Primary

A Solid Academic Foundation and a Love of Learning

A child’s early school experience will set the tone for years to come. Children love to learn, and from the earliest age do so through their senses. They touch and explore everything in their world. The work offered in the Primary program fosters concentration, coordination, independence, and order. The self-correcting quality of the work chosen enables each to participate as his or her own teacher. Guided repetition helps each child focus and gain greater confidence in his or her abilities.

A Primary Montessori classroom allows children to learn at their own pace. In a mixed-age class, children can always find peers who are working at their level. Younger students learn from older children, who in turn benefit from serving as role models. Children normally stay in the same classroom for three years. This allows the students to develop a strong sense of community with their classmates. It also allows the teachers to get to know their students’ strengths and weaknesses, interests, and personalities.

See a Typical Day for a Primary Student:

 

Practical Life

The Practical Life area of the classroom is designed to introduce children to everyday living skills. Some skills introduced are: scooping, pouring, transferring, sewing, and polishing, care of self, care of the environment and food preparation. The materials help young children develop independence, concentration, coordination, confidence and a sense of order.

Sensorial

Children explore the senses with the Sensorial Materials through visual, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory discrimination. These materials also provide movement and prepare young children for future work with the math materials.

Math

The Montessori Math materials are presented sequentially using self-correcting manipulative materials. Beginning with numeration, students expand through the decimal system, linear counting, the four operations (addition, multiplication, subtraction and division), fractions, and writing numerals. Beginning graphing, estimation, and more & less than are also introduced.

Language

The Montessori Language materials in the 3 through 6 year old class take children set-by-step through a series of pre-reading and phonetic activities. These materials are self-correcting manipulatives for children to be introduced to nomenclature, matching, categorizing, sequencing and rhyming. The children learn letters through the phonetic approach using the Sandpaper Letters and evolve into writing with the movable alphabet and then pencil and paper. Children are introduced to reading with three-letter word labels, blends and phonogram introduction, and simple readers. Function of words, grammar and dictionary materials are typically introduced to children in the 3rd + year of the Primary Program.

Cultural

The History & Geography area of the classroom introduces the primary children to the world around them and the passage of time. Through a unique hands-on approach, the children are introduced to Land, Air, and Water, the 7 Continents, Countries of the World and their cultures. Children are also introduced to the calendar system and time.

Science

Zoology, Botany, and Physical Science are introduced to 3 through 6 year olds through puzzles, matching cards, and other hands-on materials. Children enjoy learning about Sink & Float, Magnetic and Non-Magnetic, and distinguishing between Plants and Animals among many other activities.

Bible

The children are introduced to Bible stories from The Jesus Storybook Bible, sing praise & worship songs, and participate in a weekly chapel time with the other age levels in the school.

Art

The Primary classrooms have art materials available for children to choose to work on throughout the year. Children are introduced to several different art mediums, painting at an easel, scissor work, primary & secondary colors, and more.

Music

Singing, rhythm, and movement are taught in the classroom through daily group activities as well as through a structured weekly music class with a music specialist. There is a Christmas Program and Spring Program each year for children to share what they have worked on throughout the year.

Spanish

A native Spanish speaker leads a special class for 20-30 minutes each week to introduce the children to the Spanish language. Children are introduced to counting, greetings, colors, songs, clothing and animals throughout the year.

Movement

Movement is incorporated into many aspects of the Montessori classroom, at CCM we also have time for a morning and afternoon daily recess time (outdoors weather permitting) as well as a Crossfit class offered to children that are enrolled in the full-time program.

We Invite You to See for Yourself!

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Meet Our Teachers
Ms. Veronica Bontrager

Veronica Bontrager became a Lead Primary Teacher in 2017 and is certified by the North American Montessori Center. She was born in Ecuador and graduated with an Early Childhood Education degree. After moving to the states, she moved to the Elkhart area with her two boys. Every day they teach her that children interact with the world in their individual and special ways. Veronica has worked with kids for over 16 years and regularly teaches a contemporary modern dance class in downtown Goshen for kids with special needs.

She enjoys spending time with her boys outside, cooking for friends, and traveling whenever possible. For Veronica, working with kids has always been driven out of passion and love of their innocence, spontaneity and honesty. Every day is a new day to discover the beauty in the small things.

Mrs. Chessa Brewton

Mrs. Brewton began her career as a Montessori Teacher in 1997. She has an Associates credential through IUSB for Early Childhood/Montessori. Before discovering and becoming passionate about the Montessori Method, she worked for Concord Community Schools as a paraprofessional. Mrs. Brewton believes that children need our love, patience and sense of humor.

She also believes that Montessori is the very best start that you can give children to help them develop a lie-long love of learning. She has 2 daughters, both Montessori alumni. They keep a busy schedule with band and sports activities. Mrs. Brewton enjoys spending time with her family at sports events, cooking, working out and traveling.

Ms. Katelyn Merchant

Katie Merchant is a Lead Primary Teacher and joined Cornerstone in 2018. Katie completed her Montessori Teaching Certificate in 2019 and has a background in Elementary Education. She has been working in a school setting for four years. Katie fell in love with the Montessori Method and loves watching children become independent. Katie is a collector of children's books and has over 1800 in her personal collection. Outside of CCM Katie loves being outdoors and enjoys spending time with family.

“Our daughter has reignited her eagerness to learn because of CCM. She is currently reading several grades beyond the second grade level and has excelled in areas of math and science. ”

The Kuhns Family
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