Children should be prepared to be citizens of the world, Dr. Maria Montessori said, and there is no better way to help them reach that ideal than to teach them another language. Here at Arborland, we provide this advantageous skill early on with formal Spanish lessons implemented by a Spanish speaking teacher to all elementary children starting at first grade. These lessons include a basic history of the language and culture of Spanish speaking countries, as well as vocabulary, grammar and conversation skills. Lessons are designed to be stimulating and enjoyable for Arborland elementary students so that they may view learning a new language as a positive experience. ... more > >
Exposure to music is important in a child’s life, not because we hope to produce great musicians (though that does happen spontaneously!), but because it is a means of expressing emotions. Being musical is not for special people only. Just as we learn to walk, any individual can learn to be musical. One does not have to be musically gifted or have a great voice to sing with children. For the purposes of musical appreciation in children we have the following lines:
Music appreciation and history
Lessons to discriminate pitches
Introduction to different musical instruments
Study of great composers
Participation and presentation on stage
In addition to language arts, visual art is another method of communication. Many artists have demonstrated their expression in a visual form through the ages. Thoughts and feelings can be effectively conveyed through drawing, painting and even sculpting. The elementary art program at Arborland intends to instill the importance of creativity and art in daily life, helping the child use it as a means of expression and communication.
The students learn to use lines, shapes, colors, textures, forms, spaces, and different medium to create their expression. They learn to draw, paint, and survey the different artistic eras and the most popular artists of these times. As children learn the historical progression of art, they will have a much better understanding that being artistic is a skill that is developed over time, and will lead them to have a better appreciation of different works of art. In addition, as the children learn about the eras, they will also discover the different styles and techniques used by renowned artists, allowing them to develop their creative abilities.
In the Montessori classroom, teachers develop a complete and well-rounded student. This philosophy is not limited to the classroom, it extends to outdoor curriculum where the instruction of physical education takes place.
Physical education in the elementary level includes the development of physical strength, coordination and grace of movement. Access to an outdoor environment is provided for running, jumping, climbing, swinging, catching, and ball games to help elementary students develop locomotor, non-locomotor, and perceptual skills. While participating in these activities, the student will also learn the difference between personal space, general space, and spatial awareness. Students also learn how to effectively participate in a team environment by working together to reach a common goal. In addition, they learn sportsmanship and how to deal with both winning and losing in an acceptable way. As they improve their bodies, they also enhance their minds.
At Arborland, the computer is presented very carefully as a scientific tool to be used to aid education, not as an item to replace learning or research skills, nor as a toy to play games on.
The teacher never replaces personal lessons for learning on the computer. We believe that the elementary age child is not in a position to be given the responsibility for learning a subject entirely on his/her own without teacher direction and guidance. We do recognize the need for the child to be introduced to the computer responsibly and our lessons are geared towards that end. ... more > >
Many adults are intimidated by the stage and the audience. Our mind tends to turn blank when we see so many eyes looking at us. At Arborland, we believe that stage fright can be overcome if the children are exposed to performance in early ages and grow into habit with repetitions. During the school year, students have numerous opportunities to perform – be it singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, acting or giving a speech. These productions have become a regular part of the school culture, turning them into a norm that encourages students to love the stage. As these performances abound, students learn to take pleasure in performing for an audience instead of being afraid of them. At Arborland, every student becomes a star. Our students are our society’s future leaders, and a strong stage presence will help them get there.
Journalism is taught through writing process lessons at the elementary level. The children are taught different types of writing beginning in 1st grade. Book reports, scientific research, descriptive, persuasive, subject reports, personal narrative, story writing, poetry writing, journal writing, compare and contrast, and publishing, are some of the lessons included in the writing process lessons. These lessons will prepare the students for the serious work of journalistic reporting. ... more > >
Public speaking and expressive speech is a very important part of our school curriculum. The children are encouraged to read aloud, write and recite poetry, make oral presentations, and refine acting and drama skills. These skills are further enhanced in the final sixth year through broadcasting classes.
We have a fully equipped in-house radio station attached to our upper elementary classroom. Here the children hone their journalistic and public speaking skills by writing and producing a weekly lunch time radio show which is broadcast throughout the school. "The Arborland Audio Magazine" includes, school, local and international news, comments, weather, sports, and any item of interest to the school or community. ... more > >
What sets Arborland elementary apart from other schools is its commitment to the children’s character development. Children are taught to be responsible at an early age, making them solely accountable for their assignments and behaviors. Grace and courtesy lessons are taught on a regular basis. When the students show good manners, they will be accepted better in their society.
Our students are instilled with the value of respect towards others and their property, helping the children understand the consequences of their good behaviors and inappropriate actions. The students are taught that the results of their actions are based on their own choices and not anyone else’s. When the children are met with disagreements, they are also guided as to how to resolve the conflict: to respect another’s opinion even if it differs from his own and to continue communication even if there is contradiction. ... more > >
According to Dr. Maria Montessori, “there is a need for whole men, which means that all sides of the personality must develop.” With this philosophy in mind, Arborland does not only develop the intellectual capacity of its students, but also includes the development of physical strength, coordination and grace of movement. At Arborland, ample outdoor space is available to the students, allowing them to run, jump, climb, swing, play ball and engage in other physical activities that are important to the growth of a child.
Physical education in Montessori elementary relates to other subject areas as well. The history of different sports will be discussed. Reading can be tested during impromptu physical education sessions. The teacher writes each child a command slip which he/she must perform. The complexity of the written command depends upon the reading level of the child. This motivates children to read so they can join in the fun. Commands such as "walk backwards" teach the child to watch where he/she is going and to be conscious of the movement of others. Math can also be practiced during physical education. Children can run races and then measure the distance that they ran in meters and centimeters.
Musical rhythms are taught first by having the teacher play the rhythm. The children move as the rhythm suggests. The teacher does not tell the children how to move, but allows them to feel the rhythm for themselves. When they listen, the repetition of a dotted quarter note followed by an eighth note will feel like skipping or galloping to them. They may follow a leader as they move, each child taking a turn as leader, allowing them to experience other children's interpretations of the music. Later, notation, musicians and instruments are introduced. Then, the children can share their joy of music learning at our winter and spring recitals.
Biology also ties in with music, geography, art and other facets of human life. Children may learn the song "June Is Bustin' Out All Over," which mentions Virginia creepers, a kind of climbing stem. Geography studies reveal how temperature and degree of precipitation determine plant life. Many art projects flow out of botany work. Children can draw and label leaf shapes, creating a booklet or a chart. Beautiful decorations placed down the margins of math papers both integrate art into the curriculum and make the child more proud of his/her work.
The child in elementary education has a great mental capacity to reach out and search the universe for knowledge. Dare to give your child that universe from the ages 6 to 12 in Montessori elementary! Your child will learn the basics but will also soon soar far beyond in his/her exploration and knowledge.