Our programs offer developmentally age-appropriate activities for children ages 15 months – 5 years.
Montessori well known as “Education for Life” is good for all children. They will reach their fullest potential at their own special and unique pace. The multiage grouping at SIMS allows each child to find their own pace without feeling ahead or behind in relation to other children in their own classroom.
All kinds of intelligences and styles of learning are nurtured with our “prepared Environment” Children learn to take care of themselves, their environment and each other: moving gracefully, speaking politely, cooking, cleaning, building, gardening, being considerate and helpful.
Children in our School learn according to their own individual pace and according to their own interest and choice of activities and work. We make learning an exciting process of discovery leading the child to concentration, motivation, self-discipline and love of learning.
Toddler Program (Ages 15 months-2.9 years)
Toddlers are introduced to a prepared environment enriched by a community of Spanish native speaking teachers who believe in the full potential of a child’s ability to learn. SIMS offers a developmentally-appropriate toddler-designed curriculum that fosters independence, cognitive and language development, and strengthens fine and gross motor skills.
SIMS is extremely proud to offer your children a unique opportunity to effortlessly master a second language while obtaining a rich Montessori education. Our Spanish immersion program provides children a chance to acquire a second language naturally – with the goal of becoming bilingual – and thus enjoy the life-long benefits of bilingualism. Spanish is the target language spoken in the classroom in a spontaneous, informal, and fun way. There are no formal expectations or assessments. Teachers speak to your children in Spanish at all times while identifying objects, making requests, playing games, and singing songs in Spanish.
Toddlers develop some of their first relationships outside of the home in different environments, making this a very critical stage in their development. During their time in the toddler class, our teachers make our students feel safe and loved. The SIMS environment and curriculum are designed to provide the warmth, welcome, and stimulation that enable your child’s growth.
Our peaceful toddler classrooms are rich in materials that naturally stimulate explorative learning. During this sensitive developmental stage when the child is absorbing information at an exponential rate, the carefully prepared environment – appropriate size furniture, materials, Montessori learning activities, routines, and relationships – aids children to reach their fullest potential.
The safe, loving, gentle atmosphere puts children and parents at ease and makes for a trusting, spontaneous transition to school. Toddlers come to school five days a week, and may choose to stay for mornings-only or for a full day program. Upon completion of the Toddler program, children join our Primary program.
Primary Program (Ages 2.9-5 years)
Our qualified native Spanish speaker Montessori teachers provide a curriculum that’s individualized to meet your child’s needs while also focusing on providing opportunities for your child to develop his natural interests and abilities.
Your child will benefit from the multi-age classrooms in which students learn and support each other while learning at their own pace. This allows children to find activities in areas that excite them where they can thrive as they learn and grow.
Through collaborative learning, children in our program will learn skills for practical life, sensorial-refinement of their senses, language, mathematics, physical science, geography, and history. This unique approach allows your child to develop skills that will provide them with success throughout their lifetime.
Dr. Montessori, along with other developmental scientists, observed that the children’s development follows a path of successive stages, each with its own particular needs and dispositions—cognitive, social, physical, moral, and emotional; and much occurs during each plane as preparation for the succeeding one. It follows then that the more fully the child realizes his potential in each plane, the stronger the foundation for the next stage of development. Each plane is divided into two sub-planes, on which Montessori classrooms are based 0-3 years; 3-6 years. Although entrance into the primary class is based on readiness, most children usually are ready between 2.9 and 3 years of age. Therefore, children spend 2 to 3 years in the primary class.
The first year of SIMS Montessori primary is an introduction to the new environment, language, and social acclimation. A secure foundation of self-discipline, independent functioning, and self-confidence is formed. The second-year is a consolidation of skills, knowledge, and growth in competence and self-assurance.
The last years are ones of unfolding and mastery. This is the time you see traditional types of learning, such as reading, writing, and math come into to place. The third year in a Montessori classroom is also referred to as the leadership year. It can be helpful to think of first-year children as the “explorers,” second-year students as the “experimenters” and third-year students as the “experts.”
These skills are actually a by-product of the more important foundational characteristics, such as independence, self-motivation, and concentration that the child has internalized and will possess throughout his lifetime.
Children are grouped in mixed ages from 15 months – 5 years. There is constant interaction, problem solving, child to child teaching, and socialization. Children are challenged according to their ability and never bored.
The environment is arranged according to subject area, and children are always free to move around the room instead of staying at desks. There is no limit to how long a child can work with a piece of material. At any one time in a day all subjects – practical life, dramatic play , math, language, science, geography, art, music, etc., will be being studied, at all levels.
