The Lower Elementary classroom is a multi-age, stimulating environment that invites exploration and research. First through third graders remain with the same teacher for three years. This allows for the development of a deep understanding of each student and creates the opportunity to provide a comprehensive, individually focused education for each child. The multi-age setting provides opportunities for leadership while developing mentoring skills in children.
The Lower Elementary students are at a place and time of insatiable curiosity for discovering the world. This curiosity primes students to seek information about the continents, cultures, and scientific concepts. Practical Life, math, language, reading, geometry, zoology, botany, and history comprise the Lower Elementary curriculum. Hand-on Montessori manipulatives guide students from a concrete understanding of concepts to abstract thinking.
Math concepts begins with concrete understanding of place value, quantity and symbol. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are incorporated into every aspect of the day., Students build a fundamental understanding fractions and geometry with manipulatives, which help develop a visual and tactile understanding of concepts.
Cultural work incorporates botany, zoology, history, and science. An indepth study of 2 or 3 countries per year offers map making skills, Our 45 wooded acre offer an incredible environment for exploration and application of cultural work.
Work Plans/Journal-Lower Elementary students use workpland to help develop time management skills and to track work completed throughout the year. While the younger students use the workplan to record activities completed, older students use it to begin to plan out their day and week.
Class Meetings- student-led meetings provide a platform for student voice, problem solving, and appreciations.
Three year age span- This gives younger children the opportunity to observe and learn from classmates while older students have a chance to nurture and teach younger students.
In the Lower Elementary classrooms, children learn to set goals, organize work, and manage time. Students work collaboratively to foster social and cooperative skills. Class meetings provide opportunities for problem solving as well as offering a platform for student voice. Productive, independent work time develops attention span and concentration. Each day is a balance of individual work, small-group cooperative work, small-group lessons, and large-group lessons. Students use hands-on, science-based manipulatives to discover and learn concepts. These Montessori materials are designed to move students from a concrete work to abstract understanding.
Concentration and independence developed in the primary program builds confidence in our Lower Elementary students. Confident learners seek challenges and are inquisitive about the world around them. Lessons rich in cultural content and scientific exploration provide the foundation for the integration of other areas of study. Appreciation of other cultures is reinforced through continent studies that include individual research, stories, map-making, artifacts, cooking, field trips, and celebrations. Enrichment classes include art, Spanish, physical education, library science, and music.
Practical Life is integrated into every moment of the day. Students are responsible for the care of themselves and classmates as well as the maintenance of the classroom. Elementary students organize and clean materials on the shelves; care for the plants and animals, and prepare and share snacks.