Our Lower Elementary Montessori program offers children in grades first through third a diverse, multisensory, and multiage experience in learning and development. Our multi-age, child-centered classroom fosters social and emotional growth and creates opportunities for leadership and mentorship. With the use of traditional Montessori materials, children learn to collaborate and problem solve alongside the advanced Montessori curriculum.
One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.
CORE ELEMENTS OF LOWER ELEMENTARY MONTESSORI EDUCATION
The Lower Elementary Montessori Classroom is designed to meet the needs of children ages 6 through 9 in the second plane of development. The multi-age environment exposes students to a variety of influences, support, and peer to peer learning. Our classroom offers children room for movement, exploration and fosters the child’s independence as a learner. The open, prepared environment allows children to choose their own work space, whether it be on the floor with a rug or at a table. The shelves contain all the materials the students need and are arranged in sequence, giving the students a visual of past, present and future lessons ahead.
Our Montessori teachers respect and follow each child’s learning style with the use of observation and collaboration.The teacher is there to observe and guide the child with their work and help when it is needed. Teachers offer lessons in small group settings, one on one, and through whole class discussions. Lessons are presented with Montessori materials through storytelling and expressive experiences.
The Mathematics curriculum connects conceptual thought to hands-on problem solving. Students strengthen their math abilities and gain optimal learning by building their equations, quantities, and place value through the use of the Montessori materials. Students internalize the concept and practice until the materials are no longer required, leading to abstraction. The curriculum is organized into distinct areas that are frequently taught in sync: Numeration, Operations and Memorization, Fractions, and Pre-algebra/Squaring, Cubing and Geometry.
The Language program incorporates and addresses all aspects of communication, including literature studies, reading skills, vocabulary and word study skills, grammar, creative writing, as well as attention to oral language skills. The Montessorri method is merged with the Orton-Gillingham program, which fuses a direct, explicit and multisensory approach to phonics based learning.
The Montessori Cultural curriculum offers children daily exposure to physical, life, and earth science, world history, political and terrestrial geography, engineering and the arts. They delve through independent and group lessons and gain a better understanding of their world, along with their purpose in becoming contributing members of society. Students act as scientists, historians, and geographers as they develop research, observational and deduction skills. Science lessons are enhanced and experienced in the barnyard through our animal science program.
The STEM enrichment encompasses the application of mathematics and science principles through the study of engineering and technology. Students learn through inquiry, problem solving and experimentation as they engage with technology and tools in the STEM lab. Early coding skills include algorithmic thinking, sequencing, and loops. Children begin to follow the engineering design process to tackle challenges and solve problems in individual and group settings. Animal science takes experiential learning to new heights as students study the traits and life cycles of our animals with yearly on campus chick hatching, butterfly releases
Enrichment classes in Music and Visual arts provide time for Lower Elementary children to delve deeper into self expression. Students experiment with and apply the Elements of Art, including line, shape, color, value, texture, space, and form. Students discover how their knowledge of the elements is applied to various mediums, such as drawing, painting, mixed media, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, graphic design, architecture, and fiber arts. Music classes explore vocal studies, music theory concepts, and music appreciation with opportunities to perform for the Country Day World School community. These classes offer important opportunities for children to express their creativity without pressure or judgment.
Lower Elementary Montessori students study both Spanish and Mandarin Chinese with a focus on speaking and understanding. Led by dedicated World Language teachers, children develop their vocabulary in both languages through interactive activities and conversation. Students practice writing Chinese characters with increasing accuracy over the three year sequence. Classes fuse language learning with cultural understandings, expanding upon the core curriculum of the Montessori classroom.
Whole Child Development
Guided by the Four Pillars of Wellbeing, the Lower Elementary program fosters social emotional growth and the development of executive functioning skills. Children practice daily mindfulness and become important, active members of their classroom and school community. Through the Montessori program, children develop important independent learning skills such as task initiation, perseverance through challenges, and effective time management. Teachers are not only guiding children through mastery of core curriculum goals, but also the development of these important soft skills in preparation for a seamless transition to our Upper School program.
Gross Motor Development
Lower Elementary children have daily Physical Education in addition to unstructured time on the playground and athletic facilities. PE classes work to build on important gross motor and athletic skills, promoting practice and personal growth over perfection. Teamwork, cooperation, and self confidence are important skills developed through the physical education program.