Our Program

At Small Steps Big Dreams, we feel we present a very well rounded environment that is rich in opportunities for learning and creativity. Through her studies and observations, Dr. Montessori truly believed that no human being is educated by another person. In reality, the child educates themself. Each child has a natural desire to learn and being in a Montessori environment builds upon that desire which creates habits of lifelong learning.

Our curriculum includes:

Practical Life

The purpose of practical life lessons in the Montessori classroom is for a child to develop specific abilities, such as confidence, coordination, cooperation, order and independence, which are important factors to be successful. These lessons include, care of self, care of the environment, and physical skills.

Care-of-self lessons include hand washing, preparing snack, folding clothes, and learning how to button, zip, snap and tie.

Care-of-environment lessons include plant and animal care, and cleaning activities, such as, sweeping, scrubbing, and polishing.

Physical skills lessons include pouring, scooping, spooning, tonging, tweezing, twisting, lacing, and squeezing.

Each activity and lesson given to the child builds upon the last skill, strengthening muscles in their hands and arms in preparation for writing. As a child progresses throughout the year the lessons will reflect their stage of development, and their age. This area is the basis of all the other curriculum areas of the classroom, and gives the child the skills to be successful in all those areas in years to come and life.

The Practical Life shelf.

The Practical Life shelf.

A yellow circle with 8 lines of color gradients extending from the edge.

A yellow circle with 8 lines of color gradients extending from the edge.


The sensorial area helps children develop three skills used in math sequence; learn discrimination between objects, classifications, and experience with a graded series.

Learning discrimination between objects includes thickness, length, texture, and shape. Some of the materials used are rods, cylinders, prisms and cubes.

Classifications is finding similarities such as matching activities. Children find two items that are the same within a set. These activities include sound cylinders, fabric matching and color boxes.

Experience with a graded series are grading items from heavy to light, large to small, and thick to thin.

Sensorial is a continuation, an overlapping of ideas, thoughts, concepts and materials from the other curriculum in the classroom.


Math materials in the classroom give the child 'hands-on' experiences in which the child can later visualize those experiences when they need to.

We begin with numeration activities that deal with the numbers 1-10. This includes numerical rods, sandpaper numbers, sets basket, mystery number and tabletop rods.

Linear counting uses colored beads. This material includes the colored bead stair, teens and tens boards and hanging bead stair. These show children patterns in math.

The decimal system introduces the child to place value through unit beads, ten bars, hundred squares and thousand cubes. The decimal cards and 45 layout exposes the child to the quantities and symbols from 1-9000. The child is introduced to equivalencies and the concept of exchanging amounts. These exercises lay the groundwork for the four mathematical operations of addition, multiplication, subtraction and division.

Various 3D displays showing the magnitude of certain numbers.

Various 3D displays showing the magnitude of certain numbers.

Various pictures which show words that start with certain letters.

Various pictures which show words that start with certain letters.


We begin with sandpaper letters in which the child learns the sound and the symbol it represents. Using several different activities, such as, object boxes and matching pictures to beginning letter sounds, aides the child in learning each letter sound. The movable alphabet is then added for beginning spelling activities.

The metal insets are introduced. Children begin using these by tracing a frame, this helps them gain control of the pencil. Using the metal insets is one of the first activities used to introduce writing. This is when all the fine motor activities of practical life and sensorial benefit the child by strengthening the hand and arm and gaining coordination. The salt tray is also used in beginning writing practice. This allows the child to easily practice writing letters repeatedly.

Language lessons continue with middle sounds, ending sounds, rhyming and sight words.


We will begin by teaching about the three parts of the world-land, air and water, through a variety of activities. We will spend a month at a time talking about each continent; the people, their houses, their foods, the animals of that continent, the climate and the land.

Children will also be introduced to land forms, such as; lake and island; bay and peninsula; straight and isthmus; gulf and cape.

A display showing the continets of the world.

A display showing the continets of the world.

A girl coloring a picture of a dinosaur.

A girl coloring a picture of a dinosaur.


Who doesn't love science experiments?! We will experiment with many throughout the year. Children will be participating in a variety of activities such as; living and non-living, sink and float, magnetic and non-magnetic. We will examine parts of a tree and different types of animals.

Also included are:

  • Bible Stories, songs and crafts
  • Art
  • Music
  • Games - for large motor function