CASA Program

A Montessori CASA class consists of children nominally aged 2½ to 6 years old. The younger children observe and are assisted by their older classmates who complement the teachers in conveying what the classroom has to offer. The older students, on the other hand, have the opportunity to guide their younger classmates and feel proud of their contribution to the classroom community while reinforcing their own learning.

The Prepared Environment

The Montessori classroom environment is prepared for the multi-age grouping of children with learning materials appropriate for each level. This provides a supportive, family-like, social grouping where learning can take place naturally. The Montessori materials are handcrafted and made of unique, colourful materials in order to stimulate the child’s senses and intellect. They are displayed at child height to encourage the child to decide which learning activity to master next, with each tool representing one concept that will further the learning evolution.

Our "prepared environment" classroom features an ordered arrangement of these sequential training materials appropriately designed to suit the varying stages of our students' development from Preschool to Elementary.  We take pride in providing for our children the environment which fosters exploration, creativity and respect with which they can nurture and crystallize their growth potential. The teacher presents the necessary resource materials, including opportunities for the child to function in a safe and positive climate. The teacher thus gains the child’s trust, which enables the child to try new things and build self-confidence. These interest based activities encourage children to develop a love of learning and trust in their own ability to learn.

These learning materials are self-correcting so that children can work on their own, informing themselves of mistakes, thereby encouraging them to be more concerned with facts and developing strong, clear, articulate and discerning mental abilities.

Gradually children reveal and expand qualities such as:

  • Concentration skills and longer attention spans
  • Precision  of movement
  • Self-discipline and respect for others and the environment
  • A sense of order
  • Maximum effort and a joy in “work”

With the aid and exploration of practical life, sensorial, language and mathematics materials the child is continually learning about coordination, concentration, sequence of events and precision.


Practical Life

The preliminary exercises include many of the tasks children see as a part of the daily life in their home, Through these activities the children develop muscular coordination for fine and gross motor movements which enables focused movement and exploration of their surroundings. They learn to work at a task from beginning to end, develop their will, (defined by Maria Montessori as the intelligent direction of movement), their sense of discipline and their capacity for total concentration. These exercises enhance the development of orderly work habits and the refinement of physical movement.

Care of the environment both indoors and out, care of the person as well as grace and courtesy are achieved through dignity, independence and living together with respect. Children thrive on knowing what to do and when to do it. Responsibility is gained as a direct response of allowed freedom and discipline.


Sensorial Materials

The classroom sensorial materials represent a selection of materials of various colours, shapes, textures and sizes for refinement of sensory perceptions and development. Children build cognitive skills and learn to order and classify impressions by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, listening and exploring the physical properties of their environment through the manipulation of these specially-designed materials. Through the sequence of sensorial materials the child develops:

  • Discrimination of Size achieving the ability to group long to short, large to small, thick to thin etc. of numerous similar objects.

  • Discrimination of Colour experiencing the variety of colours in our environment while mixing and matching the materials in the various colour boxes.

  • Discrimination of Shape learning the various geometric shapes such as cylinders, spheres, rods, bells and cubes and the ability to build particular items.

  • Tactile (touch) Sense learning to differentiate between soft and coarse, thin and thick etc. while exploring various textures and surfaces used within the prepared environment
  • Baric (weight) Sense exploring and realizing that various objects of similar size and appearance may have different weights by analyzing them visually, touching them and lifting them.

  • Taste, Smell and Hearing exercises enable the child to experience and realize that all things have distinct, taste smell or sound.



Language is vital to human existence. We use language to express our thoughts and provide effective communication. The Montessori environment provides rich and precise language development. It includes oral language development, written expression, reading, grammar, creative dramatics and children’s literature.

  • Preliminary Language exercises teach the child to listen carefully to the sounds that make up words as well as the whole words.

