Primary & Kindergarten
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.
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 as well as observing and working with older students. Children develop their self-discipline and capacity for total concentration by learning to work at a task from beginning to end. 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.
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.
Designed for exploration of the senses, sensorial area activities are designed to create interactions 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.
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, developing the child’s writing through metal insets as well as stencils of various shapes designed to teach the child the formation of letters.
Building a strong foundation of numbers using manipulative materials gives children a clear understanding of math in a concrete format that sets them up for success when they progress to abstract concepts. Linear counting, decimal system, addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division are introduced as the child shows signs of readiness.
At the Primary level, the initial focus of Geography is on the concepts 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.
A very broad area of study, Science activities are 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.
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.
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.
IMS Art Program
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 Pine room, who, along with Sarah Wharton (a former, very loved Teacher of IMS) 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.
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.
Three Parts Of The Whole
Edible Forest Garden
Giving children the opportunity to grow, harvest, and eat delicious and nutritious vegetables, fruits, and herbs fresh from the garden is a great way to get children to broaden their healthy food choices while learning about plants and cultivating a sense of environmental stewardship.
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.
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.