“At some given moment it happens that the child becomes deeply interested in a piece of work; we see it in the expression on his face, his intense concentration, the devotion to the exercise.” —Dr. Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child
Our Elementary Program is split in 2 classrooms, Lower Elementary (6-9 years) and Upper Elementary (10-12 years)
The Montessori Model holds firmly to focusing on guiding- learning arrangements, and methods, the relationship to students and their learning environment and their skills and attitude toward learning. Its approach to learning that highlights the individuality of each child in each classroom. At the same time learning embraces the personal, intellectual, and social growth through developmental activities.
As children become school-age their abilities and understanding of concepts continue to grow. Although children might process at different times, there are some common milestones at this stage. Beginning at age 6 children begin understanding the concept of numbers, tell time, explaining objects, fluency in reading, concept of space and more. The goal of the Montessori model emphasizes the goal of education as supporting the full development of each child’s development as an individual, as well as being an active member of society. Therefore, we value independent thought, self control, cooperation and respect for others.
As children grow and develop academically, classes may change. Some children will advance at quicker pace. However this type of migration for children who don’t advance as quickly to develop a sense of security and confidence in their relationship with their teacher. In either case children are allowed to groom their leadership abilities. Children are able to lead community discussions without fear of the audience.
The classroom is designed to be the students home away from home. It is a comfortable setting for work, exploration, and fun. Just like home, classrooms are equipped tables, chairs, pillows. School materials are displayed so they are easily accessible to students.
Throughout the day our Lower and Upper Elementary students will participate in the following areas of study.
Practical Life- Children experience the fundamentals for all parts of life in Practical Life. They learn to rely less on adults and take initiate to complete tasks. Here they learn balance, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and the independence of doing for themselves.
Sensorial- The actives and materials help children observe the world. Children begin refining their skills and become more intentional of what they do independently. They begin to observe differences and make decisions and gain knowledge based on their own experiences.
Language- language is taught throughout the day in all classes. Children are taught sounds with symbols, and translate what they’ve learned into writing. Once ability is gained in both areas reading may begin. Children are introduced to a wide range of vocabulary, critical thinking and fluency. Reading and writing allows fro participation in groups discussions, reflection, dramatic play, creative movement, storytelling, and more. These activities allow children to develop a relationship with what they are reading. Simultaneously children learn rules for writing and reading.
Math- Children develop numeracy and number recognition using materials in the classroom. At this stage they learn how to manipulate numbers using various qualities and explore operations of math with materials as well.
Kindergarteners learn graphs, maps, charts to document math concepts. Math concepts include measurement, money, estimating, number sentences and equations. Addition, subtraction, exponents and multiplication are also introduced at this level.
Science & Nature- Children are introduced to life, physical, and earth science. Children are able to compare and categorize plants and animals. They learn how to care for living things and their parts. Children also learn about the importance of the earth and what it offers.
Geography- Learning the world is key to Montessori learning. Children will learn about the Earth’s hemispheres and characteristics of continents. They learn and compare the past, present and future and are introduced to the differences and commonalities of other cultures.
Grace & Courtesy- Children learn how to be good humans. Through lessons and activities children learn how to introduce themselves, table manners, cleaning up after themselves. They learn how to care for things in the environment and the people around them. They learn to respect their own person and speak politely to others.
Peace Education- This class helps our young people manage stress and conflict. The Peace Table is full of calming objects and decorations for children. Children are taught to be attentive listeners and develop calm ways of working in situations they may not like. The Peace Table is also an area where children can elect to visit when they need a moment alone.
Art-There is an array of art and creative activities for children. They are able to build on their imagination and fine motor skills. They’re able to create their own designs and work with scissors, hole punching and other art materials. In addition they learn about artists and introduced to art forms.
Music- Children are invited to respond to music. Through movement, dance, and play, children begin knowing beats and measure, scales, and note values through activities. They learn songs and learn to put words to music.
Physical Education- Children learn teamwork and how to play cooperatively. They build on skills like hand-eye coordination, strength, balance, agility and the sense of movement. Kindergarten children are introduced to team sports building upon individual skill.
Spanish/Mandarin Chinese- Simple foreign language vocabulary is introduced and recognized via conversation. Foreign language is learned through songs, dance, and games. Foreign language vocabulary is built using the environment inside and out and incorporated in daily activities.
Community Service- Children learn about our responsibility for others collectively and as individuals. They participate in school wide projects to improve our community beyond school walls.