- Student Centered Learning
- AMI Guide
- Trained Assistants
- Self Paced Individual Learning Plans
- Mixed Age Classroom
- Freedom with Responsibility
- Accountability and Reflection
- Citizenship and Justice
The elementary program, opened since 2008, at the Montessori Schools of Bowling Green has outgrown its space and is relocating to another beautiful historic building at 561 East Main Street in the heart of Bowling Green’s historical district. Located at the bottom of Reservoir Hill Park, this campus has easy access to an expanse of wooded green space that is the site of historic and social events as well as a traditional playground. This exciting expansion offers not only more space but also new opportunities to explore the city while maintaining a strong relationship of support, collaboration, and continuity with the original primary program located at 506 State Street.
MESBG follows and implements a program that represents the ideas and approach of Maria Montessori in the context of a uniquely prepared learning environment. The environment inspires students to become independent learners who appreciate and understand their world, who are compassionate citizens, and who are engaged and excited to learn.
The curriculum is introduced to the students at the beginning of each year in the recounting of great stories. Each story, retold with enthusiasm and awe, highlights areas of learning interest and the integration of cumulated knowledge. As the stories get revisited annually, they present the children with new possibilities for interpreting, exploring, and imagining holistically.
This invitation to learn is followed by key lessons in each discipline. The students can practice as needed to master skills and concepts and explore further in any directions that support their growth. The student’s readiness to learn and to acquire new skills is an outcome of the interaction with the material, the environment, classmates, assistants, and the guide who observes and records what each child does.
Our integrated study program in all disciplines uses unique and age-appropriate materials, which assist the students to become accountable for their use of time, for accuracy in their work and for evaluating their strengths and areas of growth. The students have individualized work plans (weekly agendas), which allow them to use time effectively and to make appropriate choices. As a result, students demonstrate great autonomy and joy in their learning, an expected outcome of the practice of freedom with responsibility.
In terms of accountability, the students are actively engaged in the learning process and their progress. While an individualized agenda, given weekly, orients the children in making choices to meet their needs by choosing appropriate lessons, it is the weekly (or bi-weekly as the student progresses) conference that inform both the students and the guide on the course of the student’s progress. By means of the conference rather than a grade report, the student develops accountability, a skill acquired in a positive dialogue through repeated guidance from the adults (teacher and parents) who clarify the learning objectives, who engage the reasoning and the imagination of the student, who support the organization and management of the lessons, and who encourage the reflection and the recording of the student’s work. The work journal is the ultimate progress report of what the student has done, completed, acquired, and achieved.
General Week Schedule 2016-17
Grace, Courtesy, & Community Building
Creating a positive learning environment, where children can productively and safely explore, requires that a collective responsibility be defined and implemented. At the beginning of each year, students actively describe, act out, and write a code of conduct that clarifies the extent and limitations of classroom behaviors. Throughout the year, students, guide, and assistants direct—as needed—the children to the code of conduct in a respectful manner. Dramatization, discussion, mediation, and negotiation allow the students to practice and endorse the code of conduct without shame or punishment.
The Montessori Language Arts curriculum is designed to enhance the students’ skills in reading, text comprehension, writing, and communicating. The practice and development of skills in language arts is a means to make connections with historical events, literature, science, math, music, and geography.
Students increase comprehension skills through various reading activities: reading silently and aloud to peers and adults, interpretive reading, poetry and drama. Reading includes the study of style, genres, critical analysis, and authorship.
Creative writing allows the student to express thoughts before spelling and grammar are mastered. As the students’ skills progress, sentence structure becomes more complex, spelling improves, and story-writing skills develop. Students write book reports and journals, and then learn to analyze sentences, build complex sentences and refine research skills. Students also write to share information, narrate, reflect, describe objectively, assert an opinion, and challenge issues.
Students study the parts of speech and their functions using classical Montessori materials. Definitions and symbols are correlated with each part of speech. Grammar studies are integrated to reinforce the work each child has already mastered in other disciplines or is currently practicing.
Students study word families, create spelling lists and test their own spelling skills in collaborative activities. Spelling practice stem from a review of the history of language, classification of roots and affixes, and etymology. Nomenclature and sight words are practiced in all disciplines.
Print and cursive skills are reinforced through regular practice, journaling, and class work. Calligraphy is another opportunity to study the art of writing and practicing penmanship.
