Our JSM primary classroom uses a variety of Montessori materials to address several developmental and educational needs of children in the 3 to 6 years of age period.
Practical life materials introduce children to the Montessori work cycle. These materials help with focus and concentration as well as how to complete tasks in order. Further, children learn how to care for themselves and their environment. All other areas of the classroom will build on the lessons learned in the practical life area. This is the foundation of the primary classroom and addresses the love for work that children at this age have. Some examples of lessons introduced in this area include:
The Sensorial curriculum addresses the primary-age child's need to understand their environment through exploration using their five senses. Additional aims of these materials set a foundation for writing and mathematics. Children use these materials to understand relationships, abstract concepts, and correct terminology. Examples of lessons in the sensorial area include:
The primary classroom follows a sequence of lessons to prepare the child for writing and reading. This sequence is based on a child's readiness and ability. Emphasis is put on exposing the child to a language-rich environment in which books are always available, a variety of types of literature are read to the child, and children are given correct vocabulary for objects in their environment. Writing is also one of the first things a child is introduced to. Children are presented the steps to writing as they are ready for them, as not to destroy their confidence. For example, first a child may learn the shape of an object by tracing with their finger. Next a child may begin practicing writing using a shape inset. This builds the child's confidence and love of the writing process. Reading instruction is built on the foundation learned in the other areas of the classroom through their understanding of language. Beginning with letter sounds, soon the primary child may be forming short-vowel words and reading! The sequence of lessons in the language curriculum is highly individual and may look different for each child.
In the mathematics curriculum, concrete materials are presented first. Work with these concrete materials set the child up for success later when learning more abstract mathematical concepts. For example, distance and volume may be explored first through the sensorial materials. Further, counting is first introduced as exploring actual objects. When concept of quantity is mastered, then names of numerals will be introduced. A child who understands what 100 looks like will better understand further concepts of numbers and operations. Like the language curriculum, the sequence of lessons in mathematics is also highly individual. An example of lessons a primary child may receive includes:
The cultural curriculum of the primary classroom includes instruction about the world around them. Children learn through hands-on activities and materials. These materials are explored through individual work or in group lessons. The areas of focus in the primary classroom include:
In our primary classroom we have a full time bilingual assistant. Children are exposed to Spanish through everyday language for objects around their classroom. This is also achieved through some group lessons and songs. Some of the basic words a child may learn include:
Our classroom also strives to take a minimum of two field trips a year, sometimes more as time and options allow. As community is important to us and our older classes, we want to encourage that love of community from a young age. Parents are always welcome on these trips.
The outdoor classroom is just as important to our children as the indoor classroom. Therefore, children will be given supervised access to our secure outdoor space for an hour a day at minimum (except during times of extreme weather). Free "recess" play may happen during this time; while some days children may choose more structured work such as cleaning up our yard or tending to our garden.
The primary classroom serves the age groups Prek - Kindergarten. This translates typically into the ages of 3 to 6 years old.
Below you will some general information videos on the Montessori process within the primary classroom.
Following the videos is information about our JSM Primary classroom.
8:15 - 8:30am - Morning session and full-day students are dropped off with a waiting staff member
8:30 - 11:30am - Three-hour uninterrupted work cycle
11:30am - Outdoor free play / recess
12:00pm - Morning session children are picked-up and afternoon session children arrive
12:00pm - Full-day students eat lunch
12:30pm - Work cycle and small group instruction
2:55pm - Clean-up of classroom and prepare to go home
3:00pm - Special group instruction / Music
3:20pm - End of day / pick-up for primary
For the 2017-2018 school year, some important changes should be noted and are present in the new registration packet:
For more information on our awesome staff members, please see the Staff page!
Joyful Scholars is the only preschool through elementary school in the valley that provides a traditional Montessori education. In addition, it's the only private school with a focus on bilingual instruction. Students enjoy a low teacher-student ratio, project-based learning, individual instruction, and a host of exceptional learning activities.
Registration for the 2017/2018 school year will be open to the public on March 15th. However, observations can be scheduled now!
Parents and teachers have recently begun conversations about adding a junior high option by the school year 2018-2019! Check back here for more details.
"...your mindfulness and thoughtfulness of everyone in the classroom is simply amazing".
- JSM Parent
"We see the proof everyday in our energetic son, who can't wait to get to school every morning, and is so excited and overjoyed about learning."
- JSM Parent
"We LOVE Joyful Scholars Montessori - thank you for all of the hard work and time you put into making JSM such a wonderful place to go to school."
- JSM Parent