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Many children start their Montessori education in the Primary Montessori Division, a three-year curriculum for children ages 3-6, where an intellectually inviting environment helps young learners explore their individual learning paths. Primary Montessori features scientifically developed materials to teach language, mathematics, sensorial, practical life, science, geography, cultural studies, art, music, world languages, and a social environment of respect through the carefully prepared Montessori environment while guided, observed, and inspired by their teachers.

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The child gives us a beautiful lesson – that in order to form and maintain our intelligence, we must use our hands.

Maria Montessori



The Classroom

The Primary Montessori Classroom promotes hands-on learning for children 3-6 years old. Purposeful, meaningful, hands-on materials are provided to entice the extraordinarily absorbent minds of these young children. The prepared environment is child sized, logically ordered and attractive.


The Teachers

Our teachers are the key to the quality of education for which Country Day World School is known and respected. Our distinguished group of expert teachers see themselves as guides and facilitators of children’s learning. Through careful observation, timely lessons and appropriate guidance, our teachers help even the youngest primary students develop concentration, a key to cognitive development and mastery of academic goals.



The Montessori language curriculum begins with training the ear to distinguish sounds, training the eye to distinguish patterns, and training the hand to build fine motor skills and a pincer grip. The environment is rich with materials to teach beginning sounds and symbol relationships using sandpaper letters, the moveable alphabet, chalkboard writing, and writing in the sand to teach proper letter formation. Language instruction in Kindergarten is enhanced by explicit instruction using the Orton-Gillingham Approach.



Montessori math materials are beautiful and inviting to each child. Students begin with concrete materials and then move to abstraction at their own pace. The children are exposed to abstract mathematical concepts in a clear way, enabling the child to develop a sense of accuracy, logic, reasoning, and problem solving skills. During their time in the classroom, the children will be introduced to numeration, linear counting, place value, operations and so much more. There are many materials to teach the children at their own level from the three year old learning to count to ten to the six year old adding four digit numbers and practicing math facts.


Practical Life

Practical Life is the heartbeat of the Montessori classroom. It contains familiar objects seen in the home that serve as a link between the home and school environment. Constructive work through the use of the child’s hands is provided to aid in their intellectual development. The lessons within Practical Life are categorized into six main areas: Grace and Courtesy, Practical Skills, Care of Person, Care of the Environment, Food Preparation, and Sewing-Weaving. These areas help the child to develop concentration, coordination, independence, order, and self-confidence. Through repetition, the child acquires mastery of the activities leading to self-control and inner discipline.



The beautiful sensorial materials encourage the distinction of the senses by refining the ability to compare, differentiate, reason, and problem solve. Between the ages of 3-6, the child is going through a sensitive period of sensorial exploration and refinement of the senses. Materials are provided for the child to explore color, touch, sound, and taste which enables the child to fulfill this need.



The Montessori cultural curriculum includes the study of geography, culture and science. Through the study of two continents each year, children develop an understanding of countries, landforms, and characteristics of the earth. We foster a healthy and respectful relationship with the cultures of our world by providing exposure to the seven continents. We believe that the knowledge of other people and their ways of living will assist the child to understand and respect diversity and grow up to be an ambassador of peace. The curriculum includes, but is not limited to, the study of vertebrates, classification of animals, the solar system, the human body, parts of plants and animals, and life cycles. Classrooms are equipped with extensive and ever changing shelf work to give the children a hands-on experience with all things science. We teach the importance of observation and experiencing real things to get a better understanding of the world around us. We practice taking care of the earth by picking up trash on our playground and recycling daily.



The Primary visual arts program seeks to foster creativity, problem solving, and self-expression as it relates to each child’s level of development from toddler to middle school. Students use a wide variety of 2D and 3D materials and methods to truly absorb and understand the objectives of lessons. Lessons include drawing, painting, sculpting, collage making, and printmaking. Objectives include recognition and understanding of line/shape/form, concepts of color, concepts of texture, basic patterns of organization, whole-to-part relationships, and change processes. The program emphasizes the planning, preparation and process needed for the completion of artwork. Through study of famous artists and their works, students are able to be inspired by pieces by artists, including Monet, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, Van Gogh, O’Keefe, Kandinsky, and Matisse. Each child gains self-esteem and is able to grow in his or her imagination in a relaxed atmosphere. Kindergarten students participate in a Visual Arts enrichment in the art studio that allows deeper exploration of these concepts.


Music & Movement

Music and movement are an essential part of each day. This teaches the children listening skills, how to follow directions, and confidence while learning fun songs and movement activities. Music time includes lessons in volume, rhythm, pitch, scale, and tempo. Montessori Kindergarten students participate in a music enrichment that offers the oldest students of the class the opportunity to delve deeper into music concepts and skills.



Beginning in the Primary Montessori classroom, children engage in integrated STEM practices as they work both independently and collaboratively to manipulate materials. In Montessori Kindergarten, children have an individual STEM enrichment course. Computer programming, engineering principles and technology are all explored through the guidance of expert STEM faculty. Primary students enjoy visits from campus animals as well as trips to the barn, complementing science and cultural studies found in the Montessori curriculum. Kindergarten children begin a more in depth exploration in the animal science program as a part of their STEM curriculum.


World Languages

All Primary students are introduced to both Spanish and American Sign Language. In addition, Kindergarteners have enrichment courses in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, where they move beyond introduction of tones to speaking and developing vocabulary. This early introduction to multiple world languages provides the foundation for linguistic proficiency.

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