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Looking for the Right School for Your Child?

If you want your child in a warm, joyful learning environment that fosters their independence, confidence and self-esteem, with beautiful outdoor spaces and an individualized curriculum designed to cultivate their full potential and a lifelong love of learning, you should get to know Castle Island Bilingual Montessori.
Featuring full dual language immersion in English and Spanish!
Income-based tuition scholarships available.

Offering programs from Preschool through Elementary.

 

Openings for children ages 3 to 12 years old.

Come see us for yourself! Please fill out the form below to learn more.

“Imagine a place where your child is always greeted warmly and made to feel welcome with a parent-communication experience that keeps you informed and confident that your child has fallen in love with learning.”

53 Bradford St., Albany, NY 12206

Hear it from our parents!

My son constantly recalls the years he spent at Castle Island because he realizes how much he learned there. The foundation he received at Castle Island is priceless: the creative and supportive atmosphere that he was immersed in is hard to find at regular/traditional schools. I would highly recommend Castle Island to those families that really care about their child’s future as an enthusiastic learner!

Rustam Niyazov

Parent

We knew that Ze would benefit more from a Montessori-style education than from daycare, but during Ze’s first week at Castle Island (as a three-year-old), the change in his excitement to go to school and his level of interest was remarkable. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every day during that week he would ask me, ‘Papa, can we go to the Montessori school?’ Part of it is that the independent style of learning suits his personality very well, but I also think that he was craving the challenge that Castle Island provides.

Sean Nolan

Parent

About Castle Island Bilingual Montessori

Children naturally acquire a second language in much the same way they acquire their first language. By listening and participating in an environment rich in a new language, children assimilate meaning because the new words they hear are in context.

Research on bilingual education shows that children not only develop more vocabulary, but are able to transfer their connection between multiple labels of meaning to other disciplines like math, music, science, etc. Bilingual children are able to comprehend differences in culture and understand that there are many possible paths to resolve a negotiation of meaning, or solutions to a problem. These children grow to become adolescents and adults who are eager to take on challenges given the confidence they have developed as bilinguals.

At Castle Island Bilingual Montessori School, English and Spanish are spoken and taught simultaneously throughout the day in our dual language full immersion program. Each classroom community is guided by two teachers, one presents one-on-one lessons in English and the second in Spanish. The lessons are presented with hands-on materials making the language and content concept concrete for the children whether they are fluent or acquiring English and Spanish.

Primary/ Early Childhood Program – Ages 3 to 6

Castle Island Bilingual Montessori’s primary curriculum for children ages 3 to 6 includes English and Spanish Language Arts, Math, Practical Life, Sensorial Understanding, Cultural, History, Computer, Art, Music and Physical Education. All materials and activities increase in difficulty and form the foundation needed for the next level. In addition, our curriculum abides by the Guiding Principles For The Development Of The New York State Prekindergarten Foundation To The Common Core including its five domains: Approaches to Learning; Physical Development and Health; Social and Emotional Development; Communication, Language and Literacy; and Cognition and Knowledge of the World. Our curriculum meets the Common Core State Standards as described below by introducing and practicing language and math concepts and skills using dynamic presentations and hands-on materials.

English/Spanish Immersion
For each area of study described in our curriculum overview, a lead teacher who is proficient in English provides the lesson presentations and guides the students’ practice with new knowledge and skills. In addition to these lessons and practice, an assistant teacher who is proficient in Spanish also offers these same lessons to the students in Spanish. In this way, our curriculum meets and exceeds the NYS Learning Standards in Languages Other Than English and meets our own goals for students learning in that they become bi-literate and proficient speakers of two languages.

Language Arts
Our curriculum meets and exceeds the standards described by the Common Core described below by introducing and practicing language concepts and skills using dynamic presentations and hands-on materials. Children are learning language long before entering the Montessori classroom. By using their senses as tools, children absorb information about their language. Here, children prepare themselves during their first two years (ages 3 and 4) for language study by working in the practical life and sensorial areas with materials that refine: auditory, oral, visual, sensory, and fine motor skills which are necessary for writing and readying in the kindergarten year (age 5).

Language spans every other area as an integrated source of preparation for a well-planned approach to further learning. Our Montessori classroom environment provides rich and precise language personalized to each individual child. Teachers’ presentations demonstrate to children through stories how language is vital to human existence. A phonics-based approach is used for reading. Each area in language has activities that emphasize beginning, middle and ending sounds, word building and reading words. Handwriting is an integrated feature of the language area and children learn to write as they are learning the sounds. The children at their own pace pursue each of the separate skills involved in the mastery of reading and writing.

