Lower Elementary - 6 to 9 years old
“We can only give each individual the chance to fulfill his potential … to become an independent, secure, and balanced human being”
Elementary age students have an enormous appetite for knowledge. Students of ages six to nine years old begin to think abstractly and have notable powers of imagination. The Montessori elementary program with its underlying philosophy of Cosmic Education is designed to help children search for their place in the universe and to recognize their relationship to other living things.
The lower elementary classroom is a multi-age setting where children from six to nine years of age collaborate with each other encouraging a sense of family and community and where they experience abstract concepts through manipulation of concrete materials. Our academically challenging program combines the separate disciplines of the curriculum together into studies of the universe, the world of nature, and the human culture. Basic skills in reading, language arts and math, are perfected in the meaningful context of this big picture. Instruction in Spanish, Chinese, art, music, creative movement, yoga, physical education, gardening and computer science are an integral part of our curriculum.
Our basic areas of study are:
Language Arts - Reading and writing are practiced through word building exercises that begin with short vowels, digraphs and blends and continue with long vowels, vowel combinations and the reading of corresponding books. Daily reading is practiced to increase fluency along with interpretive reading for comprehension using library and reference books for enjoyment and research. Students are typically asked to write daily on their journals and compose short stories, poems, and create reports.
Language Arts: Word Study, Mechanics and Grammar - Spelling and vocabulary are further reinforced with a focus on the structure of language. Through word study, students learn about compound words, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, antonyms and homonyms. Children study capitalization and punctuation with the individual presentations of punctuation marks beginning with the period. The study of Grammar is introduced through individual Key Experiences that focus on the parts of speech and reinforce vocabulary with exercises on singular and plural and masculine and feminine.
- Mathematics – Manipulation of the Golden Beads sets the foundation of the four basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and the memorization charts aid in the practice of the basic facts. Materials such as the stamp game and bead frames initiate the “passage to abstraction;” consequently, the child begins to solve problems with paper and pencil. Students also study fractions, measurement, money, graph interpretation and construction, basic algebra and begin work in geometry including basic concepts and perimeter calculation.
Cultural Subjects – Cultural Subjects focus on the child’s desire to learn more about the world we live in through lessons in Geography, History, and Community Education including ethics, social awareness and peace education.
A Festival of Nations each year reinforces the in-depth study of specific cultures and celebrates our life together. The children learn social and environmental responsibility and an appreciation for diversity.
Science - Basic study of geology, the study of the Solar System, and an in-depth study of animals and plants are a main focus of the science curriculum. Students work on animal and plant classification and learn physical laws. Children participate in activities and simple experiments in botany, zoology, physics, and chemistry as they increase their understanding and develop respect for the natural world around them.
The Arts – Music, visual arts and dramatic arts are incorporated into our daily curriculum. Student created works are presented to the parents during our annual Art Gallery. In addition, each month is dedicated to the study of a composer and a visual artist.