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.
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.
Junior High Art is the culmination of the skill base from the elementary years. Bringing together knowledge of art elements and principles into their art. Junior High art curriculum is on a 2-year rotation. One year they experience a residency in 2D drawing and painting, and the next year 3D art, sculpture. These residencies are designed to dovetail with the Junior High units being taught at the same time. All Junior High students have access to the art room resources for follow up work on any of their class projects.
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.
The Junior High program is designed to act as a bridge between the elementary and high school music programs by shifting our focus to ensemble type rehearsals. Vocal and instrumental pieces are adjusted appropriately to accommodate the changing voice and instrumental skill sets of the particular class (i.e. if a student has studied an instrument outside of school, we will attempt to incorporate that skill into the classroom rehearsals). Through these developmentally appropriate experiences, students continue to build necessary skills for success in future music settings as well as other facets of life.
Junior High students meet for music once a week. Their program is divided into units during which students experience music from a variety of angles. For example this year, we began with a unit on folk dance. We followed that with a study and conversation about the National Anthem and the techniques through which musicians and composers communicate ideas. We have now moved into instrumental composition, the exploration of key relationships and the musical form of rondo. Additional units this year include Taiko drumming, the study of sound and its musical principles and the additional of musical expression to the Junior High Spoken Word performance.
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.