The Montessori Lower Elementary Class (1st-3rd): Dr. Montessori called her plan for the elementary student “Cosmic Curriculum.” “Cosmic” in this case means comprehensive, holistic, and purposeful. The goals of the elementary curriculum go beyond skill development and knowing facts to the development of the whole person; socially, emotionally, and academically. It has been observed that children who complete our elementary curricula have a clear understanding of the natural world, of human knowledge, and of themselves.
In the Lower Elementary classes, the children work more concretely, with more reliance on the Montessori materials. In this second plane of development the 6 – 9 year-old child is seeking independence, confidence, responsibility, and emotional intelligence. In the Lower Elementary classroom each child is prepared to make responsible decisions and actions; to recognize limits and give, ask for, and receive help, as needed.
The elementary language curriculum emphasizes creative and expository writing, interpretive reading of literature and poetry. We focus on word study, spelling, grammar, punctuation, penmanship and capitalization. Research skills are introduced, practiced through individual project work and refined as students work with a wide range of research materials. Students practice and use their reading and writing skills throughout the curriculum. Students further enhance their reading, critical thinking, and writing skills through participation in book groups.
The mathematics curriculum is presented with concrete materials, which reveal arithmetic, geometric, and algebraic connections. Work with the Montessori mathematics materials ensure that mathematics is not simply memorized, but understood. We extend the children’s knowledge of decimal system as they explore its quantities & qualities. Students practice operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We study number hierarchy, fractions, decimals, negative numbers, squaring & cubing. Throughout math work, we are continuously applying what we learn to how it relates in daily situations.
Elementary students continue exploring geometry on a censorial level. Students gain a strong understanding of fundamental geometric concepts through consecutive lessons with Montessori materials. Students begin with a study of congruence, similarity & equivalence, preparing them for later area and theorem work. We introduce the study of lines, measurement of angles and the construction of geometric figures.
History work in the elementary class begins with the study of each child’s personal timeline, and then we study the history of the earth, development of the solar system, and early life on earth. Students study aspects of early civilizations, the development of humankind, and recorded history. Students learn how the contributions of humankind throughout history have brought us to where we are today.
Elementary students extend their knowledge of continents and countries with further research about the people, language and culture of different lands. Map work continues with the study of geographical features and land forms.
In this area, the children’s natural curiosity is stimulated through discovery projects and experiments, from which they draw their own conclusions. The study of botany, zoology, physiology and physical science are the focus of our science curriculum throughout the elementary years.
Elementary students learn to trust their own initiative and abilities, take responsibility for their work, and become self-‐motivated learners. By gaining respect for themselves, others, and the environment, children develop the desire and ability to continue learning throughout their lives.