Elementary


Understanding

Understanding

Elementary: Ages 6–12 (1st-6th grade)

Overview of the Elementary Curriculum

Montessori Elementary is a program that grows out of respect for the mind of a rapidly developing and insatiably curious child. Maria Montessori said, “ The elementary child has reached a new level of development.  Before he was interested in things: working with his hands, learning the names of things, now he is interested in the how and why…the problem of cause and effect.”  The elementary child strives for social justice, intellectual independence and abstract thinking.  The children are interested in the world at this point in development and are realizing what an enormous, interesting place it is. The world becomes their classroom as they are guided through what we refer to as the Cosmic curriculum. A spiral based curriculum that exposes students to many interrelated topics repeatedly over time.  With each repetition the children delve deeper into topics and details, making connections and developing a deeper understanding of our world. This includes profound lessons such as the origin of the universe, life on Earth and the history of math and writing. It is the teacher’s responsibility to provide the child with the materials and information to invite exploration and research. All the while the children learn to face challenges with confidence and begin to find their own place in the world around them.

 

Peace, Grace and Courtesy

The peaceful resolution of conflicts is a primary goal in the Elementary classroom. The older the students become, the better they are able to resolve disputes on their own. Teachers are available to facilitate discussions between students but props like a “peace rose” or “talking feather” can aid students in resolving conflicts independently. Acting with grace and courtesy toward others I modeled by the adults and courteous behavior and consideration for others is expected of both the teachers and students.  Children and adults help give each other “gentle reminders” as they learn to practice their best manners.

 

Elementary students are encouraged to reach out and participate in community service and host fundraising events to benefit causes in their community and in the world.

 

Practical Life

While practical life was a separate area in the primary (3-6) classroom, it is now integrated into the day-to-day care of the classroom and the community. It includes the cleaning of the room and materials, the care of animals, watering of plants, planning, shopping and cooking lunch.  As they reach the upper elementary age students are responsible for planning and executing weekly tasks, scheduling guest speakers or trips, email and internet safety as well as using the computer for preparing presentations and research.

 

Math

The math area is made up of materials for the concrete, hands-on, teaching of math concepts. All concepts are presented in several different concrete formats and as the children practice these concepts they pass from concrete to abstraction, learning through trial and error, self-discovery and from teaching other children. The children in the Montessori classroom work with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, word problems, fractions, decimals, squares and square roots, measuring, creating and reading graphs and charts and algebraic expressions.  Geometry is a very fascinating area in the Montessori classroom and includes the study of both 2-d and 3-d objects, calculation of area, perimeter and volume, as well as, types and positions of lines and angles.  Experimentation with the materials allows children to make their own discoveries of spatial relationships.

 

Language

The Montessori classroom is presented as a Language Laboratory. It is an environment rich in vocabulary and communication, both in written and verbal form.  The Language area includes a spelling curriculum, word study (including compound words, antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, homophones), dictionary and thesaurus skills, creative writing, decoding, the parts of speech, sentence diagramming and research skills. Storytelling is an important element in the Montessori classrooms and most presentations contain a story-telling element in order to excite and engage the students. Students are encouraged to write for enjoyment in many different forms including narratives, poetry, play writing, fiction and non-fiction work, folk stories, instructional and informational writing and journaling.

 

Biology (Life Sciences)

Botany and zoology encompass a wide field of biological study. Matching cards are used to learn the characteristics of many plants and animals and charts aid in classification of our living world. Study of the Kingdoms of Life including, animals, plants, fungus, protists and prokaryotes, as well as the Taxonomy of life takes place in the Montessori classroom.  After children gain knowledge in these areas they begin further research on their own.

 

Cosmic (Non-Life Sciences including Geography & Cultural Studies)

The Cosmic area is the basis of the many great lessons that the elementary children receive. A study of the cosmos including the origin of the universe, space, solar systems, astronomy and meteorology takes place, as the children are excited to learn more about the bigger universe. The study of geography including oceans, continents, landforms, countries, flags, biomes, cultures, ancient civilizations and the fundamental needs of people across space and time as experienced through studies and timelines.  This allows the children to feel a connection to the world, and the universe. As the children grow they experience lessons in chemistry, physics, atoms and molecules, and electricity and are encouraged to further study and explore any part of these sciences that they find interesting.

 

 

Arts/Music/Physical Education

Creative expression is an essential Montessori educational element and the children are encouraged to express themselves and their work through any medium of their choice, be it plays, painting, sculpting, drawing, dance or music. They are also presented lessons on different art elements, styles and artists. The children experience rhythm, tempo, singing, movement, classification of genres and artists from several genres, during music presentations and are encouraged to learn and experience different instruments at any time they are interested. Physical Education is a child led and initiated activity, where the children arrange their own sports, games, challenges and other activities during our outside or inside time. Occasionally teacher led activities that may be cooperative activities or team activities are held and the children are encouraged to try the activity.

Hours

Class hours are 8:15 to 3:15, with before school and after school care opportunities if needed.

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