  • Writing exercises using sandpaper letters and alphabet cut-outs give the child the opportunity to visually see and touch the letters. The moveable alphabet and various presentations allow the child to link sounds with letter symbols effortlessly and to express thoughts through writing.  The metal insets help guide and prepare the hand for writing with precision. The concept that sounds have symbols and combining symbols make words is presented, showing that words are the building block of reading.
Language Area
  • Reading exercises allow the child to connect words with the corresponding objects. The introduction of phonetic cards, phonogram booklets and puzzle words help the child expand the reading skills by linking sounds together and becoming a “total” reader.

  • Function of Words show the child that each word in a sentence has a specific meaning and if changed, it can alter the sentence drastically. Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are introduced along with their importance in assembling a complete sentence.

  • Reading Analysis and Comprehension exercises encourage the child to read, understand and retain a storey while enriching the vocabulary and increasing knowledge and language skills.



Math is introduced through the sensorial section and made exciting by number concepts and operations manipulative materials that enable the child to internalize the concepts of numbers, symbols, sequence, operations and memorization of basic fact. Through this visual and physical experience the child learns and understands mathematical concepts enabling the development of a “mathematical mind”.

  • Numbers to Ten give the child the opportunity to see the symbols and learn to associate the quantity that corresponds with them.

  • Decimal System helps the child realize the different categories and their matching quantities from one to many thousands.

  • Teens and Tens Boards introduce new language which fills in the gaps between ten and one hundred.

  • Mathematics Tables memorization gives the child the freedom and confidence to solve all types of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.
  • Fractions enable a child to understand that a whole item can be divided into parts and the quantity is represented by a mathematical term whether it is small or large.
This work provides the child with a solid foundation for traditional mathematical principles and provides a structured scope for progression from concrete principles to abstract reasoning.


Geography / History

Each child learns about the world and its varied cultures through the use of Montessori puzzle maps, globes and classroom materials. Emphasis is placed on continents, associated countries with their flags and capitals, land and water formations and many other relevant facts. This international perspective provides a base of solidarity with the global human family and its habitat.

Botany / Zoology

The program follows the Montessori philosophy that emphasizes the natural processes and harmonious living on our planet. It encourages an innate respect and love for our environment to flourish and creates an understanding of the importance of our habitat.

Botany introduces the child to the numerous plants around us, the sun, water, earth and the delicate balance of our ecosystem with its effects on our everyday life.

Zoology introduces the child to animals, their names, characteristics, needs and habits. Children are always fascinated with animals whether they are learning about pets, farm animals, wild animals, marine life or dinosaurs.



Beginners start learning French verbal skills such as colours, numbers, names and songs. As skills develop, there is a natural progression to specific pronunciation, verbs, nouns, spelling, writing, poems, stories and communication skills.


Visual Arts

The children are encouraged to develop their creativity and self-esteem through exciting arts and crafts themes covering drawing, painting, print-making and assembling.

Language Area

Through different types of music, the child develops listening skills and an appreciation for different types of composing. Children are introduced to vocal training through singing and humming, movement, rhythmic activities, beats and playing instruments.



Computers are introduced to our children at an early age to provide them a head start in this technological age. They start learning basic computer operating skills and progress to various educational software and printing projects illustrated using advanced keyboarding skills.


Physical Education

The children develop balance, coordination, flexibility, posture, rhythm and team spirit through physical activities such as gymnastics, obstacle courses, basketball, etc.


Circle Time

Circle time is when children develop their listening skills, self-confidence and learning about current events. This is a most enjoyable time for the children as they share ideas and express their thoughts through stories, poems and songs. The weekly themes provide an opportunity to learn more in depth about a particular topic of interest.


Field Trips

Field trips offer an exciting “hands on” experience to the children with trips chosen to complement the curriculum. Typical trips include visits to Kortright Center , Pioneer Village , Science Center , Museum, local farms and places of historical interest. Casa children generally go on one trip per term. Parent volunteers are always welcome.