The Learning Experience

Something wonderful happens when you place curious minds in a nurturing environment.  Our educators create an environment where everything that children touch, see and hear teaches them valuable skills.  A simple toy can foster friendship, develop motor skills, and hone cognition.  We help develop a sense of confidence and community, so children can shine as global citizens who love to learn.

Message from the Director

Even after 40 years, I still go to work every day actively aware of how lucky I am to have this job.  It is a privilege to work with such amazing teachers, parents and children.  The absolute best thing about this job, though, is a workplace perk you just couldn’t get anywhere else: If I’m having a stressful day, I can walk across the hall, into the infant room and pick up a baby.

Casa child working on Pythagoras square
close up of knobbed cylinders
close up of skip counting chains

For more on Montessori visit
www.ccma.ca

Montessori Method

The method based on Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori’s intensely research-based curriculum encourages students to choose from a variety of activities in a “prepared environment”.  The prepared environment also offers an uninterrupted work cycle and freedom of movement.

In an Under 2 environment, a child under two years of age may be matching language objects to nomenclature cards or working on self-help and independence.  In an Under 3 environment, a child under three years of age may be washing dishes by hand or labelling items using their stereognostic sense.  In a Casa classroom, a three-year-old may be washing clothes by hand while a four-year-old may be composing words from a movable alphabet, and a five-year-old may be solving multiplication equations using specially designed beads.

The Montessori method enables the children to discover the joy of learning while challenging them to develop and grow on many fronts.  Some of the skills that are enhanced are literacy, numeracy, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, logic and reasoning, gross and fine motor, social, and so much more.  Children are loved and challenged in equal measure.  They experience an education that makes a positive impact throughout their lives!

The Under 2 curriculum is focused on stable routines as well as fun, safe and secure learning environments. This is achieved through nurturing child-teacher relationships as well as engaging and challenging activities suited to each child’s skills sets, energy levels, temperaments and special interests.  With our ratio of four teachers per ten children under two years of age, we are able to take the time to learn about the special qualities of each child and use what we learn to nurture and encourage each child’s development.

child under 2

The curriculum of our Under 3 community changes as the needs of the children change.  True to Montessori principles, children and teachers focus on personal empowerment, self-esteem, compassion and respect for others.  Developing a strong sense of “other esteem” helps foster balance and harmony in society and oneself.  Our communities are very proud to be the first accredited Toddler Montessori programs in Canada.

Children under 3 using water table

Children engage in “challenging work” each day during a three hour work cycle in order to develop a large range of skills including reading, writing, mathematics, science literacy and geography.  Children develop skills for a life-long love of education, concentration, independent thinking, problem solving and a love of learning.  We are deeply aware of each child’s interests and accomplishments and are always watching for the moment when someone is ready to leap into new material.

Parents of Casa children are invited to take part in biannual Parent-Teacher Conferences.  Before the conferences, each individual parent can sign up to come into the classroom as a silent observer.  The Conferences then allow both parties to consult on the child’s progress as well as afford parents the opportunity to raise questions, concerns, and share deeper insights on how our practices are resonating with different families.

multiplication - coloured bead box

Our Teachers(and what some of the kids have to say about them!)

  • Portrait of AmyAmy
  • Portrait of HalimaHalima
  • Portrait of KalsangKalsang
  • Portrait of LauraLaura

    “Laura always gives a big hug and she tells me that she loves me.” M. (age 5)

  • Portrait of LeahLeah
  • Portrait of MariaMaria

    “I love Maria because she is helpful and she is beautiful.” M. (age 6)

  • Portrait of MariaMaria
  • Portrait of MeaganMeagan

    “Meagan is loving me so tight.” T. (age 2)

  • Portrait of RaquelRaquel

    “I love Raquel because she teaches me lots of things.” L. (age 6)

  • Portrait of RebeccaRebecca

    “Rebecca is so pretty and she loves me.” T. (age 2)

  • Portrait of VanessaVanessa

    “Vanessa is really funny in all the world.” T. (age 2)

  • Portrait of AbebaAbeba

    “My daughter often talks about laughing and singing with Beba. It is so wonderful how much joy and enthusiasm she shares in the infant room.”

