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Language and Leadership
Integrated Program Features
Cultural diversity, global interconnectedness and second language use are the natural results of being part of a community influenced by cultures throughout the world.

Foreign Language
Introduction and exposure to various cultures begins at a very young age at Hershey and continues throughout the entire program. From 0-6 years old, children experience various languages and cultures through lessons, songs and holiday activities in the classroom. Parents are invited to share their diverse ethnic or cultural backgrounds through presentations. In addition, children begin formal Spanish lessons from the age of 5 years. In the Elementary program, children receive weekly lessons in Spanish which involves exposure to a wide variety of the world's Spanish-speaking cultures and includes cooking, games, songs and various activities which bring the language to life.

Once they reach the adolescent program, their exposure expands to include Spanish. Immersion experiences and friendships with students from other countries motivate second language learning:

  • Spanish studies are available;
  • Spanish is the predominant second language;
  • High school credit is given as mastery is achieved;
  • Immersion in Spanish-only lessons is accompanied by:
    • Computer lab programs
    • Daily conversations in Spanish
    • Hands-on projects
    • Cultural experiences
    • Literary study
    • Exposure to Spanish-speaking students who come to study and live at the Hershey farm

Language Arts
The integration of language skills into all aspects of study and living is a hallmark of Montessori education. Specific language and its appropriate use is an important part of every learning environment. Language enrichment, self-expression and the development of vocabulary are part of every day at every level.

Communication begins with intention and reciprocity. At the Parent-Infant level, parents and children focus on attending to each other. Clear vocabulary is offered for all that the child experiences in the environment. Every communication is an opportunity to refine language skills and to develop clarity of expression. When they enter the Primary Community children begin to explore phonetics, and many learn to write their own ideas with movable letters in a very short time.

Writing and reading begin early in Montessori programs due to the materials and their appeal to the children. These children learn precise vocabulary as well as the beginnings of grammar. In the Elementary classes the children become deeply engaged in work they choose involving research, creative writing, literature and poetry. In this way, language skills are encouraged not in isolation, but in the context of math, science, humanities and social interactions; handwriting and composition skills are developed in the service of broader interests.

In the Adolescent program, reading comprehension skills, vocabulary acquisition, writing skills and oral expression skills are incorporated into every class and every project.

  • In Humanities projects students learn research and writing skills. They read primary and secondary source material. They write analysis papers, character monologues, dramatic scripts and essays.
  • For science projects, students read text material, newspaper articles, care manuals, and popular non-fiction. They write research reports, lab reports, newsletter articles and care manuals.
  • Math lab sessions include reading comprehension skills, seminar discussions and writing solutions in paragraph and essay form.
  • During workshop times, students receive direct assistance in reading, writing and research skills as well as have opportunities to write short stories and novels.

Presentation and Public-Speaking (Adolescent Only)
Public-speaking typically challenges even the most accomplished adults. Gaining early practice in this arena builds self-confidence and the possession of an important life skill. Early Elementary students present their research reports to their classmates and by Upper Elementary, students are presenting skits, plays and basic PowerPoint to the rest of the community.

Adolescents create group presentations at the end of each project which are given to the community. These presentations come in all forms: lab reports, data analyses, PowerPoint presentations, dramatic re-enactments, visual arts exhibitions and demonstrations. In the process of preparing and giving presentations, students learn public-speaking skills such as:

  • Confidence in front of an audience
  • Organizing
  • PowerPoint and multi-media
  • Debating
  • Creative dramatics
  • Collaboration in performances

Dialogue about Big Ideas (Adolescent Only)
Frequent, guided, intellectual discussions are incorporated into community life to provide the opportunity for students to process experiences through dialogue. Seminar discussions develop independent thinking and articulation of big ideas and become a key vehicle for analytical inquiry and the exploration of ideas.

Seminars take place:

  • Within the framework of every project
  • As a whole-community event
  • In math sessions
  • While discussing literature
  • In applying philosophical principles
  • In solving community issues
Seminars demand the cultivation of an open mind and a productive exchange of perspectives. In doing so, students are required to speak up and offer opinions. Intellectual processing and confidence in expressing one's ideas are some of the important life skills developed through this forum.

Community Service
Service to others and to one's community is an important aspect of social awareness. Serving others contributes to growth in perspective and cultivates wisdom and compassion. Internal support for the school community is such a natural part of the Montessori environment that it is taken as a matter of course rather than something extra.

The younger children engage in daily activity that involves caring for the physical environment and for others. Children in the Young Child and Primary Communities routinely prepare and serve each other food. Children offer assistance to those younger than themselves without prompting. Elementary students walk younger children to their classrooms, assist with Young Child Community lunch and work as partners with new or younger children for orientation and reading practice.

Because of their naturally keen interest in justice and their sense of themselves as citizens of the world, Elementary students regularly initiate philanthropic activities and contribute to the preparation of meals for Project Hope, a local shelter, and the whole-school enterprise of raising funds for Water Wells in Niger.

At the Adolescent level, volunteerism is incorporated into the weekly schedule and is a community-wide expectation. Hershey students learn the importance of serving others who need help by making genuine contributions to their community.

On Friday afternoons, students and staff assess the community tasks that need to be accomplished. Small groups are formed to complete tasks. Tasks include cleaning stalls, harvesting and processing produce, publishing newsletters, splitting firewood, baking, attending to the B&B, repairing broken items and hosting visitors.

Some students volunteer their Friday afternoons to work in a special program for Alzheimer's patients at the Corinne Dolan Center at Heather Hill. Others do odd jobs for our friends and neighbors in the way of yard work, barn work or child care.

During Thanksgiving week, all staff and students make a special visit to organizations in the wider community to offer their help, including the Cleveland Food Bank.

Integrated Features
Academics
Arts, Music & Drama
Language and Leadership
   Foreign Language
   Language Arts
   Public-Speaking
   Gardening
   Community Service
Food & Nutrition
Economics & Entrepreneurship
Sports & Physical Fitness
Technology
Nature

 

© 2014 Hershey Montessori School
Concord Campus: 10229 Prouty Rd. Concord, OH 44077
Huntsburg Campus: 11530 Madison Road, Huntsburg Twp., Ohio 44046
440.357.0918 phone    440.357.9096 fax    staff@hershey-montessori.org

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