Lower Elementary

1st & 2nd Grades

Having a place of growing knowledge and meaningful exploration is the goal of the Lower Elementary classroom. Dr. Maria Montessori believed that the goal of childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to encourage his or her own natural desire to learn. In a Lower Elementary Montessori classroom, this objective is approached by allowing children to experience the excitement of learning by their own independent choice, and by helping to provide all their natural tools for learning. This is done with high hopes that their ability will be at the highest level in future learning situations.

In a Lower Elementary Montessori classroom students are also inspired by their older classmates, which is the beauty of a multi-aged classroom. The younger students see the more challenging work and aspire to do the same. The older students feel a sense of pride and are willing to help the younger ones complete their work. Since the Montessori classroom allows for students to work freely at their table, on the carpet, or with a rug, both grade levels can do works together and learn from another.

Children are provided with a clear expectation of their academic goals in the form of a contract. The Montessori philosophy trusts deeply in “following the child” and teachers are able to personalize a contract for each child. The contract directs all assignments and work choices for each child as the teacher guides them through new concepts and reviews past ones. As a Montessori guide, we encourage all our students to be life long learners and hope to spark their imagination through our curriculum.

Our curriculum is made up of practical life, math, language, and cultural.

Practical Life
Students continue to care for their environment and are now able to take an even more active role in supporting it and promoting growth within their community. With their increased physical strength, size, and coordination, elementary students begin taking on tasks independently that they have been unable to accomplish up until this point. Practical life is incorporated through classroom jobs such as, taking out the trash, organizing the books, dusting the shelves, etc. These jobs allow students to have a sense of responsibility through their day-to-day tasks.

The math curriculum is sequenced with most concrete Montessori material working their way up to abstraction. Materials such as the Golden Beads, Stamp Game, and Strip Boards are all hands on and children are able to learn through self-discovery and guidance of their teacher. As the child progresses to abstraction math skills such as problem solving, borrowing, carrying, and graphing,  the child is working  toward mastery.

Language is an area in the curriculum that includes reading, writing, spelling, and even speaking skills.Children are encouraged to read an assortment of genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc. Students can practice their comprehension with a vast amount of reading passages and AR books. In writing students use writing traits such as organization, idea, voice, sentence fluency, word choice and conventions, as well as, expository and opinion writing to develop sentences and paragraphs. Scientific Spelling is part of our curriculum and teaches students how to spell words by using reliable patterns and rules of the English language. Students are also able to practice public speaking through read a-louds, musical play, and presenting projects and writing samples to their classmates.

In addition to the Montessori materials, supplemental materials such as Studies Weekly, Science Studies Weekly and the Full Option Science System (FOSS) are implemented. Students learn science best by doing science. The FOSS philosophy correlates to the Montessori philosophy of active learning instead of passive learning. This in turn leads to deeper understanding of the natural world.