Primary and Kindergarten Program
Jordan International Montessori School offers an authentic Montessori program and follows the curriculum defined by Association Montessori International (AMI) – the original organization established by Dr. Maria Montessori. This program is designed for children between three and six years old. The environment integrates the five main areas of learning: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, and Culture. This classroom is designed to encourage children to discover the world, and become self-motivated learners. Children work individually and in small groups. They are free to follow their own interests and they are able assimilate what they learn in all areas of study.
The classroom incorporates the best of Eastern and Western cultures. Each dual-language classroom has at most 20 children with two teachers. In every classroom, one teacher is an English speaker, and one is a Mandarin Chinese speaker.
The children all attend the full-day program, but have slightly different schedules to meet their individual needs. For example, three-year-olds typically will take nap, while four and half year olds to 6-year-olds attend a special program designed for children who are discovering reading and writing, as they prepare for the challenges of first grade. Our Mandarin Chinese speaking teachers will introduce Chinese culture and language while using the Montessori curriculum.
Practical Life: “Help me to do it myself!” Maria Montessori recognized that children long for independence. The practical life activities are aimed at helping children become more independent. The teacher will present the lessons step by step and allow children to repeat the work until they have mastered it. Children are able to acquire many daily life skills: caring for themselves (i.e. washing hands, and putting on and removing their jackets) and caring for the environment (i.e. watering plants, and preparing foods). These activities help children refine hand eye coordination, enhance concentration levels, build confidence, and indirectly prepare children for writing by developing manual dexterity.
Sensorial Activities: “The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge. Our apparatus for educating the senses offers the child a key to guide his explorations of the world, they cast a light upon it which makes visible to him more things in greater detail than he could see in the dark, or uneducated state.”–The Absorbent Mind p 167, Chap 17.
Through interaction with the sensorial materials, the child is able to concentrate on the refinement of all his senses, from visual to tactile. The children experience the world through their senses and acquire clear, conscious, information and are able to make classifications in their environment.
Language Activities: Children learn English and Mandarin Chinese through a variety of materials and activities. According to Dr. Montessori, the children from birth to age six will go through a sensitive period of language development. This “window of opportunity” gives them the ability to learn other languages fluently, without struggle. They begin with oral language which will help them become familiar with sounds and then they will start to recognize symbols. Soon after, the children will start the process of writing, which leads naturally to reading and grammar. The language for science is also introduced by the teacher through materials and experiments. During the learning process, children will develop observation and comparison skills and will be given the vocabulary to express their actions and results.
Mathematics: We introduce children to the fascinating world of numbers by providing hands-on materials for the children to learn mathematical knowledge from concrete to conceptual. The child learns quantity first, and then symbols from units, tens, hundreds, thousands, and then addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions. The concrete materials are aimed at helping the children understand the meaning of the operations instead of just memorizing them.
Cultural Activities: Art, music, history, and geography are introduced to the children in the classroom. We also celebrate special holidays such as Thanksgiving, Moon Festival, and Chinese New Year. These events provide the children an opportunity to explore the differences in culture and make connections to the global community.
On a weekly basis, children will participate in dance, yoga, music, and movement, which are part of the Jordan International School emphasis on the whole child. These programs provide the children an opportunity to further explore an area of interest, and build self-confidence in a positive atmosphere.
Chinese Immersion Program
Jordan International Montessori School offers children the opportunity to effortlessly master Chinese while building a foundation of life skills. Children learn language best by being immersed in it naturally. We first introduce oral language through conversation, storytelling, songs, rhythm, poems, riddles, and tongue twisters, then we follow by enrichment of vocabulary which encourages the child to learn the names of everything in his environment. When a child begins to express himself verbally in Chinese, teachers gradually introduce the Chinese characters. Once a child is able to recognize the Chinese characters, the teacher introduces writing, grammar, and reading to support his blossoming language skills.
The Chinese immersion program is led by one teacher who speaks only English to the children and another who speaks exclusively in Chinese. Children learn all Montessori activities in English and Chinese. As the result, they naturally acquire a broad vocabulary in Chinese.
The JIMS Chinese Immersion Program uses a variety of reading materials including the Better Chinese, Step by Step, and I Can Read which are currently used in Chinese Immersion Elementary Schools in the USA, Australia, and Hong Kong.