Classes & Curriculum
Our Summer Program begins June 25th, 2018 and ends August 24th. In the mornings students will work in the classroom with classical Montessori materials, followed by outdoor picnics. In the afternoon students learn about animals that inhabit the Chestnut School campus.
Afternoon activities also include:
An Art Emporium
Various art activities
Creating with recycled materials
Building animal habitats
Social skill building with parachutes and sports equipment
Classic childhood games
Planting flowers and vegetables
Watering and tasting fruits and vegetables
Preparing individual snacks
Making fruit sorbets and popsicles
Lesson focus will be:
Week one: Squirrel
Week two: Racoon
Week three: Dragonflies
Week four: Bees
Week five: Ladybugs
Week six: Rabbits
Week seven: Butterflies
Week eight: Bats
Week nine: Ants
Session I June 25th-July 13th
Session II July 16th-August 3rd
Session III August 6th-August 24th
Summer Session Tuition:
Morning Only: 9:00-12:30 $690
School Day: 9:00-3:00 $960
Dawn to Dusk: 8:00-6:00 $1,230
Daily All Sessions $100, Prepaid only
STEAM encompasses the disciplines and the inquiry process of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. At Chestnut Montessori School we provide these experiences integrated into the Montessori curriculum so that STEAM activities are available to our young learners on a daily basis.
Science – Our teachers engage students in the inquiry process of identifying a dilemma, forming a hypothesis, performing, and observing the experiment and discussing the results using appropriate nomenclature.
Technology – Technology for children encompasses the use of tools to accomplish tasks. Our students have opportunities to explore the use of tools such as tongs, basters, scales, timers, inclined planes, pulleys, gear, conveyors, and other simple machines.
Engineering – Engineering studies can include projects related to disciplines including: civil, mechanical, aeronautical, chemical, automation, and industrial concepts.
Art - We encourage the child’s interest in these topics by providing a wide variety of activities for our students to explore at school. Art activities are available, with special guidance for students, as they are ready.
Math – Our already rich Math materials and curriculum are enriched with further studies in applied math, geometry, fractions, measurement, money, and story problems, all of which are also integrated into other areas of the classroom.
At Chestnut Montessori, our early childhood curriculum is designed and implemented to support the needs and abilities of the whole child in his/her physical, social and intellectual development. The curriculum is introduced individually as a child demonstrates readiness. We incorporate a STEAM curriculum that aligns beautifully with the classical Montessori approach.
Our specially prepared environment fosters independence, competence and confidence as students become self-directed learners.
Children learn best when the promise of Sensitive Periods are fulfilled. Sensitive Periods are transitory times of effortless learning, when students can absorb specific nomenclature and information. Guided by our highly educated Montessori teachers, each child's innate abilities, intelligence and creativity unfolds.
Opportunities for practice in writing, reading, math, fine arts, cultural studies, and the sciences abound.
Our goal/promise is to provide many memorable experiences for our students. Our outdoor environment enriches our students' school experiences. A natural play yard, fruit and vegetable gardens, pumpkin patch and apple trees provide many opportunities for students to explore and participate in nature studies.
Please call to schedule a tour if you would like to explore the possibility for your child to experience the life-long gift of an education at Chestnut Montessori School.
Early Childhood Curriculum
At Chestnut Montessori, our early childhood curriculum is designed and implemented to support the needs and abilities of the whole child in his/her physical, social and intellectual development. The curriculum is introduced individually as a child demonstrates readiness.
While lessons are usually presented individually, some are given in family groupings to facilitate interest and social development. Daily circle gatherings promote oral language, physical development, self-confidence and leadership skills through songs, stories, poems, finger plays and other language activities.
Our integrated curriculum is sequential and our highly trained, credentialed teachers observe students at work to facilitate their understanding of each little person. Each activity has a direct purpose, designed to aid the child's immediate development; and an indirect purpose which prepares the child for future academic work.
Lessons of Grace and Courtesy which encourage character development and respectful relationships are woven throughout the curriculum. Throughout the school day students have access to all classroom learning materials and move readily from one activity to another.
The lessons of Practical Life engage the child in meaningful activity or “work.” These activities allow children to imitate adult activities while assisting fine motor development, eye-hand coordination, concentration, attention span and independence, preparing students for academic work ahead.
Areas of Practical Life include: Grace & Courtesy, Perceptual Motor Development, Visual Motor Coordination, Care of the Person, Care of the Environment, Food Preparation and Art.
Practical Life lessons incorporate concepts such as classification, volume, equivalency, similarity, less than and greater than, pairing, balance and Geometry. Activities such as folding cloths and bead stringing, in which the child crosses the midline of the body, facilitate the development of neuro-pathways across the left and right sides of the brain.