  • Portrait of AmaliaAmalia

    “I like to draw with Amalia.” B. (age 3.5)

    “I like to play ball (with Amalia).” F. (age 2.5)

  • Portrait of AustinAustin

    “Austin tells good stories!” A. (age 4)

    “I like the way Austin draws us pictures”. M. (age 5)

  • Portrait of AyishaAyisha

    “I want to swim with sharks like Ayisha” B. (age 3)

  • Portrait of CassiusCassius

    “I like building a CN tower (with Cassius).” B. (age 3.5)

  • Portrait of DanetteDanette

    “Danette gives good hugs” C. (age 4)

  • Portrait of DianaDiana

    “I like to go outside with Diana” E. (age 2.5)

  • Portrait of DondrubDondrub

    “Dondrub, I will miss you a lot when I’m not at school. You’re the best teacher in the world!” A. (age 5)

  • Portrait of ElisaElisa

    “I like Elisa because she has a nice smile” D. (age 5)

    “Elisa loves to play lego with me outside in the playground” S. (age 5)

  • Portrait of ElizabethElizabeth

    “I like to play with Elizabeth” J. (age 2.25)

  • Portrait of FlorenceFlorence

    “She gives me a broccoli (hair updo)” B. (age 2.5)

    “I love you Florence, you’re so pretty” B. (age 2.5)

  • Portrait of GillianGillian

    “I like to dance with Gillian” A. (age 4)

    “I like to do art” with Gillian A. (age 4)

  • Portrait of JenniferJennifer

    “I’d like to go skating with Jen.” G. (age 3)

    “I like to play ‘Doggy Doggy’ (with Jen).” O. (age 2.5)

  • Portrait of JenniferJennifer

    “My child enjoys Jen’s puppet play, especially ‘Five Green and Speckled Frogs'”

  • Portrait of KinsiKinsi

    “My daughter is always talking about ‘Maka’ (Monica) and ‘Kiki’ (Kinsi).”

  • Portrait of MartaMarta

    “I like making a rocket with Marta.” K. (age 5)

  • Portrait of MelanieMelanie
  • Portrait of MonicaMonica

    “My daughter is always talking about ‘Maka’ (Monica) and ‘Kiki’ (Kinsi).”

  • Portrait of NoreenNoreen

    “I love cuddles with Reeny”. V. (age 2.5)

  • Portrait of AntoniettaAntonietta

    “Antonietta teaches me about the solar system.” K. (age 6)

    “Antonietta makes me happy when she gives me a hug.” C. (Casa)

  • Portrait of BrittanyBrittany
  • Portrait of DonnaDonna

    “I like Donna because she plays dinosaurs with me.” J. (Casa)

    “She helps me with pink box (short phonetic words) a lot.” F. (Casa)

  • Portrait of JampaJampa
  • Portrait of JuliaJulia
  • Portrait of Michelle HMichelle H
  • Portrait of NoreenNoreen

    “I love cuddles with Reeny”. V. (age 2.5)

  • Portrait of RachelleRachelle

    “I like it when Rachelle does circle.” I. (Casa)

    “I like it when Rachelle tells stories.” N. (Casa)

  • Portrait of RowanRowan
  • Portrait of SueSue
  • Portrait of TinaTina
  • Portrait of VidaVida

    “Vida is so special because she laughs (with) me” E. (Casa)

    “She helps me with 100 board.” F. (Casa)

  • Portrait of BrianneBrianne

    “She’s funny and I love to do activities with her.” – D.

  • Portrait of ClaraClara

    “Watching them take their first steps in life as they grow and getting to experience their milestones makes everyday special”

    -Anonymous

  • Portrait of DianeDiane

    “The soul is healed by being with children”

    -Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  • Portrait of IsabelIsabel

    “With love and patience everything is possible”

    -Anonymous

  • Portrait of KyrahKyrah

    “The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind”

    -Dr. Maria Montessori

  • Portrait of MadelaineMadelaine
    “Children want the same things we want.  To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted.”
    -Dr. Seuss
  • Portrait of MelanieMelanie

    “Melanie is very creative and patient. Our daughter still talks about how much she loves and misses her!”

  • Portrait of MelissaMelissa

    “Only those who look with the eyes of children can lose themselves in the object of their wonder”

    -Eberhard Arnold

  • Portrait of MichelleMichelle

    “When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts”

    -Dalai Lama

  • Portrait of MonicaMonica
  • Portrait of NancyNancy

    “They may forget what you said but they will not forget how you made them feel”

    Carl W. Buehner

  • Portrait of SandrineSandrine
  • Portrait of SheikhaSheikha

    “I am almost 8 years old now and I come and visit my sister and brother still.  Sheikha was one of my favourite teachers because she is funny and kind.” B.

  • Portrait of Thu HaThu Ha
    “Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere”
     -Albert Einstein