Lower Elementary – Grades 1, 2 & 3
gaining responsibility, creative expression and community
In the Lower Elementary classroom, the Montessori curriculum builds on the foundation of the Primary level. Encompassing children ages 6 to 9, this class is organized into centers for language, mathematics, cultural studies, science, geography, history, and practical life. Spanish, music, art and physical education round out the curriculum.
Learning – Learning is based on the use of concrete materials and an active process, working toward abstraction and skill mastery. Children develop an academic plan with their teacher and choose how they will meet their goals. Learning materials are on open shelves accessible to the students. Students work with teachers individually, in small groups and in full class activities.
Language – The classroom is a language-rich environment. The curriculum includes reading, writing, grammar, spelling and handwriting. Emergent readers work alongside students reading above their age-level. Children are also read to daily and are exposed to a wide range of literature.
Mathematics– The hands-on approach to mathematics with learning materials makes concepts visible and clear. Lessons build upon one another with a child working toward mastery with each one through practice. Building upon one another, the child advances through the concepts of math operations and geometry with increasing understanding and abstraction.
Science– Concepts of science come alive through hands-on learning materials and experiments. Students work with materials such as timelines, models of the solar system, the periodic table of the elements and models of atoms.
Computers skills – Computers are an essential part of the classroom as a learning tool and information resource. Children learn keyboard skills, practice reading and develop online research skills.
Interaction – Lower Elementary children are growing and developing physically and socially. This age group is concerned about social relationships, thoughts, feelings, humor and a sense of justice. Teachers aid students by providing support with understanding and interacting with others, expressing feelings, respecting themselves and others, working within groups and learning from their mistakes.
Physical activity -Healthy physical activity is vital to the development of these students. Movement is allowed in the classroom. Daily playground time and organized physical education are part of the program, involving games, yoga and other activities.
Field trips – To promote understanding of the world, Lower Elementary students go on field trips throughout the year. They may visit and work at a community garden, attend a play or an orchestra performance, visit a museum, tour a farm or do other activities related to their studies.