Mathematics
Our curriculum meets and exceeds the standards described by the Common Core described below by introducing and practicing mathematics concepts and skills using dynamic presentations and hands-on materials. Dr. Maria Montessori proposed that logical thought stems from the human mind’s ability to organize and categorize. The aim of the math curriculum at the this preschool through kindergarten level is to help students develop their thought processes, not to simply teach math facts at an early age. With hands-on materials, students begin to understand the concrete through manipulation, experimentation, and invention, which prepares them for abstract study at the elementary level. Our Math Curriculum follows a sequential order in the different areas of study described in the Common Core.

The materials help the child learn and understand mathematical concepts by working with materials hands on. This work provides the child with a solid foundation for traditional mathematical principles, providing a structured scope for abstract reasoning. Children first learn to associate each numerical symbol with proper quantity. The child progresses one step a time, leading to an abstract way of learning. The materials themselves contain the pattern for presentation as well as understanding.

Practical Life
Practical Life exercises instill care for self, for others, and for the environment. Activities include many of the tasks children see as part of the daily routine in their home, such as preparing food and washing dishes, along with exercises of grace and courtesy. Through these and other activities, children develop muscular coordination, enabling movement and the exploration of their surroundings. They learn to work at a task from beginning to the end, and develop their will (defined by Dr. Montessori as the intelligent direction of movement), their self-discipline and their capacity for total concentration.

The Practical Life curriculum is the cornerstone of the Montessori method. Its goals span the three-year age cycle, providing practical experience in everyday activities. These activities not only teach physical skills, but also prepare the children for subsequent or concurrent work in mathematics, language, and socialization. The necessity of making choices and using coordinated movements to accomplish a task leads the child toward self-regulation and independence.

Sensorial Work
The Sensorial Curriculum is the key to knowledge in the Montessori classroom. It builds on the foundation of the Practical Life Curriculum and prepares the way for children to progress into academic work through development of observation and problem-solving skills. Sensorial materials are tools for development. Children build cognitive efficacy and learn to order and classify impressions. They do this by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, listening, and exploring the physical properties of their environment through the mediation of specially-designed materials. The sensorial materials are designed to develop and refine skills that help young children learn how to think, reason, make distinctions, make judgements and decisions, observe, compare, and better appreciate their world. This is the beginning of conscious knowledge.

Art and Music is presented as extensions of the sensorial and language activities. Children learn about people and cultures in other countries with an attitude of respect and admiration. Through familiarity, children come to feel connected to the global human family. Lessons and experiences with nature inspire respect for all life. The comprehensive art and music programs give children every opportunity to enjoy a variety of creative activities, as well as gain knowledge of the great masters. Geography and the globe model of our earth is taught in depth, naming the continents and countries. The flags of different country are introduced and the children are encouraged to learn about maps of the world.

History is presented to the children through art and intelligent music program.

Botany and Zoology are taught with hands-on activity and in addition to the work on the shelves the children have organized time outdoors to study nature. An adjacent and fenced green space helps children to learn the importance of caring for their environment.

Elementary Program – Ages 6 -12

Castle Island Bilingual Montessori’s curriculum for Elementary includes Language Arts, Math, Practical Life, Sensorial Understanding, Cultural, History, Computer, Spanish, Art, Music and Physical Education. All materials and activities increase in difficulty and form the foundation needed for the next level.

The Montessori curriculum is taught from large scope to small, moving from big-picture understanding to a focus on details. The children continue to work with concrete materials to explore academic areas, quickly discovering abstract methods to utilize.

Dr. Montessori referred to the elementary stage as the Intellectual Period. The child, entering a period of uniform growth, focuses on mental explorations. Given an open and rich environment, there are no limits to what the child may learn and explore. Dr. Montessori saw this time as a critical time for expansive education, giving the children lessons and questions to guide their explorations of culture, science, mathematics, language and social rules and morals.

Language Arts
Our curriculum meets and exceeds the standards described by the Common Core described below by introducing and practicing language concepts and skills using dynamic presentations and hands-on materials.

Our Language Arts Curriculum interconnects with the other academic disciplines in the different areas of study described in the Common Core. Language Arts are the foundation upon which we build all other elementary studies. We present the child with the practical tools for encoding and decoding words, sentences, and paragraphs, yet it is never seen as an isolated exercise. Instead lessons in language are integrated into all other areas of study: math, science, social studies and, in addition, health, physical education, family and consumer sciences, technology and occupational education. Besides work with literature and writing workshop, language presentations, skills practice and student publishing are conducted throughout all other parts of the curriculum while students find interdisciplinary connections.

