The The Montessori curriculum is well-rounded, encompassing all of the subject areas required by state standards, as well as additional areas of enrichment.
Dr. Montessori believed that if we are to ever be at peace, then we must start with the child. In our curriculum, we encourage the children to follow three rules: take care of yourself, take care of others, and take care of the environment. Through these rules, children develop an understanding of the world around them. To nurture this new knowledge, we encourage them to reach out to the community. Several times throughout the year, the children are involved in activities to show others they care.
Our Kindergarten experience is carefully crafted to maximize access o hands-on learning and research based practices. Our team has reviews the Montessori learning materials and aligned each Montessori work to applicable Pennsylvania Core Standards. We have then analyzed the standards and student assessment data to determine how to best support student learning with additional program resources. In language arts, these resources include aspects of McGraw Hill Reading Wonders, Heggerty Phonemic Awareness, Fundations Key Words, Kid Writing, and Zaner-Bloser Handwriting. In math, we draw additional resources and materials from the Eureka Math Program. Our Kindergarten curriculum, therefore, implements a range of both traditional Montessori and modern, research-based programs and resources to ensure that our students have access to a well-rounded, hands-on, and personalized learning experience.
1st and 2nd Grade Curriculum
In the 1st and 2nd grade band, there are currently three teachers who teach the core subjects (Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies, and Writing.) The 1st and 2nd grade teacher strive to incorporate a healthy blend of the Montessori and Common Core learning styles. The 1st and 2nd Grade schedule allows for both independent and whole group lesson times. The schedule also incorporates Montessori free choice work time.
Each of the core subjects utilizes Montessori materials, as well as research-based programs to meet the common core standards. All subject areas use Montessori materials to reinforce skills that are taught through core instruction time. In Mathematics, the Eureka Math program is the primary tool that is utilized in all grades (K-6) throughout the building. for ELA, the McGraw-Hill Reading Wonders Program is implemented. This program also incorporates foundational writing skills. This program is used in grades K-4. The 1st and 2nd Grade is unique in its use of a blended classroom, which allows for students to be exposed to differentiated Math and ELA lessons. Students are able to work in multi-age groups for Science and Social Studies lesson and project-based activities during Montessori free choice work time.
3rd and 4th Grade Curriculum
In the 3rd and 4th grade classes, there are currently three teacher, each who specialize in their core subject (Math, ELA and Science, Social Studies, and Writing). In this grade band, the teachers strice to incorporate a healthy blend of the Montessori and Common Core learning styles. The 3rd and 4th grade schedule allows for lessons, assignments and free choice work time.
Each of the core subjects utilizes Montessori materials, as well as researches-based programs to meet the common core standards. All subject areas use Montessori materials to reinforce skills to meet the common core standards. All subject areas use Montessori materials to reinforce skills that are taught through core instruction time. In Mathematics, the Eureka Math Program is the primary tool that is utilized, which is used in all grades (K-6) throughout the building. For ELA, the McGraw Hill Reading Wonders Program is implemented, and it incorporates Science and Social Studies topics. This program is used in grades K-4. Writing is taught using the Step Up to Writing Program. The 3rd and 4th grade is unique in its use of a third class, which allows for students to explore Science and Social Studies topics through writing and research-based projects. For Science, we use the PhD Science Program.
5th and 6th Grade Curriculum
The 5th and 6th grade curriculum is still in the process of being established. Writing a reading curriculum is a school-wide goal slated for the year. The current materials establish the connections to standards being taught through each novel study. There are numerous novel studies available for use depending upon student needs as well as student interests. The novel study materials come from numerous resources.
Additional support lessons for needed skills and concepts from a variety of resources as well.
In the 5th and 6th grade classroom, we foster the Montessori philosophy of helping students to discover their natural love of learning. In the area of math, we blend the Montessori Curriculum with the standards aligned Eureka Math Program. Both systems of instruction allow for students to grow in their understanding of mathematics by providing multiple levels of learning. Students are able to use tools to help support them when they are learning concretely. The tools that students have access to are a great scaffold for students, especially for those who struggle in this academic area. As the students continue to expand their knowledge, we move into representational learning. The eventual goal is for all students to gain a deeper understanding of the mathematical skills and concepts so that they are comfortable enough to complete problems abstractly. We continue to work to find ways to marry the Montessori method with standards aligned resources. It is our goal to facilitate learning in the classroom and to help find ways to support students through this journey.
The curriculum tools used in music at Gettysburg Montessori Charter School are based on the following units: rhythm, melody, harmony, form, tone color, dynamics, tempo and historical/cultural studies. Each grade progressing through the concepts in a comprehensive manner from K-6. Each concept has a performance assessment and increases the knowledge of the students. Music education enhances the students ability to listen to and perform a variety of styles of music. This valuable tool is key to helping the students grow in the arts.
Our art curriculum places a high value on higher order thinking, while focusing on the needs of all of our students. Our students are encourages to be independent in their creations and in return, they continue to flourish with each passing day. In Kindergarten, we learn about the elements of art, such as line, shape, and color. We also put emphasis on finding these elements in the world around us. Kindergarten also gets to experience mediums that are brand new to them. They are introduced to these new tools, pastels, clay and watercolors for example, with a brief demonstration. Then, students are given ample time for exploration of these new mediums. Students in grades 1-4 build upon what they learned in Kindergarten. We use the art elements while we delve into art principals, such as balance, proportion, and rhythm. These students also learn about various cultures throughout the year. We compare and contrast the lives of Native Americans, Aborigines, Latin Americans, Chinese and more, with our own culture in the United States. Students are also able to spend more time exploring art mediums. Students in 5th and 6th grade also build on the art elements and principals. However, we focus more on art history by learning about various artists like Vincent van Gogh, and ancient techniques like printmaking.
PE & Health Curriculum
The goal for the program is to provide knowledge to the students and staff to live healthier lives. Health lessons that align with the national state standards are offered weekly. Some of these units include personal hygiene, safety, nutrition, mental/emotional health, age-appropriate body system lessons and wellness tips. Your child will be provided with Physical Education instruction as well. They will learn physical literacy, sportsmanship, and teamwork in a physically and emotionally safe environment. Some of the units include fitness, dancing, gymnastics, and individual skills (kicking, throwing, jumping, striking, sliding, etc.) In order to maintain a safe social distance, students will practice individualized skills instead of in partners or a team setting.