhanced through lessons in geography, science, art and music.

Kindergarten Overview

Children that turn 5 before September 30 will be enrolled in the full day Kindergarten program that works with the Montessori mixed age group in the morning, and a specialized Kindergarten only program in the afternoon. This dedicated Kindergarten only afternoon program helps the children transition from Montessori to the Public School environment in first grade. The Montessori trained teachers work with children in an individual, as well as group setting to help them master the concepts outlined in the Virginia Standards of Learning. Our curriculum includes reading, writing, math, science, history, geography, Spanish and yoga. Our kindergarten children go on 6 to 8 field trips a year to various museums, parks, and performing arts centers in the area for a better understanding of the world around them. With small class sizes, and a 5:1 student/teacher ratio, our Kindergarten children have consistently performed above grade level once they transition to first grade a

Practical Life

The various sorting activities in Practical Life help the child recognize similarities and differences in mathematical concepts such as more than, less than or equal to. Experience with dressing frames, nuts and bolts, and locks and keys helps the children in pairing two groups of things, which lays the foundation for one to one correspondence of quantity with number symbol. Food preparation and mixing activities help the children understand the concepts of addition and multiplication. Movement and line activities that use prepositions such as on, under, over, etc., aid in explaining the concepts of spatial and temporal relations, and eventually to understanding place value, linear counting, the four mathematical operations, and gradation. All activities in this area foster the physical, mental and social development of the child. They involve movement of either large muscles or small muscles that aid in the development of intelligence and overall personality of the child. Each lesson has a purpose of learning how to perform a certain act in the real world. They teach concentration, coordination, independence and order. Performing the movements from top to bottom, left to right lays the foundation for language skills. Small muscle development from control of movement exercises prepares a child for holding a pencil for writing.


In the Sensorial area, the child is exposed to materials that help him distinguish length, dimension, weight, sequence, plane and solid forms, quantity, gradation, sets, algebraic and geometric progressions, etc. He does not study the theory behind these concepts, but works with materials that illustrate these ideas.

*Matching activities in the Sensorial area, such as color tablets, matching fabrics, baric tablets, touch tablets, smelling jars, sound cylinders, etc. help the child recognize similarities to associate quantity with symbol in math.

*The principles learned in Knobbed cylinders, Knob less cylinders, Red Rods, Pink Tower and Broad Stair for visual discrimination also strengthen the concept of gradation. Geometric cabinet, geometric solids and bases along with the matching activities help in understanding equality, and in counting objects correctly so that each object is designated by a number.

*Constructive Triangles aid in understanding the concepts of addition and multiplication.

*Geometric solids, and the relationship between the cubes of the pink tower lays the foundation for the concepts of spatial relations that help understanding place value, linear counting and understanding of the four mathematical operations. Being able to distinguish different size cubes, stairs and rods in the activities of pink tower, broad stairs and red rods helps in understanding temporal relations essential for number rods and mathematical operations.


The mechanisms needed for speaking clearly, reading and writing are taught through the materials in the Language area in the Montessori classroom. In a Montessori classroom much work is done at the oral level including conversations, storytelling, poems and rhymes to stimulate language development. The child is engaged in casual conversations using gestures such as the morning greeting. Various I spy games are played to encourage oral communication. Writing as an expression of thought is one aspect of writing. When a child begins to write words using the movable alphabet, it serves as a mechanism to perfect the mechanism of speech. When a child begins to read, it helps in the development of ideas.

Another aspect of writing is the grasping of a pencil and movement of the hand. In a Montessori classroom, the child is indirectly prepared for the motion necessary for writing in various activities in the Practical Life and Sensorial area. In doing the various spooning, pouring and sponge activities, the child is developing small muscle control that will help him in gaining a firm control of the pencil as he begins to write. In working with the knobbed cylinders, the child is practicing the use of three fingers necessary to hold a pencil.


The foundation of concepts learnt in Montessori Math is laid in the Practical Life and Sensorial areas of the classroom. In the Practical Life area, the child learns the skills of concentration, coordination, independence and order. A child can focus better on the math material through the concentration skills. Small and large muscle coordination developed by these activities helps them manipulate the math material. Independence gives him self confidence that encourages him to work with the material without the help of an adult. The sequence of steps learnt in Practical Life activities helps the child learn the order of steps necessary to complete a task. It helps build the child’s confidence and teaches him problem solving skills.

In a Montessori classroom, a child learns Math by working with materials in a way that exhibits the basic idea, rather than by listening or watching a teacher. There is a variety of apparatus using beads, chains and boards that allows for as much repetition as is necessary for the child to grasp the concepts. The child goes through this material at his own pace. Each level of material has built in review of the previous concepts. There is a built in control of error in each material that allows the child to discover and correct his own mistakes. By finding and fixing his own errors, the child arrives at a conclusion on his own. This gives him self-confidence, and the ability to accept new challenges.

Materials move from concrete to abstract. Each level of math is taught by introducing the quantity alone, then symbol alone, then association of symbols and quantity.

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