Our education focuses on small motor, concentration, organization, and basic life skills. Practical life activities include pouring, spooning, sponging, sweeping, sorting, tying, buttoning, etc.
The math area contains the Montessori sensorial, geometry, and numerical materials, including graduated rods, bead stairs, and base ten materials (unit beads, ten bars, hundred squares, and thousand cubes.) A variety of manipulative materials and matched numeral cards guide the children through understanding numerical concepts. Children gain a concrete understanding through their senses that will provide a foundation for later abstract understanding.
Literacy begins not with letters but with storytelling. The foundation is laid through playing dress-up, show-and-tell, building castles or spaceships, and through hearing stories and looking at picture books. Pre-literacy skills are developed through activities such as matching and sequencing pictures in story form.
Phonetic awareness is introduced with rhyme and alliteration games. First, children will learn to match an initial sound with letters, then the final sound, vowel sounds, and eventually to sound out short words.
Finger Painted Hands believes in providing a literacy rich environment, including a variety of popular picture books. Each child will have multiple opportunities for writing, both through scribble and invented spelling, at their own level.
Children are encouraged to explore, and will observe a variety of natural objects, including plants and animals, and will take part in physical science experiments. We explore concepts of time and space, beginning with the simple geography of the classroom and daily schedules. The study of land forms and geography will often carry over into art, where children are encouraged to trace continent forms, create lakes, and build mountains with clay.
Children are given ample opportunity for expression and exploration through a variety of the arts, including instruments and songs. Movement activities are included to promote awareness of the body, and teach both small and large motor control. As with all classroom areas, the materials provided will be aimed to both challenge and inspire.