Curriculum For Lower and Upper Elementary (Grades 1-6)
Reading – Early exercises to practice reading as well as recognizing parts of speech such as nouns, verbs and adjectives, etc. Interpretive reading for comprehension at ever increasing levels of difficulty. Children will use library and reference books for both research and pleasure.
Handwriting – Many exercises are used to develop and prepare the hand to write.
Composition – Once handwriting is accomplished, children start to develop their composition skills. Research skills and preparation of reports gradually become a major part of the educational program. Students will compose short stories, poems, plays, reports and news articles.
Spelling – Students use the movable alphabet to sound out and spell words as they learn to read. They will also study compound words, singular / plural, masculine / feminine, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, antonyms and homonyms.
Study of the four basic operations with the use of the golden beads: addition, multiplication, subtraction and division continues. Children then begin the “passage of abstraction” by solving problems with paper and pencil. Children will work with fractions, decimals and geometry. They study money units, history, equivalent sums and foreign currencies as part of social studies. They also study the history of mathematics, its application in science, graph reading and preparation and statistical analysis. Students learn the nomenclature, characteristics, measurement and drawing of the geometric shapes and concepts such as point angle and surface solid, etc.
They will continue with the Orff music program and will also have access to music materials within their classroom. This will include further studies of classical music, rhythm, voice, dance, movement, Orff instruments (including playing the recorder) and composing music.
Art is integrated into the whole curriculum. Art is used to expand lessons in science, geography, history, language arts and math. Formal art instruction is also given in the classroom through a variety of techniques and media. Artists and schools of art are also explored.
Physical, cultural and economic geography is studied. Through the use of the puzzle maps, children will study land and water formations, longitude and latitude, coordinate position on the globe, the earth’s poles,the history and the use of the compass, topographic maps and much more. At the primary level, we have concentrated on studying continents. At the Elementary level, our cultural studies are more specific where countries are studied in many ways: through geography, climate, fauna, flora, major rivers and lakes, cities, mountains, people, food, religion, etc. Children also study the natural resources of the earth in terms of production, imports, exports and interdependence. The presentation of the Great Stories help children understand the universe.
Each year children will continue to study and analyze the needs, culture, technology and social history of various periods in history. Development of transportation, architecture, great inventions and great leaders will also be studied.
Children continue to focus on botany and zoology as they have already been doing in the primary classrooms through the identification, labeling and naming various plants and animals. The children do a very specific study of the animal kingdom, including mankind. Students are also introduced to Chemistry and Physics through the study of the Elements and through various experiments.
Health, Wellness and Physical Education
Children develop a personal program of lifelong exercise, recreation and health management. The Montessori approach to health and fitness helps children to understand how their bodies function through the study of diet, nutrition, first aid, stress management and peacefulness.
The outdoors is used extensively for daily activities. Movement activities will be included in the music program. Yoga is also part of the curriculum. Children attend 3 different physical activities over the course of the year. Traditionally, these are: Tennis, Ice Skating and Volleyball.
French is introduced to the children. The emphasis is on children gaining a love for the language, building a vocabulary and basic grammar skills. The classroom has materials that children will be able to work with once they have mastered their reading skills.
Computers are available in the classroom. The primary purpose of the computers will be for research and writing purposes. Children will also learn skills in keyboarding, word processing, graphing, spreadsheets and photography.
Social Skills, Character, Ethics, Peace Studies and Community Service
The Elementary classroom operates as a small social community, in which children learn to work together, resolve conflicts peacefully, encourage and acknowledge each other, and work as committees to complete tasks. Dr. Montessori also noted that the Elementary years are a time when children are developing their sense of justice and moral reasoning. Montessori children question and learn about aiding the people in need from the elderly to the poor. They become involved with charities, community service projects, recycling, composting, international issues and wildlife preservation, etc.
“Going out” will become a part of our curriculum including the Planetarium, the Museum, the Art Gallery and many other destinations. They will also visit centers of local government, libraries, laboratories and businesses.
Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) – Conference for the Upper El 3rd Years
The Montessori Model UN Conference is a simulation of United Nations Committees that discuss real issues and convene to debate and vote on resolutions proposed by students who act as Delegates in different committees such as UNICEF, Human Rights Council, and UNEP.
The 3rd year Upper El (Grade 6) students begin a course of study, attending an MMUN Club which culminates in their participation at the MMUN Conference held in New York City. At this Conference, around 2000 Montessori students from around the world gather to debate issues of global importance. Participants call the Montessori Model United Nations Conference a “life changing experience”.