Grace and Courtesy
These activities help the child internalize social and problem-solving skills and assist students in becoming successful members of their classroom and school communities. Lessons include greetings, asking permission, table manners, waiting for one's turn and showing appreciation. These lessons also help develop a student's confidence and ability to have appropriate behavior in public places such as restaurants, museums and airplanes. Another goal is to assist the child in the ability to internalize discipline to make appropriate choices.
Perceptual Motor Development
Perceptual Motor Development refers to one's ability to receive, interpret and respond successfully to sensory information. Children receive information primarily through the visual, auditory, tactile, vestibular and kinesthetic senses. All conscious and controlled movement depends on one's ability to interpret sensory information.
Perceptual Motor abilities to be promoted include body image, balance, spatial awareness, eye-hand and eye-foot coordination, laterality, directionality, proprioception and form discrimination. Attributes of movement such as rhythm, loco-motor coordination, agility, strength and flexibility are also developed within various aspects of our program.
Below are examples of how Perceptual Motor Skills assist the child's learning:
Naming Body Parts assists the child in learning to form concepts of self, left-right, up-down, front-back, etc.
Crawling develops printing, writing and drawing skills.
Balance Beam assists the child in learning to read across a printed page and forming letters.
Stepping Stones develops the ability to recall letters, words and numerals; develops auditory and visual spelling and reading abilities.
Eye Pursuit Movements assists the child in developing smooth, continuous eye movement and building reading flow.
Children have opportunities to participate in movement games and activities on our covered porch.
Care of the Person
These activities help increase the child's independence in hand washing, button sewing, dressing and grooming. Lessons include Washing Hands, Shoe Polishing and Dressing Frames such as Buttons, Snaps, Zipper, Bow Tying, Buckling and Lacing.
Care of the Environment
Young children love to imitate activities they see parents perform at home. Lessons include Dusting, Sweeping, Washing a Table, Polishing Wood, Silver or a Mirror, Flower Arranging and Setting a Table for meal time.
While building visual memory and sequencing skills, Nutrition, Pouring Water or Milk, Tea Party, Baking and Serving Snack are lessons that build the child's independence, coordination and concentration.
Other activities include washing and slicing apples, making applesauce and apple juice, monthly birthday cookie baking, and quarterly Community Lunches for which each classroom of children prepares food to share for lunch with each of the classes.
Science experiments for children to perform require a measure of concentration and coordination and include activities related to specific curriculum. They are usually first presented to students using the inquiry process to enhance understanding. They may include: Properties of Land, Water, and Air, Magnetism, three States of Matter, Gravity, Buoyancy, Solar Energy, Light, and Propagation of Plants.
Integrated into Practical Life and available during class times, a variety of art activities and projects are offered such as use of scissors, crayons, glue, paint and easel. Many art acitivities are related to curriculum; examples are: seasonal activities, map-making and tracing and labeling the parts of the tree and animals.
Because the lessons of Practical Life form the foundation for all future learning, they are considered to be among the most important for young children.
Thank you for your interest in the elementary program at Chestnut Montessori School.
Our goal is to enhance the child's understanding of the natural world through a classical approach to Montessori elementary education, integrated with a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math curriculum. The 5 ½ through 9 year old child is extremely intelligent and is now ready for a rich and wide curriculum. Our hands-on materials encourage students to experiment, discover and explore abstract concepts. Memorization follows naturally.
Our cultural curriculum is based on The Five Great Lessons, when students experience an integrated immersion in Sciences, History, Geography, Language, Math, Music, and Fine Arts. They advance through curriculum on an individual basis and then they may work individually with the teacher, in pairs or small groupings, or in classroom gatherings.
Most students have already accomplished basic skills in Reading, Writing, Math, and Grace & Courtesy. We look forward to sharing the wonders of the world with them.
Our elementary curriculum allows inquisitive students to build on reading, writing, and math skills for in-depth and integrated studies of Math, Language Arts, Science, History, Geometry, and Performance Arts. It is designed to strike the child's imagination in order to have him or her become fully engaged in learning. The curriculum presents the big picture to the child first, then details. Cultural Studies are the center of the curriculum, with an emphasis on Science, History and Mathematics.
Each student consults with his or her teacher to create an individualized lesson plan based on the child's abilities. The work plans provide a structure that allows students to work with their teachers to plan weekly learning activities, to reflect on their work, and to assess it.
Below is an overview of our curriculum:
The Great Lessons
The Great Lessons provide an overview of the formation of the Cosmos and everything it contains. Further lessons on the beginning of life, the history of humans, and the discoveries of language and mathematics help students to learn about scientific classification of plants and animals, language, and math to better understand their world. Dr. Montessori viewed cosmic lessons as the unfolding of the mysteries of life and the foundation for unlimited learning activities.
