Practical Life exercises teach life skills. These Montessori activities replicate work that a
child sees adults doing in their daily lives. The practical life tools and furniture are child- sized. The tasks performed are self correcting. The children develop concentration, fine and gross motor coordination through repetition, indirectly preparing the child for sensorial, language and math activities.
Sensorial materials educate and refine the senses. These activities organize and
categorize sense perception. For example, the pink tower, broad stair and red rods
expand the child’s knowledge of dimensions. The vocabulary words “smallest,
biggest, thinnest, thickest, shortest and longest” enhance the child’s sensory
education. The cylinders offer a more complicated variety of dimensions and
shapes. The color boxes teach colors and various shades. A variety of materials are
available to sort by sound, smell and touch. Red and blue sound cylinders teach a
child to sort by sound, smelling bottles by smell and fabric pieces by touch. The
handling of the sensorial materials attunes children to the fine differences in their
environment and prepares the hand and mind for the academic subjects.
Torah and Alef Bais
Gan Aliya strives to build in students a deep emuna in Hashem and love of
His Torah. Utilizing the Montessori-style works designed by Rabbi Jonathan Rietti,
the children begin to learn the 613 Mitzvos, refinement of their middos, Jewish
holidays, Shabbos, the weekly Torah portion and Jewish History. These subjects
teach them about who they are, where they come from, where they are going, and
what their responsibility is as Jews. Children develop Hebrew literacy at their own
pace. Using a variety of tactile, visual, and auditory stimuli to master the Alef Bais,
children first recognize the letters and then begin to sound them out. After
distinguishing between the many letters, words are read and Hebrew vocabulary is
Science and Geography
Cultural subjects in Montessori terms are the areas of knowledge that enrich children’s understanding of the world they live in. The cultural subjects are the various branches of science, history, geography, music and art.
The Montessori approach to the sciences emphasizes the importance of presenting a whole view of the world, the inter-relatedness of everything in the Hashem's creation, and our human role as protector.
Morah Nancy began the Fall term with a study of planet Earth, the Sun, the moon and the four seasons. The children were presented with the globe as a model of our planet Earth. They learned that Earth and the moon turn daily as they orbit the Sun. The daily rotation gives us day and night. On Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, Morah Nancy demonstrated why we see the phases of the moon. They younger Gan Aliya children made a Sun and an Earth connecting them so that Earth can rotate reinforcing the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. The older children were treated to extensions which included a more in-depth look at the role of the Sun, the protective atmosphere of Earth and a study of the reason for the four seasons in North America.
Morah Nancy demonstrates the phases of the moon.