Curriculum

Practical Life
Designed to allow children to practice life skills, such as juicing oranges or polishing mirrors. Each activity in this area focuses on increasing the child’s independence, concentration and coordination.

Sensorial
Designed for exploration of the senses. Here the children interact with textures, sound, weight, color, smell, and more. This area develops the concept of grading materials by different characteristics, including largest to smallest and thickest to thinnest.

Language
Beginning with conversation, the child is introduced to various vocabulary-building activities such as picture matching, object discrimination, sequence stories and go-together cards. The language area progresses on to reading folders and sentence building and develops the child’s writing through metal insets, stencils of various shapes designed to teach the child the formation of letters.

Math
Starts with the child building a strong foundation of numbers using manipulative materials.  This gives them a clear understanding of math in a concrete format so they can move onto abstract concepts.  Linear counting, decimal system, addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division are also introduced when the child shows signs of readiness.

Geography
Introduces the concept of land, air and water. The globe of the world is introduced in two forms, one as land, air and water, the other more specific to continents and bodies of water. There is a detailed puzzle map of every continent. When a continent is introduced, countries within the continent are discussed along with animals, food and clothing.

Science
Is a very broad area of study. It is an area that can be guided by the interest of the children. The common areas of study are plant/animal, vertebrate/invertebrate, study of life cycles of plants and animals, including dinosaurs, mammals and reptiles. Physical Science is also incorporated into the science curriculum.

Art
Includes the study of art appreciation, studying the life and work of various artists.  An important part of the art area is skill development, tracing, cutting, lacing, and more.  Once children master skills they can move onto more complex works of art.  Children use real art materials like watercolors and oil pastels to develop an appreciation of art at a young age.

Music
Is heard daily throughout the school.  Classes share music together at their daily circle time, an important part of the day for community building.  Music is incorporated through song, dance and introductions to different instruments. In addition, each class enjoys a weekly music class with a certified music instructor.

 

Classrooms

Our Primary Classrooms include the Pine, Walnut, and Elm Rooms. These spacious classrooms offer ample space for free movement, quiet corners for work and reflection, and dedicated areas for reading, art and gathering. Snack is available to the older children throughout the day and students serve themselves when they feel ready for a break.

The Primary classrooms are a calm atmosphere of order and joy, as children ages 3-6 learn together in the same setting. The younger children are guided by the teacher and by observing and working with older students. Children learn to work at a task from beginning to end and develop their self-discipline and capacity for total concentration. Respect for others, grace and courtesy develop as children grow within the Montessori environment. In the Montessori classroom, each child is allowed to direct his/her path of learning.

 

Outdoor Science Lab

At Ithaca Montessori school we are excited to share with you our very own and exclusive Outdoor Science Lab (OSL) . This Lab is only available for our Kindergartners at present. The Outdoor science Lab is a place where children can explore nature and find new and wonderful things that they will treasure for all their lives.

In Charge of the OSL is Heather Frost a teacher from the Elm room, Herself and Sarah Wharton ( a former, very loved Teacher of IMS) both had the idea to start this wonderful program and grew it into what it is today. Sarah carries on this program where she lives now in Tennessee.

“The child who has felt a strong love for [their] surroundings and for all living creatures, who has discovered joy and enthusiasm in work, gives us reason to hope that humanity can develop in a new direction.” Maria Montessori

Continually inspired by Maria Montessori, we thrive to make our school a beautiful, engaging, and dynamic place for children to grow into educated, critical-thinking, peacemakers and caretakers of the earth. Our curriculum is rooted in real life experiences, and interaction with the natural environment provides some of the richest opportunities for our young community of learners.

What was, what is…

What started as pencil sketches and big ideas just three years ago has become the Ithaca Montessori School Edible Forest Garden.  Formally an empty patch of lawn, this space on the back hill is now home to  an infant accessible outdoor playspace,  a Primary Outdoor Classroom, and thriving garden that leads to a trail system in the forest!  Our campus has turned into a living, thriving ecosystem where children engage all their senses, experience the beauty of nature and learn how to care for the earth.

And what will be…

This school year we will bring our garden shed to life! This will include the installation of a dynamic living roof and establishing a rain barrel catchment system. Creating this space will attract additional bees, butterflies, and other insects for pollination, increasing overall biodiversity on our campus!

Three Parts of a Whole

Edible Forest Garden
Our Edible Forest Garden consists of multiple fruit tree-based poly-cultures where the children engage with the plants, animals, insects, and soil that make up this compelling and productive ecosystem.

Outdoor Classroom
Our outdoor classrooms are bustling with activity! They have become an extension of our indoor classrooms where the children are invited to practice their works from all areas of the classroom. This space has also presented a unique opportunity for the children to learn new skills such as hammering, using a wheelbarrow, and sowing seeds directly into the earth.

Forest Trail System
We have developed a trial system through our forest where the children are immersed into the many ecosystems surrounding our campus! Here they discover the tracks of deer in the mud, practice balancing on downed logs, and watch as the ever mysterious water striders skim across the top of the stream.

The Outdoor Science Lab Blog

The Outdoor Science Lab also submits a blog for you to enjoy and get some more information about what they do on a day to day basis. Click on link below to find out more!

OSL BLOG

Thank you for learning about our wonderful program 🙂

 

Playground

Our Primary Students have access to a beautiful age appropriate playground. Primary students can explore two climbing structures, two sets of swings, and a large sandbox, as well as grassy spaces and natural wooded areas for exploration. We also have a large field for active play and sledding hill for the winter.

When rain, snow or cold prevents our students from playing outside, Primary students enjoy gross motor time in our spacious, indoor gym. The gym features games and equipment for individual play and group activities.