Our classroom’s “Prepared Environment” encourages children to move freely during the day, choosing to purposely play and work with the materials they choose based on their own interests and needs. The materials in the classroom are specialized, developed by Montessori and her collaborators and carefully chosen to support the developmental child’s life stages. Montessori materials are intended to be beautiful, simple, self-teaching, allowing for repetition and sequential. The multi-age classroom allows the child to grow in a peaceful community.
Our curriculum address:
Emotional Intelligence: Identifying, understanding and mimicking a whole range of emotions. Building self-awareness and self-control. Developing empathy and abilities to relate to others.
Music and Creative Movement: Building physical coordination and confidence. We also celebrate beautiful rhythms and dances from diverse Spanish-speaking lands. Instrument playing. Spanish Music and Movement.
Dramatic Play: Allowing children to bring the reality of the world into their own interests and knowledge. Creating a natural and playful space for drama that needs no written lines to memorize. Role Play. Puppets. Stimulating imagination.
Reading: Fostering a love for reading in a new language and word comprehension through illustration and story. Comprehension: Observation, listening, and following directions through simple commands, and making predictions.
Science: Exploration of nature, animals and ecosystems. The purpose of a science curriculum for this age group (2.9 – 5 years) is not to teach science principles but to encourage science thought. It is about developing positive attitudes and enthusiasm for science and exploration. Study of science will foster an appreciation of and responsibility for the Earth in which we live.
Social and Cultural Diversity: Developing an interest and respect for other cultures and promoting global awareness.
Math: Pattern recognition, sequences, numbers, shapes, numeration, linear counting, the decimal system, and moving toward abstraction.
Sign Language: American Sign Language recognition and association with words and ideas that were already learned in early stages of life.
Language: The interest and ability of children at early age in language is the best example of what Dr. Montessori meant by “sensitive periods for language”. Children three to six years of age are fascinated by language and their ability to learn language is remarkable.
Games: Improve critical thinking skills and reading comprehension. Developing positive, therapeutic effects on children of all ages. Allowing space for individualized learning, teaching children basic coding principles. Promoting spatial thinking, reasoning, memory, perception, team building and problem-solving.
Geography: Making children aware of the world. Introducing children to two main geography pieces within the Montessori Early Childhood classroom: physical geography & political geography (also known as culture).
Food Testing – Nutrition: Teaching children about food with a multicultural approach. Experimenting, making children aware of flavors from around the world. Learning where our food comes from and how to live a healthy lifestyle. Help children make connections between a culture and its food! Foods embody cultures. Sampling and savoring world foods. Encouraging children to learn about and tasting what their peers eat in their homes.
Art: It will help children to develop their creative thinking skills and joy in the freedom of expression through the visual art. They will experiment with art materials, forms and elements of art, and principles of design. Art helps children to understand themselves, which leads to better self-esteem, confidence and individuality.
Practical Life: Children are given opportunities to address daily tasks with independence, coordination and concentration. Care of the person, Care of the Environment (indoor and outdoor), Grace and Courtesy.
Sensorial: Dr. Montessori characterized the young child by her “absorbent mind”. That is to say that the child
absorbs impressions through all senses, like a sponge absorbing water.
+ Enrichment Programs
Spanish Immersion Montessori School offers a variety of enrichment programs at no additional cost to families. Our enrichment programs will be running once we reach 15 children in the program and will include: yoga, music and movement (outside instructor), introduction to music or piano depending on individual readiness.
Families across the country are beginning to recognize the tremendous benefits enrichment programs can provide. Because these activities are offered and available during the traditional school day and save parents time from commuting from place to place. These programs give students many opportunities for growth and learning they might not find elsewhere. Supporting academic skills is an important goal for SIMS please read some of the benefits from having enrichment activities:
Music is a way of knowing. According to Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner (1983), music intelligence is equal in importance to logical – mathematical intelligence, linguistic intelligence, spatial intelligence, bodily – kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and intrapersonal intelligence. According to Thomas Armstrong (1994,5), “Intelligence is galvanized by participation in some kind of culturally valued activity and that the individual’s growth in such an activity follows a developmental pattern; each activity has its own time arising in early childhood.”
Early childhood, a period of rapid change and development, is the most critical period in a child’s musical growth and has been identified in the literature as the “music babble” stage (Moog, 1976; Gordon, 1988) or primary music development (Levinowitz and Guilmartin, 1989, 1992, 1996).
