Communication, Language, and Literacy
The young child enters school during a period of great sensitivity to language. Language development, its usage and vocabulary are therefore woven throughout the classroom. Conversations with peers and adults are a natural part of classroom life and time is devoted every day to the reading of books, singing of songs and stories and sharing. The child moves freely within the Forest Drive Montessori environment. Combining the child’s natural curiosity with hands-on activity helps the child internalize information. The language program encourages the development of oral language, auditory, writing and reading skills.
Opportunities for oral expression are provided daily. The children listen to and participate in familiar and new stories, rhymes, and songs. These activities also lend themselves to dramatic expression. Sharing and talking about group and individual experiences allow the children other opportunities for conversation.
Our teachers read aloud to the children regularly. The children’s listening skills are further developed through music, appropriate questioning, storytelling, sharing time, CDs, and sound matching activities. The Montessori language materials isolate letter sounds, show correct letter formation and reinforce the sound/symbol connection.
Our teachers are constantly modelling writing through activities such as: group experience stories, child dictated stories, adapted work, transcribing the child’s description of his/her art work, and daily functional writing. Children are encouraged to use writing materials throughout the classroom. Following Dr. Maria Montessori’s premise, writing precedes reading. Accepting the child’s own spelling and letter formation affirms and promotes the child’s writing. Before the child is ready for a pencil, using the movable alphabet allows the child to write personal stories.
Reading is presented with a phonetic base, sight word vocabulary and group language activities which encourage the children to become aware of words, sentences, beginning punctuation, content, authors, illustrators and publishers.
Each child enters school with different language experiences and abilities and adds to them daily. Montessori’s individualized approach and developmentally appropriate lessons help the child build cognitive language skills. The absorbent mind of the child readily soaks up these experiences and brings about a natural maturation in language. We welcome children who are multi-lingual in our setting.