Elementary – grades 4, 5, 6
Our Elementary, grades 4 – 6, program began in the fall of 2013. One of the most appealing aspects of the Montessori philosophy is that there is a cohesiveness and connectedness that follows the child from the beginning of their Montessori experience till the end. The skills that the Primary child works so diligently to refine come to fruition during the elementary years. Children are working to be as independent as possible. Time management, daily study skills, and organization become increasingly relevant.
Cognitively, the 9-12 year old child is reaching an age of cognitive abstraction and has the ability to see and apply details in a broad manner. For example, the children have reached a level of mastery with the facts of the four mathematical operations and are now ready to apply this knowledge. Another example of the material continuum that flows throughout their entire Montessori experience is the bead cabinet. The young children use this material for linear counting practice and for development of longer periods of concentration. For the 6-9 year old, the children continue to lay out the bead chains, but begin to record the multiples and use them for skip counting purposes. At the 9-12 level, the children use this same material for multiples, squaring, and cubing.
The Geometry area in the Elementary classroom is the continuation of the Sensorial area of the 3-6 primary classrooms. The materials that are used by very young children for exploring relationships and learning shape names are used by the 9-12 year old child to articulate relationships between equivalent, similar and congruent figures. The Constructive Triangle boxes, the Hexagon boxes, and the Triangle boxes are a vital component of this type of exploration and discovery.
The focal point of the Upper Elementary remains the Cultural subjects. The foundation of the Elementary environment involves study and exposure to the areas of History, Geography, Botany, Zoology, and the Physical Sciences. These subjects provide the child with detailed information about the world around them. As more abstract thinkers and as their interests expand to the world around them, these subjects fill in the details of the broad based knowledge experienced at the 6-9 level.
In the language arts area, novel studies provide an enriched beginning. These novels, as well as a more in depth examination of the study of grammar and writing process, are frequently integrated with the cultural studies. These do not exist in isolation, but will serve as an integrative component, as writing occurs across the curriculum.