The importance of music instruction for music development during the early years of childhood has been widely investigated since World War II. The Pillsbury studies (1937 – 1958) (Moorhead and Pond, 1977) provided the first glimpse into preschool children’s musical lives and informed us about the nature of their spontaneous music behavior.
Children are born with the potential to learn to speak and understand their native language as well as they are born with the potential to learn to perform and understand their culture’s music.
Music is great for young brains and exposure from early on has proven benefits and it’s also fun and enjoyable for children. The montessori musical program develops the children’s nonverbal affective communication, enhances their ability to express themselves through music and increases their understanding and enjoyment of music. Learning music is not a separate lesson in the day but it is a natural and integral part of classroom life.
Benefits of Exposure to Music
Counting and other math skills
Memory and recall skills
Physical coordination (gross and fine motor skills)
Montessori Music Curriculum
The voice is a child’s natural instrument and it is an instrument that every person possesses. The bells are present in all authentic Montessori primary and preschool classrooms. The bells were designed to specifically train the ear to perceive differences among musical sounds. The Montessori bells consist of a series of bells that represent the whole tones and semi-tones of one octave. To work with the bells, the child is required to pair off the bells that produce the same sound. This enables the child to learn how to discriminate, eventually learn how to arrange the bells in gradation, and to play the musical scale. In the Montessori classroom children will find music activities such as:
The Bells (Do-Re-Mi…)
Classical music (listening)
Silent Game (Listening)
Sound Boxes (Sensorial)
Silence Game (Circle Time), Singing, Clapping
Composer cards (Language/Sensorial/Matching)
Walking on the Line (Movement)
Music in Spanish (Language, movement, dancing)
Early childhood is also the time when children learn about their world primarily through the magical process of play. The substance of play in very young children is usually comprised of the environmental objects and experiences to which they have been exposed. If the music environment is sufficiently rich, there will be a continuous and ever richer spiral of exposure to new musical elements followed by the child’s playful experimentation with these elements.
Music And Movement
Teaching the Whole Child:Music and Movement is a way of teaching the whole child and engaging the learner Mental, Physical, Emotional and Social
Phylis Weikart, a pioneer in movement pedagogy, has noted that many school-age children cannot walk to the beat of music, perform simple motor patterns, or label how their bodies have moved (1987). She suggests that children can gain this experience in naturally occurring situations during infancy and early childhood, especially if adults recognize the importance of early gross motor development and of language interaction about rhythm and movement with young children. Furthermore, other motor theorists’ research supports the importance of movement in early childhood. They have found that most fundamental motor patterns emerge before the age of five and are merely stabilized beyond that age (Gilbert, 1979).
As published in Early Childhood Connections:
Music evokes movement, and children delight in and require movement for their development and growth.
Developmentally appropriate music activities involve the whole child-the child’s desire for language, the body’s urge to move, the brain’s attention to patterns, the ear’s lead in initiating communication, the voice’s response to sounds, as well as the eye-hand coordination associated with playing musical instruments.
Music transmits culture and is an avenue by which beloved songs, rhymes, and dances can be passed down from one generation to another.
Children in the early years learn best by ‘doing’! Music and movement encourages active involvement in developing vocabulary and mastering a wealth of skills and concepts.
Benefits of music and movement
Enhance Motor skills: Coordination, Balance, Strength and Endurance;
Expression and Communication;
As reported in Time magazine, scientists have been studying what happens when children practice various forms of mindfulness. At the end of their study, they found children in the experimental group “had 15% better math scores, showed 24% more social behaviors, were 24% less aggressive and perceived themselves as 20% more pro-social. They outperformed their peers in cognitive control, stress levels, emotional control, optimism, empathy, mindfulness and aggression.”
Decade after decade, science discovers new ways to prove what Dr. Montessori saw a century ago. She called her discovery “the New Child.” This was not the same being parents had handheld for millennia. This was a child who, if set free from the distractions and distortions of the chaotic world, would show mankind a new way to live, a better way.
Yoga helps kids to:
Develop body awareness
Learn how to use their bodies in a healthy way
Manage stress through breathing, awareness, meditation and healthy movement
Increase their confidence and positive self-image
Feel part of a healthy, non-competitive group
Have an alternative to tuning out through constant attachment to electronic devices
In a school setting, yoga can also benefit teachers by:
Giving them an alternate way to handle challenges in the classroom
Giving them a healthy activity to integrate with lesson plans
Give them a way to blend exercise into their classes
Excerpted from Stretched: Build Your Yoga Business, Grow Your Teaching Techniques, Bare Bones Yoga.