  • Phonics
  • Word study
  • Grammar
  • Language mechanics
  • Handwriting and fine motor skills
  • Writing
  • Research skills
  • Reading and literature for understanding
  • Elements of literature
  • Major genres
  • Prose, poetry, plays
  • Folktales, legends, myths
  • Newspapers and current events
  • Sayings, phrases, idioms
  • Oral reading
  • Oral language

Mathematics
Our curriculum meets and exceeds the standards described by the Common Core described below by introducing and practicing mathematics concepts and skills using dynamic presentations and hands-on materials.

Our Math Curriculum follows a sequential order in the different areas of study described in the Common Core. The materials help the child learn and understand mathematical concepts by working with materials hands on. This work provides the child with a solid foundation for traditional mathematical principles, providing a structured scope for abstract reasoning.

Students use materials to work toward the abstraction of math concepts, naturally formulating rules and formulas themselves. Traditionally, the study of mathematics starts with the rules and the drills follow. According to the Montessori method, the rules are points of arrival, not departure. Through the student’s own effort, internalization of abstract concepts is achieved.
As students transition from Lower to Upper Elementary, they will experience a sense of familiarity with most of the manipulatives, and be introduced to new ones. Once they internalize a specific math concept, they can then move on to abstract problem solving. In addition to the manipulatives, we use Montessori Made Manageable, which is a sequential set of worksheets that cover the elementary program math curriculum. They are used for both classwork and homework in a supplementary nature, along with various textbooks and workbooks that compliment specific concepts and skills.

Traditionally, the study of geometry is undertaken in later years as an abstract series of rules, theorems, and propositions. Maria Montessori saw geometry as firmly rooted in reality, and built a curriculum for Lower Elementary students that uses concrete, sensorial experimentation, leading students to concepts through their own creative research. Although sophisticated in content, geometry at the upper elementary level continues to be well grounded in concrete experiences with manipulative materials. In this way, etymology is discovered, relationships and concepts are explored and researched, and the child’s conclusions serve as a basis for theorems, proofs, and formulas.

Foundations and Extensions for Language Arts and Math
The following three curriculum areas are presented coordination with Language Arts and Mathematics. Through introduction and practice with work in these areas of study: Science, Practical Life Skills, and Culturals of Geography and History, students develop concentration skills in self-direction and interdisciplinary connections. Lessons in these areas of study both prepare students for continued work in language and math studies; as well as provide a deeper study of the basic skills in language (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and math concepts as they are applied to science, social studies, the arts, occupational and technological studies, health, physical education, and family and consumer sciences.

Science
The Lower Elementary science curriculum is deeply integrated with the cultural studies curriculum and the presentation of the five Great Lessons which center around themes of progress and interdependency. The stories present not only the changes the earth has undergone since its beginning, but also the ways in which each new animal or plant affects all others. Maria Montessori wrote, “Let us give [the elementary children] a vision of the whole universe…all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.”

  • Scientific Reasoning and Technology
  • Observation skills

Life Science

  • Biology (kingdoms of life, systems of the human body)
  • Botany (classification of plants, form and function of plants, parts of plants, interdependencies of animals and plants)
  • Zoology (classification of animals, form and function of animals, parts of the animal, interdependencies of animals and plants)

Physical Science

  • The process of scientific inquiry
  • Composition of the earth
  • Three states of matter
  • Laws of attraction and gravity
  • Balance and motion

Earth Science

  • Ecosystems
  • Sun and earth
  • Air and weather
  • Land and water forms
  • Map skills (puzzle maps, pin maps)

Practical Life Skills
Practical Life exercises instill care for self, for others, and for the environment. Activities include many of the tasks children see as part of the daily routine in their home, such as preparing food and washing dishes, along with exercises of grace and courtesy. Through these and other activities, children develop muscular coordination, enabling movement and the exploration of their surroundings. They learn to work at a task from beginning to the end, and develop their will (defined by Dr. Montessori as the intelligent direction of movement), their self-discipline and their capacity for total concentration.

Physical skills

  • Coordination of fine motor and gross movements
  • Balance and exactness of movement
  • Sensory awareness

Respect and care of environment
• Indoor environment

  • Caring for plants and animals
  • Caring for the classroom and coat areas
  • Food preparation
  • Recycling

• Outdoor environment

  • Ecology
  • Planting

Grace, courtesy, and etiquette

  • Extending kindness and empathy to others
  • Sharing and taking turns

Independence

  • Care of self
  • Health and safety
  • Nutrition and food preparation
  • Time management skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem solving
  • Time management

Students practice these life skills by coming to lessons prepared and keeping track of both class and homework assignments.