Children are introduced to as many spoken languages as possible and according to their interest. Children may be exposed to Spanish, French, German, Chinese as well as sign language, cuneiform print, and hieroglyphics to name a few. Children have the opportunity to speak with the assistant fluent in French and Spanish daily and may choose access to the Mango on-line catalog of languages at the Main Library.
Students entering the elementary program from the primary program usually have a good math foundation. Montessori materials allow students to develop an in-depth understanding of math concepts followed by memorization of math facts. Students receive individual and small group lessons and work at their own pace. Math curriculum is organized so that students can independently follow the math sequence under the teacher’s guidance. Math is presented to the child from a concrete, hands-on perspective to a more abstract perspective.
Comprehensive geometry studies begin with experiences with the line and its parts and continue through studies of angles, polygons, triangles, quadrilaterals, circles and their area and volume. The concepts of similarity, congruency and equivalency are also studied. Students may explore geometry through the art of origami (paper folding), tangrams, tessellation, and design.
The physical science discipline integrates chemistry, geology, astronomy, and earth sciences. Studies, projects, and research are inspired by the practice of experiments, hands-on discoveries, the investigative approach of phenomena, and discussions. The concrete approach helps students to understand abstract concepts over time. Some favorite activities include constructing models of planets, atoms and molecules, dissecting plants & animals, building and launching a rocket, building architectural models, etc.
Topics explored and studied in the physical sciences include: The universe & the solar system, formation & composition of Earth, the birth of stars, laws of motion, gravity, laws of matter, magnetism, electricity, periodic table of the elements, etc.
Many hands-on activities and experiments inspire the students’ curiosity and engage them in the study of botany. Students study botany nomenclature and definitions, plant classification, biomes and ecosystems. Students go on nature walks in multiple outdoor settings (maintained and wild) to observe, collect, sketch, and research native plants and to learn how to help care for them.
Children have a natural curiosity about the earth’s creatures. Zoology studies allow children to understand the system of organizing the animal kingdom, research the five classes of vertebrates and study each in depth. Students may begin their studies by observing real creatures, then use cards, booklets, control charts and book research. Students may observe animals in their natural habitats, at the zoo, at animal shelters, or at farms. The general zoology topics include: study of cells, classification, animal research, biomes and environmental adaptations, human impact, anatomy and functions of the human body systems, etc.
Geography studies are integrated with history and science. Students learn about many different cultures as they learn about other countries. Favorite activities in geography include drawing maps and identifying countries, oceans, flora and fauna native to each continent. Other topics include: composition of the Earth, Earth tectonics, geology, water & air cycles, winds & currents, major land and water features around the world, physical, cultural, economic and political geography, flag Studies.
History begins with the concept of the passage of time, geologic time and the study of civilizations throughout history. History is presented from the perspective of the achievements of the known and unknown heroes who have contributed to the advances of humankind through time and space in order to meet the fundamental material and spirituals needs.
Art lessons are taught using various techniques and media. Art is incorporated in all the disciplines, to enhance the child’s work and the understanding of many concepts. It is also a means of self-expression and personal discovery.
The music program used at the school, designed by Anna Maccharoni & Maria Montessori, informs the child on the history of Music, the music notation and convention using the moveable tone bars (2 octaves), practicing rhythm and pitch, movements, and singing; children may use the music notation and their musical skills across the disciplines and conduct experiments related to sound. Students may also practice their own instruments and use music as an interpretive tool of learning across all disciplines.
Physical Education Conditioning, strengthening, rules of games, cooperation and sportsmanship are taught, along with basic gross and fine motor skills in a variety of activities. It often precedes or follows uninterrupted work periods in a group setting rather than individually.Morning Danse with Ms Shae
Field Trips/ Going Out:
Students participate in field trips that expand on and enrich their classroom learning. Field trips are typically planned by the adults and include visits to museums, science centers, libraries, universities, observatory, farms, exhibits, and children’s theater productions, etc.
Going out are trips organized by a small group of children to enhance and inspire their learning and exploration of the world outside the classroom. Assistants and teacher act as chaperones and encourages the children to consider all the parameters needed for a positive field trip experience.
Community Meals & Community Services:
To bring awareness of the importance of community action and engagement for the betterment of society, children collaborate around community service projects of their choice. Throughout the year, they may plan and implement projects. Some projects have included a reading or a music program to the younger communities at our school, to a monthly street cleanup in the neighborhood, to a bake sale fundraiser for a cause, to a tree planting on Earth Day, or to can and coat collection for less fortunate communities.
To see it come to life in practice, schedule a visit of our program. We would love to share the joy of learning with you!