The Primary Class is composed of children ages 3-6. Generally a child spends 3-4 years in the Primary Class. Each year builds on the previous year. The first year, the child is mostly working in the Practical Life and Sensorial areas. The second year, the child continues working with Practical Life and Sensorial, but also begins to work with Language and Math materials. In the final year, the work of the first years culminates in the more complex Language and Math work. All along, the child is learning how to be a part of a community, to make choices, and how it feels to complete meaningful work independently. You can read about the Primary curriculum in more detail here on our website.
The child above, age 4 1/2, is working on embroidery. This type of work helps strengthen the muscles in the hands and fine motor skills. It also builds concentration and self control to make all those tiny stitches! It is hard to tell in the photo, but the shape is is sewing is the outline of an alligator. It will end up being part of a pillow for his baby brother. How sweet!
Here, we have one of our younger students working on cloth washing. In the classroom, many tiny cloths are used for polishing and dusting work. When they are dirty, the children put the used cloths in a small basket under the cloth washing activity. Once a child notices the basket is getting full, he or she may decide to wash the cloths.
Not only is it a wonderful sensorial experience, it is one of the more involved practical life activities that helps build focus, logical thought, and a sense of order. Cloth washing also allows the child to contribute in a positive way to the community.
Pictured here is the 'Decanomial Square.' This is a 2-D representation of 1 squared, 2, squared, 3 squared...all the way up to 10 squared. The tiny red square in the top corner represents 1, and each subsequent colors corresponds with the next number. He is in the middle of the activity, with brown representing the number 8.
The Moveable Alphabet is a language material that allows the child to write before her hands are able to form all the letters. For many children, this is their first writing experience. It is very powerful for them to see their thoughts formed into words. We focus first on phonetic spelling, and being able to hear all the sounds that make up words. Phonograms and 'puzzle words' are learned along side the work with the Moveable Alphabet.
A quiet moment in the reading corner.
Two friends working on shoe polishing. This is a favorite activity among the children. They love making their shoes, as well as their friend's shoes, clean and shiny!
The girl pictured above is making a booklet from her number writing practice.
Here, two friends are sharing a table. One child is creating geometric shapes, and the other is searching for words in a book. She could be searching for certain sight words, like 'the', or words containing a certain phonogram, such as 'ph'. When she finds these words, she writes them down, making this an opportunity for handwriting practice as well.
Grace and Courtesy is part of the Practical Life curriculum. Snack offers the perfect opportunity to practice Grace and Courtesy lessons. When a child sees snack is available, he or she can take a plate and check the 'menu.' The menu tells them how many of each item to take - for example, 5 crackers, 10 grapes, 2 pieces of cheese. Each child has a reusable cup with their name on it for drinking water. The children love sitting with a friend and eating snack together. When they are finished, they wash their dishes, dry them, and put them away. Leaving the table clean and tidy for the next person is part of snack.
We are an AMI accredited Montessori school growing daily in spirit & intellect!