Elementary students have many questions about the world around them and enjoy researching topics of interest. The first year student may choose to research a general overview of one of the planets in the solar system. This allows the student to learn how to find sources of information, take notes, form an outline, and put information into their own words.
The second year student might focus their research on a specific characteristic of a planet, such as the rings of Saturn. They will begin to learn how to find sources of information on their own and learn how to use technology to find sources of information, under the guidance of a teacher. The student will build on the lessons they learned from their first year and also begin to choose topics to research independently.
The third year student may choose to research the moons of a planet, including making a model showing the distance and rate of orbit around the planet. The third year student independently chooses research projects, based on the curriculum in the classroom and their personal interest. They are able to independently choose sources of information and complete their research project.
Once the student completes their research project, they each present their information to the class. The presentations reinforce the knowledge the student has gained through the research, builds confidence, teaches public speaking skills, and teaches students to give and receive positive feedback.
The Language Arts section of the classroom is rich with studies in reading, writing fiction and non-fiction, journaling, and spelling.
Students come together as a class for a writing workshop twice a week, where they learn to brainstorm writing ideas, outline their stories, write, edit, and revise their work. They are invited to present their finished product to the classroom and add it to a class writing workshop binder for others to enjoy reading.
Reading activities include SRA Reading Laboratory and SRA Science Laboratory. Students enjoy lessons in word studies which include compound words, synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, alphabetizing, and word origins; and lessons on grammar that include origins and usage of the parts of speech.
Lower elementary students continue their Math studies through the use of the Montessori materials, as they build towards abstraction. Below are just a few of the concepts that lower elementary students learn in the Montessori classroom.
The Montessori materials provide students a foundation which allows them to have complete understanding of the concept they are studying, before working with just pencil and paper. An example of these lessons is through the study of the four mathematical operations. A student who is learning to multiply will first use the Golden Beads and physically carry the concrete materials to the mat, before combining them to find the answer to the equation. They will then move to the Stamp Game, where the concrete materials become much smaller. Students also enjoy using the more abstract Bead Frame to find answers to equations. While students are learning to multiply equations with a one-digit multiplier, they are also learning multiplication facts, which they will have memorized before they begin multiplying with two-digit multipliers with the Flat Bead Frame and Checkerboard. Students then are able to multiply equations without the use of materials, while understanding the complete concept of multiplication, including the hierarchy of the decimal system and the concept of the numbers they are carrying in dynamic multiplication.
Students enjoy the study of Money through lessons with coins and bills, and on story problems as well. A favorite lesson on Money is through the operation of the CMS Country Store. Students harvest food from the gardens on campus, make art projects, and bake items, which they sell at their Country Store. Parents are invited to shop at the store where students operate as the cashier by writing receipts and making change for the customer.
The Montessori classroom provides students with a detailed Geometry curriculum. Montessori materials such as the Geometry Cabinet and Constructive Triangle Boxes give students a base to begin studying different geometric shapes. Students enjoy classifying different types of triangles, the parts of the triangle, types of angles, sides of the triangle, and finding the area of the triangle. Montessori materials, such as the Geometry Sticks, allow students to build and explore the different geometric shapes.
Students look forward to activities where they can incorporate Math into their other studies. During Halloween Pumpkin Carving with their parents, they weigh and measure their pumpkins, before carving the shapes. After carving the pumpkin, they weight the pulp and seeds to determine the difference in weight after carving. During their Country Store experiences, they enjoy weighing the produce they plan to sell, to help determine the cost of the items. One of their favorite activities is to bake food items, during which they can practice the measurement of ingredients and mathematical formulas to alter recipes to fit the needs of the number of customers they expect to come to the Country Store. Students also find enjoyment and knowledge in the weights and measurements of Montessori materials, such as the Red Rods and Baric Tablets.
The lessons of Time always bring enjoyment to children in the lower elementary classroom. Students enjoy the use of the Montessori Clock to learn how to tell time. This material is enriched with teacher made materials and activities, which help students practice what they have learned. The study of Time also pertains to the study of days, weeks, months, and years, along with the study of eras. The Great Lessons allow students to learn about these mathematical concepts through the stories of time.
Word problems are incorporated into all studies in the Math area of the classroom. First year students might find a story problem that includes information about produce from a story where they need to subtract to find the answer. Second year students could be asked to find the perimeter of a drawing, while third year students might read a story problem that includes finding the area of a geometric shape.
Children love to learn about fractions. They come to the classroom with the Sensorial impression of fractions through the use of the Fraction Insets. This material provides students with a concrete understanding of the families of fractions before they are introduced to mathematical operations with fractions. Students enjoy completing word problems which ask that they use their knowledge of fractions to find the answer.
