Primary curriculum
At Hopscotch Montessori School, children find a wide range of didactic developmental materials. Scientifically tested and empirically verified, our techniques and activities are organized in our classrooms in the following areas:
Practical life activities
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Practical life activities are the Montessori system's fundamental bedrock, as they are designed to develop order, coordination, concentration, and independence. The focus is control over the nervous and muscular system. Children complete authentic and purposeful work. The goal of practical life activities for a child is to build an independent and self-confident individual. For example, children are taught how to make juice, prepare small snacks, practice spooning, pouring, scrubbing, transferring, sewing, and gardening, among other practical life activities. All activities are performed within the explicit context of preserving and managing their immediate and extended environments. The core ethic in this process is the active actualization of grace and courtesy, the central pillars for all other areas in the Montessori classroom.
Sensorial area materials
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Sensorial area materials meet children’s tendency to auto-education through the senses, sensitive period of movement, language, and order. Sensorial materials provide the foundation for understanding a mathematical concept. Working with these materials, children learn the essential architecture of epistemology by engaging in classifying, comparing, ordering, patterning, and measuring real-world problems. Absorbing the notions and concepts of numbers, shapes, and space through active engagement, the child is aware of the abstract and actual underpinnings of practical reality. Sensorial materials thus hone the child’s elemental five senses (visual, tactile, gustatory, olfactory and auditory) while concomitantly deepening appreciation of nine qualities (size of dimension, shape, color, texture, taste, smell, sound, temperature and weight).
Math curriculum
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The “mathematical mind” is a primary precept of the Montessori world-view. Montessori called her math materials “a gym for mental gymnastics”. While working in this area, the child learns the importance of logical and rational thought. Montessori math materials are “hands-on,” real, three-dimensional, multi-sensory objects that promote active yet abstract discovery of the mathematical foundations of modern existence. According to modern researchers, Montessori math materials stimulate powerful neuronal and cognitive networking within the human brain. Critics have long lauded its amazing capacity to advance sophisticated learning of high order mathematical concepts as the decimal system, skip counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in preschool/kindergarten students.
Language
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Linguistic Communication, like Mathematics, is a tectonic developmental fault-line in the Montessori classroom. Montessori correctly perceived that an open opportunity best develops the communicative faculty at dialogue, and thus “freedom of conversation” is a fundamental tenet of Montessori learning. Accordingly, children are always encouraged to communicate with each other, and with teachers anytime they need. Supplementing the liberal verbal environment is a tangible language that reinforces the symbiotic relationship between the verbal and written communication elements. Children use sandpaper letters; movable alphabet, objects/sounds matching materials, writing tools; sound boxes, and voluminous books for independent and collective reading, together with meaningfully directed “circle time,” activityies and “daily topics and conversations” activities to further language development. This highly specialized linguistic process teaches sounds, letters, words, and reading in a very spontaneous and accelerated manner that produces wonderful eureka moments for that child when he/she discovers that he/she can read. Montessori method is truly unique in this area.
Cultural environment
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The Montessori system is a comprehensive learning environment whose aim is to develop curious and aware individuals mindful of the World and its relationship to the Self. To achieve this “Worldly” cognition, the Montessori classroom exposes children to a cultural studies program consisting of Geography, Botany, Zoology, Science, History, Foreign Languages and Culture, Music, and Art. Children typically encounter cultural materials such as puzzle maps, special Globes, flags, special land, and water forms. By studying the Universe, Earth, Continents, countries, cities, their neighborhood, different types of animals and plants, and other extant ambient realities of the World, the child becomes a global citizen and is prepared to play a constructive role in the global environment. Importantly, given the need for a positive and protective human relationship with the Global environment, our school takes specific and deliberate steps to include significant outdoor activities in the curriculum where the children study nature. We provide them with the necessary knowledge they will need to become good citizens of the World even at their young ages.
Art and music
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Art and Music exercises and activities are a necessary developmental feature of the Montessori system. They enable an aesthetic reflex to develop in the child even as they undergird a vital holistic elasticity of mind that is essential to a complete person's growth. Art develops the habits of mind critical for the creative process to take root in the being. Children in our classrooms experiment with different materials even as they learn about various artistic techniques and are exposed to famous artists. Art activities are integrated into almost all areas of the classroom. The music complements this "Artistic environment" by furthering an appreciation for harmony and composition in an organized system. Children listen, play, and learn music in an integrated and prepared environment, engaging them spontaneously and joyously.
Health and wellness
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Children will engage in a wide range of activities and opportunities to use their bodies. Children need to experience the freedom of movement throughout the day. In addition, to individual autonomy, children will participate in organized sports that encourage collaboration and interdependence. The emphasis is on the discovery, how we move, awareness, coordination, and personal growth. Children will have ample opportunities to the quitter forms of movement, such as yoga, as they learn to balance the importance of stillness and mindfulness into their overall internal awareness.
Peace education
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Students will understand their place within large communities and contribute productively through peaceful attitudes, effective conflict resolution, radical empathy, creative problem solving, responsible action, and purposeful follow-through. Hopscotch is committed to building peaceful practices at all levels. Parent communication and education is key to establishing a genuine sense of community while modeling life-long learning. Children will experience the freedom to learn from their mistakes and the emotional support and guidance from teachers. Students will learn that community can be interpreted differently (global, local, school, classroom) with respect for all people and cultural aspects. We will integrate and apply academic competencies, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills as tools to reflect within the community.
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