Service Learning & Community Service

We believe that service beyond the classroom promotes respect and awareness beyond our global community. All elementary students participate in school-wide projects which involve student initiated choice, design, implementation and evaluation.

Culturals (Geography and History)
Cultural studies in the Lower Elementary classroom flows from themes developed in what Dr. Maria Montessori called the Great Lessons. These lessons, presented with highly impressionistic stories and materials, offer the child a panoramic view of the universe and a sense of humanity across time. The great questions that arise from this view then serve as a blueprint for further study in all cultural areas.

The use of hands-on materials, coupled with developing reading, writing, and research skills allow the elementary student to ask and attempt to answer questions no less profound than “How did the world begin?” “Where did we come from?” and “Why…?” The hands-on experience at this age prepares the child for future abstract thinking in upper elementary, where he gets to understand that which is not directly contacted by the senses.

History
Castle Island Bilingual Montessori presents a school-wide, three-year rotation of content so special events such as cultural festivals, assemblies, field trips, and reading lists can be thematically planned for the whole school. Each year, a central question is posed and each level has its own sub-questions that focus the lessons and studies. Each level delves into the year’s subject according to its appropriate developmental capabilities.

English/Spanish Immersion
For each area of study described in our curriculum overview, a lead teacher who is proficient in English provides the lesson presentations and guides the students’ practice with new knowledge and skills. In addition to these lessons and practice, an assistant teacher who is proficient in Spanish also offers these same lessons to the students in Spanish. In this way, our curriculum meets and exceeds the NYS Learning Standards in Languages Other Than English and meets our own goals for students learning in that they become bi-literate and proficient speakers of two languages.

Visual Arts
The Castle Island Bilingual Montessori Visual Arts program seeks to foster creativity, problem solving, and self-expression as it relates to each child’s level of development from toddler to middle school. Art lessons use a variety of auditory, kinesthetic, and visual components. Students are encouraged to experience the art process as each concept is presented utilizing a variety of 2-D and 3-D materials to help them truly absorb and understand the lesson’s objectives. Lessons include drawing, painting, sculpture, collage making, and print making.

Music
The music curriculum combines individual and group work with work designed to appeal to a variety of learning styles. This directly relates to our philosophy of enhancing the Montessori philosophy with other innovative methods. The music curriculum also offers significant opportunities to build community through our numerous performances, field trips, and assemblies.

Physical Education and Movement Arts
The ultimate goal of the Castle Island Bilingual Montessori Physical Education and Movement Arts program is to assist all children along the path to lifetime physical fitness, which aligns with our holistic mission. The benefits of this journey are many: health, longevity, positive body image, improved overall self-esteem, and increased energy and concentration in all areas. All students from toddler to middle school participate regularly in Movement Arts classes and activities.

Movement Arts embraces the philosophy of the school as a whole. The program, at each level, is responsive to the needs and interests of the children, and the ultimate goal is the joyful discovery of movement and its benefits, both physical and psychological.

Castle Island Bilingual Montessori Movement Arts seeks to benefit ALL children, not just those with particular interest or talent in this area. Volumes have been written about the connection between body image and overall self-esteem, as well as the dangers of introducing children to competitive sports at an early age. Care is taken to keep the emphasis on fitness and fun, as opposed to individual superiority of skills.

Our sports curriculum units include stretching, running, basic movements, and games. Students participate in skill building games focusing on developing team building, learning individual strengths and areas for development, self-discipline, coordination, balance, endurance, sportsmanship, overall fitness and skill building for specific sports.
Students are introduced to a variety of games and exercise, throwing and catching, relay races, obstacle courses, and drills. They also learn the fundamentals of soccer, basketball, and chilo (a Burmese combination of volleyball and soccer) building to the ability to scrimmage and play games.

Technology and Library Skills

  • How to use a book to answer specific inquiries
  • Use other sorts of reference materials
  • Learn to make a bibliography/source page
  • Learn to judge source materials
  • Note taking
  • Answer questions verbally, or in writing, about a selection read
  • Understand how to narrow or braoden an inquiry
  • Evaluate and restate information in his/her own words from reference sources Exit Standards for Technology
  • In support of curriculum, students will learn and/or use software tools such as word processing, drawing, presentation, database, spreadsheet, digital image manipulation, and mixed media
  • Keyboarding practice

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