The Madison Montessori Academy Casa Program provides a nurturing environment in which primary aged children are encouraged to develop their independence and self-confidence through an individualized curriculum created for each child.
In the classroom children learn through the hands-on exploration of concrete materials and through the observation of the older children in the class. The classroom, being a multi-aged environment, encourages younger children to learn from their elder peers and allows the older children the opportunity to develop their leadership skills by becoming role models for their younger classmates. In the Casa class much attention is placed on assisting the child to develop their fine motor skills through the use of Montessori materials. This leads to a more explorative child who is confident to try more and more challenging materials in the classroom. Classrooms are designed to meet the needs of the children; therefore, teachers give presentations using age appropriate materials. The child begins their journey in the Practical Life and Sensorial Area and move into the Language, Math and Culture areas when they are ready. The classroom is divided into five areas: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math and Culture.
Practical Life: In this area the materials are designed to assist the child to develop their fine motor skills through everyday activities such as spooning, pouring, and stirring. They also learn to take care of themselves by learning how to tie their shoes and learning grace and courtesy. All materials aim to increase the child’s concentration and to nurture the child’s confidence in their ability to do things on their own.
Sensorial: In this area the child learns to refine their senses through the manipulation of Montessori materials. The materials are designed to facilitate the exploration of color, texture, shape, size, smell, taste, weight and sound. Through the use of these materials children begin to learn to categorize, which is a precursor to mathematics.
Language: In the language area, a phonetic approach is used to teach reading and writing. Children are taught the phonetic sounds of the letters of the alphabet before the names of the letters are introduced. Once children have learned the phonetic sounds of letters they are ready for constructing words using the moveable alphabet. Cursive writing is introduced alongside the phonetic sounds. Reading follows rapidly especially once the child is able to read the words they have constructed phonetically. As in all areas of the classroom, the language area is set up in such a way as to take advantage of the child’s different periods of interest.
Mathematics: The Montessori Casa child excels in mathematics due to their solid understanding of math concepts and operations. The math materials are developed exclusively to assist the child in gaining a firm foundation in enumeration. The concrete math materials are designed to represent all types of quantities and can be used to perform different mathematical operations. Mathematics in the Montessori environment always begins with the use of concrete manipulatives and slowly moves the child towards the abstract. Children become interested in mathematics when they are able to see, touch and move the objects with which they are enumerating.
Culture: In the culture area, the Casa child is introduced to all things dealing with our planet and the universe. They have lessons in geography, history, botany, zoology, science, art and music.
In the classroom children learn through the hands-on exploration of concrete materials and through the observation of the older children in the class.