The Montessori classrooms at Oak Hill Montessori are taught by AMI Montessori-trained teachers who provide fundamental subject information and guidance to allow students to embark on their own exploration and discovery of subjects of interest. To help in these endeavors, Oak Hill Montessori also provides additional opportunities in several curriculum areas. These subjects, which co-ordinate with our Montessori curriculum, are taught by specialists in their fields who meet with students during scheduled sessions or for special projects and residencies.
Casa children experience art through exploration of the art shelves in their classroom environments. When children are of kindergarten age they come
for their first experience in the art room with the Arts Resource Director. They come about once a month to explore art materials like clay, paint and drawing, with lessons that focus on the art elements of color, line, shape, texture and space. Class size is small and children spend 1 to 2 hours exploring and creating in our beautifully appointed art studio space. At the end of the year the children have a grand art finale with a week long art residency where they create some lasting memories as one of the culminations of their Casa experience.
For children, music is an innate joy that offers a unique way for them to experience the world around them. It reaches the perceptual, intellectual, cultural, emotional and spiritual dimensions of their lives. It promotes creativity, thinking and joy. The Music Curriculum at Oak Hill Montessori provides a complete, balanced and sequential music education. We strive to develop musically literate children who have an appreciation for beauty and the arts through the love and enjoyment of music. We hope to instill a life-long desire to seek out music in our students' lives.
Children's House students continue to explore many skills with increased expectation for students participation, increased skill sets, and a deeper level of musical understanding. In Children's House there is an increased focus on vocal production and children are introduced to iconic music reading, solfege syllables (do, re, mi, etc.) and rhythmic notation. Oak Hill Montessori Music Specialist visits each Children's House classroom once a week in the morning.
Starting at the Kindergarten year, students meet with the Oak Hill Montessori Music Specialist, in the afternoon once a week as well. Music time involves singing, dancing, marching, playing instruments and listening and moving to various styles of music. The students will learn songs and dances about nature, seasons, holidays and culture. We also value teaching with the use of xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels as well as other percussion instruments using Orff Schulwerk arrangements and experimentation. Students also participate in music games and interactive songs to reinforce musical concepts learned.
At times children may require addition support outside of the regular classroom environment. This support may be needed in areas such as reading, math, attentional difficulties, developmental delays or other specific learning challenges.
We look at each student as a unique learner who comes to us with his/her own individual learning style. While progressing at their own pace, students are supported by the depth and breadth of the Montessori learning environment. However, there may be areas in which a student may struggle with specific learning challenges. The collaboration between parents and teachers and learning support personnel can create an environment that may help students with specific learning needs develop to their full potential within a Montessori setting.
The Spanish program at Oak Hill Montessori aims to integrate the Spanish language and culture throughout the environment. We focus less on the teaching of grammar and more on the development of listening and speaking skills and on cultural awareness. Students acquire the language through careful listening and repetition, achieved by visuals, games, songs, storytelling and physical activities.
- Children have fun learning songs, finger plays and rhymes in Spanish
- Children are encouraged to participate by listening and repeating the Spanish words
- Movement activities help children associate their experiences in class to new vocabulary, pronunciation and expressions
The goal is for the ear to get used to the "sound" of Spanish. The children are training their ears to the Spanish language, especially in the younger classrooms. By the time the children reach Junior High, their brains are ready to acquire the language in a more formal study.
It is not expected that all children will become bilingual, or even fluent speakers. Rather, early exposure to another language creates a facility for understanding and speaking it, as well as greater ease in later study. It also creates an early consciousness of culture.
Our teacher, Gema Nelson, has studied several successful Spanish programs at Montessori schools across the nation and works with he Oak Hill Montessori staff to design and implement the Spanish program here. Her goal is to find the most appropriate and effective way to integrate Spanish into the Montessori curriculum. Gema teaches our Toddler through Lower Elementary students.