Opportunities to learn and use language permeate the Primary classroom. Children are given the opportunity to name, describe, and narrate within all elements of the curriculum - be it colors on the easel, parts of a plant, or countries of the globe. They begin with the rudiments of written and spoken language, and progress to become confident readers and writers. Like all authentic Montessori programs, Omni teaches cursive script, considered a more natural hand motion for young children, as the pencil never leaves page.
Students begin work in the Language area on the day they first enter the classroom, engaging in oral games to learn and master new vocabulary. With guidance from the guide, they master a progression of lessons beginning with Sound Games which provide a basis in phonetics. Children then move to the Sandpaper Letters for a tactile experience with both the sound and symbols in the alphabet, and the Moveable Alphabet where they use large letters to construct words and phrases. Students play grammar games to learn the function of words through sentence analysis. Children progress from phonetic reading and word construction into phonograms, learning multiple ways to make one sound. Older students create beautiful reports with words and illustrations. Throughout the day, the guide tells stories, reads books, and recites poetry, giving the children differing experiences with oral language. The aim is to produce a “reading child” to move to the next level.
Children are most receptive to learning a new language from birth through age six. In order to ensure our children have as much exposure as possible to a second language (or even third, for many of our families), each classroom has at least one adult who is a native Spanish speaker. Our Blakeney campus staff also includes a full-time Spanish guide who spends between 20-30 minutes in each of our three Primary classrooms during the morning work cycle.