The T.E.C. School offers an interdisciplinary program for students in kindergarten-grade 5 in mixed age classrooms. Through a thoughtful and developmentally appropriate, Montessori curriculum aligned with the Core Curriculum, and an inter-disciplinary STEAM course, students develop habits of creative thinking and innovation throughout their academic career at T.EC.
Mixed-age Montessori Approach:
Inspired by Dr. Maria Montessori’s methodology, our classrooms have mixed age groups that span three years and foster collaboration and peer mentoring. Teachers at T.E.C. inspire students to think of the big picture by approaching topics from ‘whole to its parts’. Students have the freedom to choose their work in a structured environment and are accountable for their work through work plan check-ins and daily one-on-one meetings with teachers.
S.T.E.A.M. Integration: Our science, technology, engineering, arts and math (S.T.E.A.M.) curriculum
challenges students’ minds and stimulates the imagination of all kinds of learners. Students learn to frame the problem, design procedures, generate multiple solutions, and develop strategies to complete the task. They participate in a variety of hands-on projects and work with many technical tools to develop knowledge and skills in multiple technologies.
Community Partnerships: We extend our classroom walls by partnering with businesses in Worcester’s rich, cultural environment. The city of Worcester is our learning environment. Students increase interest and abilities in STEAM opportunities by engaging purposefully in work-based, real life projects. Students work in formally structured teams and develop lifelong interpersonal skills such as respect for diverse perspectives, active listening and checking for shared understanding.
Language: Our language program is individualized to meet the needs of every student. At The T.E.C. Schools we believe that language activities of reading, writing, spelling and comprehension go hand-in-hand. Students practice and develop oral expression through a variety of activities such as reading aloud, class participation, presentations, poetry recital, songs, stories, and working with classified language cards. Students develop handwriting through regular penmanship practice. Carefully prepared lessons guide students in the writing process. Spelling rules are taught through a systematic phonetic program. Students learn parts of speech and practice forming grammatically correct sentences. Our literature program emphasizes reading and comprehension skills, and encourages students to draw deeper inferences in stories. Students learn to use reference materials to develop research skills. Creativity is encouraged and students write and share their own stories and reports.
Mathematics: At The T.E.C. Schools, students are led to abstract ideas and relationships by working with the concrete materials. Through the interdisciplinary experience from sensorial activities, students develop the language to express mathematical concepts of measurement, geometry, sequencing, and data gathering. Students practice all four operations to add, subtract, multiply and divide, and begin to comprehend many abstract mathematical concepts using concrete Montessori materials. This individualized approach helps students develop the foundations for number sense through the integrated approach of geometry, mathematics and algebra. For example, the binomial cube that is assembled purely as a puzzle is used to practice squares of a number and later, to express quadratic equations. Students apply their knowledge in STEAM projects to collect and analyze simple data and represent their findings in mathematical expression.
Practical Life: Students are attracted to practical life activities because of the natural link between their home environment and the classroom. Students develop fine motor skills, a sense of order, and independence through many activities ranging from easy movements to more complex, multi-step activities. The goal of practical life activities are to develop focus and concentration while taking care of self, care of the environment, and practicing grace and courtesy.
Sensorial: As students develop their knowledge of the world, they begin to discern and isolate fundamental qualities by perceiving them through their five senses. The curriculum focuses on classifying everyday objects and sorting them in order, collecting data and measurement, and distinguishing objects by comparing texture, size, form, volume, pitch, etc. Students practice precise language to describe their findings, thus developing the basis for abstract thinking.
Science, History, Geography: Students begin to develop an understanding of the world around them by collecting and classifying everyday objects around them. History, geography and science studies are taught
with reference to each other as students learn about the History of the Universe and Life on Earth. Students use the globes, maps, land and water forms, timelines, and other materials to develop their own sense of life and an understanding of the world.
Music, Art and Physical Education: The T.E.C. music and art programs are based on the precept that music and art are nature’s reward for cognitive fitness, a pleasurable means of encouraging wholesomeness of the mind. Therefore music and art, analogously with pursuit of physical fitness, are approached as a means of cultivating the student’s moral and emotional well-being and sense of interest in and enjoyment of his own mind and spirit. In music and art programs, students learn the fundamental components of western art and music, and study the development of styles through the centuries. An Artist-in-Residence program promotes an immersion program that enriches the geography curriculum. In physical education, students participate in weekly fitness classes where they learn to develop balance, participate in collaborative team exercises and learn skills to participate in team sports.