Students study the History of Math through the Fifth Great Lesson. This lesson teaches students about ancient civilizations and communication regarding the origins of counting and numbers. Students have the opportunity to research ancient civilizations, where numbers came from, how they communicated with each other regarding items, time, counting, and much more. They can study the great mathematicians that discovered many of the concepts they are learning about in class. The study of the History of Math helps to ground the students in the concepts they are studying and to understand where they are headed forward in the mathematical sequence.
The lower elementary continues their study of ancient civilizations through the study of the connection between Music and Mathematics. Music theory provides a foundation of these studies. Students have the opportunity to research Ancient Greeks and the study of octaves related to halving and doubling. They can study sound and how it is measured. They may study sound and how it relates to the length of strings on an instrument or the size of the instrument. Younger students may create a music note tree, which breaks down the beats of musical notes, while older students focus on a study of rhythm as a part of life and the studies of how different cultures incorporate rhythm into their everyday lives.
Chestnut Montessori School has a strong Science program that encompasses the study of biological and physical sciences. It fosters students’ interest and allows them to discover answers to their questions about the natural world.
Science is integrated with studies of The Great Lessons, Geography, Language Arts, Math, Computer Coding, and Fine Arts for a deeper understanding of concepts. Students may participate in classroom and small group lessons for demonstration and discussion of experiments. Follow-up experiments and activities are available for students to use.
The Science sequence allows students to explore such topics as:
The Formation of the Universe
The Periodic Table
The Atmosphere and Hydrosphere
The Study of Light
The Classification of Plants and Animals
Use of a Microscope
Simple Life Forms
Human Anatomy & Physiology
Geography studies are integrated with History, Science, and Math. It begins with the creation of the Universe and the developing planets; the Earth is studied in detail. Students study Physical Geography, focusing on the earth’s physical environment, including processes that have formed and continue to form the features of the earth. Activities can include: the student building a salt-dough relief map of a country or region they are studying, a research book on the study of weather patterns over a particular region, and creating human maps that give information about people and how they have changed the features of earth over time.
Students also study Cultural Geography. This includes the study of cultural traits, resources and industries around the world, the study of people of a particular region over an extended period of time, the study of government, the study of population, and the study of human settlements. Students may choose to research topics, such as: language and the affect it has on the natural environment, the impact of a particular industry on the population of an area, the major industries of a particular region and the impact it has on the wealth of a nation, the study of the population of a region and how it has evolved over time, and the study of cities and their design and function.
The flow of life through time, the needs of people and the interrelatedness of life are all topics for exploration.
Children participate in weekly Foreign Language classes.
Fine Arts Day
Friday is Fine Arts day. The classroom becomes an art studio each Friday as students gather to study artists from different schools of art and instruction in various mediums and techniques.
While participating in Music class, students learn songs based on the curriculum, Music Appreciation, and Music Theory. Vocal lessons focus on activities such as: warming up the voice, proper breathing, dynamics, diction, and intonation. Music studies are integrated into the Math curriculum through the study of sound, rhythm, instruments, and more. Students enjoy learning to play the Montessori Bells and tone bars.
Students meet once a week for drama class. They learn basic drama skills, including: body language, vocal pitch, speed and tone of voice, improvisation, and role playing. Students practice these basic skills through collaborative games. They build confidence and stage presence through the preparation and performance of two dramatic productions during the school year.
Twice a week, students participate in physical education classes. One class provides basic conditioning, including: running, jumping jacks, lunges, and pushups. Students work on endurance, building towards running a mile on a regular basis during class. The second day of class is dedicated to collaborative games, cooperation, and good sportsmanship. Students learn ball handling skills, in preparation to play basketball, baseball, soccer, and many other sports.
Students go on outings which enrich their studies and the school experiences. They travel using the public transportation system, which includes the Park and Ride, conveniently located across the street from the school. Students practice using Grace & Courtesy skills while traveling with other riders, and develop safety skills while traveling as a group, crossing the street, and walking to their destination. Older students assist the teachers with planning the schedule for the outing. The Arboretum, a wetland, children's theater production, or a nearby park are all possibilities.
Our Dawn to Dusk program provides care during before school hours, from 8:00-8:45, and after school from 2:45-6:00.
Children who arrive prior to 8:30 gather in their classrooms, where they can look at books, draw or color, assist teacher with classroom preparation, or help prepare snacks. Some typical tasks children enjoy doing include: folding laundry, gathering and arranging flowers, or setting out plates and cups for snack. Children enjoy the extra quiet time to transition to school.
After school is a very active time, when students have extra play time outside, early and late afternoon snacks, and time inside to play games, collaborate on projects, read, or do homework. Dawn to Dusk activities are based on our Montessori and STEAM curriculum.